This ice cream is especially creamy thanks to the rice starch that infuses into the base. It's worth the effort to seek out canela, Mexican or "true" cinnamon, which has a gentler, fruitier flavor than more common cassia bark. Canela can be identified by its matte tan color, thin, papery bark, and citrusy aroma. More about it here.
- Yield:makes about 3 cups
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:3 hours, plus an overnight chill
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 1 3-inch long cinnamon stick (canela; see note above)
- 4 cups half and half
- 5 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy medium saucepan, toast almonds, rice, and cinnamon on high heat, tossing frequently, until almonds begin to smell aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half and half, stir to combine, and bring to a bare simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for two hours.
In a second saucepan, whisk together sugar and egg yolks until well combined and slightly thickened.
Using a fine mesh strainer or a couple layers of cheesecloth, strain dairy mixture into a large measuring cup or bowl. Press down firmly on rice with a wooden spoon to release as much dairy and rice starch as possible. Strained dairy should yield about 2 1/2 cups. Discard rice and almonds.
Transfer strained dairy to saucepan with egg yolks and sugar and whisk until very well combined. Put saucepan on medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until a custard forms on the back of a spoon and a swiped finger leaves a clean line. Stir in vanilla, then salt to taste.
Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container and chill overnight. The next day, churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to container and chill in freezer for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving.