One of our purveyors from Ephrata (eastern Washington) has been bringing us beautiful bi-color sweet corn. This stuff is so fresh and sweet, even simply cut off the cob and served raw in salads or as garnish, it’s delicious and tender. At the inns, it showed up on the breakfast table in a Southwest Scramble, and here at the restaurant it appeared in Corn Chowder. But the ultimate test was Anna Maria’s experiment, turning corn into ice cream.
Yes, it sounds strange, but actually, corn has been sweetened and served as dessert for generations; think of the sweet fruit-filled tamales served at holiday time in Mexico and Central America, or the corn puddings of early North Americans. However, its appearance as a frozen dessert is relatively new to the food scene. Recipes for Sweet Corn Ice Cream are surprisingly prolific on an internet search. Most call for cutting the kernels off the cob and steeping them along with the cobs in the milk and heavy cream, adding sugar and vanilla. One interesting recipe adds cinnamon, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Anna Maria’s next twist will be a hint of cayenne pepper added to the corn base. Hey, maybe black pepper ice cream would be interesting to try….or black pepper balsamic ice cream…..or black pepper balsamic raspberry ice cream…. that’s what we love about food – the possibilities are endless.