Horchata Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

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.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

Horchata Ice Cream

About This Recipe

Yield:makes about 3 cups
Active time:45 minutes
Total time:3 hours, plus an overnight chill
Special equipment:ice cream maker, cheese cloth (optional)
This recipe appears in: How to Add Rich, Nutty Depth to Any Ice Cream Recipe From the Archives: Horchata-Flavored Ice Cream, Perfect for Grilling Season Scooped: Horchata Ice Cream


  • 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


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    In a second saucepan, whisk together sugar and egg yolks until well combined and slightly thickened.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.


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