Suddenly Sauer: Preserving Food and Tradition in a Modern World

Tamarind Ice Cream for Neighborhood Noodle
September 1, 2010, 7:20 pm
Filed under: food, Ice Cream, Producers | Tags: ,
ice cream in the making

Tamarind Ice Cream meets its maker.

I think this post needs to begin with a bit of context.  There is a new noodle shop in town, operating out of a ground floor teeny little apartment (teeny for Detroit, anyway) where you can go on Monday night to carry out creatively and lovingly prepared Asian noodle dishes.  The proprietor of this new shop asked if I’d prepare an Asian style Ice Cream for this week’s event and I excitedly obliged.

Once of my more repeatable ice creams creations is a Thai Ice Cream with a coconut milk base, flavored with tamarind and hot pepper, sweetened with agave, and thickened with egg yolk (making it a dairy-free custard style ice cream).  I instantly knew this was the one I wanted to make for Neighborhood Noodle.  It also seemed appropriate to take this opportunity to use this blog as a space to tell my consumers what I’m making for them- both through the process as well as the producers who grow the food.

Thus began my journey to bring you delicious, sweet, sour, icy cold Ice Cream.

Of the relatively small list of ingredients in this ice cream, the most contentious one is certainly the eggs.  With Salmonella scares in the millions and concerned vegans aghast at the thought of eating baby animals, I wanted to highlight my egg producer, for whom I have the utmost respect and trust.

Will and I worked together at the Greening of Detroit as Urban Ag apprentices until the end of this summer.  As I’m striking out on my own to work towards being a full time pickler (yes, it’s true…!) He’s working full time on his community and market garden project: Edgeton Community Garden.

With almost 2 full acres in Northeast Detroit, Will is one of the more production focused farming operations I’ve gotten to traipse around in the city as of yet.  He’s got it all: livestock, veggies galore, compost, irrigation, community focused space and production space.  It’s a truly inspiring operation.

So I drove out to Will’s to pick up 2 dozen eggs for the Ice Cream and I snapped a few shots of him with the chickens and their environs.

Will with one of his hens.

This is where the magic happens (i.e. this is where they lay)

Once I got my eggs home, and gathered the rest of my ingredients from the suburbs (I’m still waiting for a food co-op downtown…) and picked up some tamarind pods from Honey Bee Market, I was ready to make the Ice Cream.

Tamarind Coconut Milk Ice Cream

(for a 1.5 quart batch)
1 can whole coconut milk
Water to bring total liquid to 4 cups (about 2 cups)
3/4-1 cup agave nectar
3 Tbs Tamarind (or about 6 whole pods)
1 hot pepper (if you like)
2 egg yolks
A few tablespoons of toasted coconut flakes

Bring the coconut milk/water mixture to a soft boil with the agave, tamarind, and hot pepper.  Once it’s cooked for about 30 minutes and the tamarind is soft, pour the mixture through a fine sieve and press the tamarind until most of the pulp is soft and can be stirred back into the coconut milk.  Discard the seeds.  Ladle one cup of hot liquid into egg yolks, stirring constantly, and then pour the tempered yolks into the pot of coconut milk tamarind mixture.  Stir constantly in one direction over low heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Cool.  Churn.  And top with toasted coconut flakes.


I ended up making 3 gallon sized batches, each churned in my one gallon hand crank ice cream maker:

Cranking the Ice Cream

And this is what I ended up with!  67 6oz servings and a lot of cranking later… I hope the folks @ neighborhood noodle enjoyed!

The Finished Product!!!


1 Comment so far
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I can’t believe I missed this! Is this going to be an on-going thing? If I treat my roomies to Neighborhood Noodle next Monday (Sept. 20th) will I be able to order your ice cream as well? Also, I’m sure you’ve thought of this but I feel like a PERFECT fusion Neighborhood Noodle and your own talents would be Mochi – those ice cream balls covered in rice dough. I only had my first taste of this delectable Asian dessert a few months ago but I have had cravings for them EVER since. Do keep me posted!

Comment by Laura Herberg

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