Some folks take their apple pie with ice cream. Others demand a sharp cheese, like cheddar. How do you make everyone happy? With this ultra-sharp, ultra-cheesy cheddar ice cream. It's best eaten with apple pie, where its rich, cheesy bite cuts the fruit's sweetness for a compound dessert that becomes greater than the sum of its parts. But stick to pie; this ice cream isn't meant to be eaten on its own.
Why this recipe works:
- This ice cream is loaded with cheese for a genuine cheddar flavor.
- Blending cheese into ice cream turns it soft and creamy, superior to the leathery, oily texture cheddar takes on when melted over pie.
Note: You can substitute half-and-half for the cream and milk in this recipe.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (see note)
- 3/4 cup whole milk (see note)
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Kosher salt
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Whisk in cream and milk until yolk mixture is fully incorporated.
Place pot over medium-low heat and cook, whisking frequently, until a custard forms on a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a clean line, or until custard temperature reaches 170°F.
Remove from heat and add cheddar. Let sit 1 minute, then whisk to combine. Use an immersion blender, or carefully transfer custard to a stand-alone blender, and blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Add salt to taste, starting with a small pinch (seasoning will depend on saltiness of cheese).
Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container and chill in an ice bath or refrigerator until temperature drops to 40°F, about 2 hours for ice bath, up to overnight for refrigerator. As base chills, it might separate slightly or form a skin. If so, wait until it's completely chilled, then blend until smooth.
Churn ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and harden in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving atop apple pie in small scoops.
ice cream maker; blender or immersion blender