Slow Food Columbus

Asparagus Ice Cream

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We like the folks at Wild Goose Creative a lot.  They’ve always got something interesting going on, and whether it’s about writing, drawing, cooking, sewing, or what have you, it encourages creativity and a sense of community.  We always keep an eye on what they’re doing and have really enjoyed the events we’ve attended.  We ourselves have never taken part in any of their competitions personally, though we’ve benefitted from them: our secretary, Roland, competed in Bacon Camp—and won—with some superb pierogi last year, which we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many times.

But when we heard that they were doing an asparagus-themed event called Asparafest!, we thought, “Maybe we should step up for this one.”  It’s seasonal… it’s local… it’s good… it highlights everything we’re about.  So why not clear the kitchen and fire up the stove and get cooking?

So that’s what we’re doing.

But… what to cook?  Ideally something unconventional, we thought.  Something good, but different, and fun.  A dessert.  Crème brûlée, perhaps, or something else chilled, or… hm.

Why not ice cream?

Cream and asparagus go well together in soups and in classic preparations.  Why not in ice cream?  To get a slightly acidic note, something citrusy—a bit of lemon balm from neighbor Hungrywoolf.  And we’d heard Jeni Britton-Bauer talk about making ice cream at home, so we rummaged around and found Jeni’s homemade ice cream recipes from Food & Wine.  There wasn’t a single “base recipe” but there were some common elements: evaporating a bit of the milk and cream, adding some corn starch, and a touch of cream cheese.

We figured out a rough base recipe, boiled and puréed some Just This Farm asparagus, puréed some lemon balm into the cooling ice cream mixture, chilled it, put it into the ice cream maker and crossed our fingers.  When the result came out of the freezer… we were surprised.  Pleasantly surprised.

We tried a few additional refinements before arriving at a final recipe, but when we did, we were quite happy with it.  What were the refinements and what was our final recipe?  Maybe we’ll fill in the details in the comments section later on… but if you want to know for sure, come by Wild Goose Creative at 5:00 today and check out Asparafest!



  • Bear

    A great night — very enjoyable, and a delight to sample everyone’s interpretations of this seasonal delicacy.

    The refinements we ended up with were two: puréed lemon balm, to add a slightly citrus-y tone to the ice cream, and just a touch of balsamic vinegar, which you can see on the ice cream in the serving cups in the photo taken at the competition.

    Start to finish, doing this was a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who sampled, offered opinions, and gave us encouragement.