Trader Joe's makes the best white chocolate for this ice cream. It's extremely creamy with strong notes of vanilla, chocolate, and herbs.
If you have a favorite shortbread recipe, feel free to use it here. This version is designed to stay soft when frozen (hence the very high proportion of butter to flour) and has a salty kick to cut through white chocolate's sweetness.
- Yield:Makes 1 quart
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:1 1/4 hours, plus an overnight chill
- For ice cream
- 3 cups half and half
- 1/4 cup ginger, peeled and finely grated, with juice
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 ounces white chocolate (recommended: Trader Joe's)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
- For shortbread crumble
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup flour
For ice cream: Bring half and half to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in ginger, and let steep covered for 30 minutes. Half and half may separate slightly but it won't affect the final ice cream.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until they thicken and lighten in color. When ginger is done steeping, quickly whisk yolk mixture into saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until custard coats the back of a spoon but a swiped finger leaves a clean line.
Strain custard into an airtight container. Add white chocolate chunks, and when melt, add salt to taste. Chill custard overnight and churn the next day according to manufacturer's instructions.
For shortbread crumble: Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle. Melt butter in a small saucepan, then add both sugars and salt until white sugar mostly dissolves. Stir in flour until mixture resembles a thick paste. Do not overmix.
Pat dough out on a sheetpan to 1/4 inch thickness and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until shortbread is just set. Let cool, then crumble into mixed-size chunks. When ice cream is churned, stir in candied ginger and most of the crumble, reserving some for topping. Let ice cream chill in freezer for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving.