This summer's heat has been record breaking! Here is a remedy to help you through the marathon of hot days we have been having. Mark Bitterman's recipe for Parmesan Ice Cream with Tomato Marmalade and Basil Gremolata from the original book of salt block recipes, Salt Block Cooking.
Serves a crowd
For the ice cream:
- 1 round Himalayan salt block
- 5 cups heavy cream
- 8 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
For the marmalade:
- 1 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, use high-quality
For the gremolata:
- 12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- ¼ garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil, use high-quality
Chill the salt block in the freezer for 6 hours before you want to finish the ice cream.
To make the ice cream, bring the cream to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add the cheese slowly, stirring all the time, and continue to simmer and stir over low heat until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Pass through a strainer to remove any lumps, and let cool to room temperature. Put in a closed container and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
An hour before you want to finish the ice cream, put the container of ice cream mixture in the freezer.
To make the marmalade, cook the tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently until lightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the olive oil and let cool to room temperature.
To make the gremolata, mix the basil, garlic, hazelnuts, and lemon zest together in a small bowl.
To finish the ice cream, put the frozen salt block on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Spoon half of the chilled ice cream mixture onto the frozen salt block, using a pastry scraper or the side of a spatula to control its flow. Scrape and fold the ice cream across the surface of the salt until it sets up. Scrape into a chilled bowl put in the freezer while repeating the process with the remaining half of the ice cream mixture.
To serve, scoop the ice cream into chilled bowls. Drizzle each serving with the olive oil, and top each with a spoonful of marmalade and a sprinkling of gremolata.
Recipe and photos by Mark Bitterman. To see more, check out Salt Block Cooking.
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