The only thing we can think about is ice cream. Not just because the mercury hit 90, but also because Ample Hills Creamery, arguably one of the best ice cream shops in New York City and a leader in the Brooklyn artisan food movement, just opened its second location.
It's more than just a storefront, it's a 3,600 square-foot ice cream paradise. There are flavors to try, giant windows that offer views of the ice cream getting made and a roof deck with views across Brooklyn. We stopped by on a Tuesday afternoon and the place was packed.
Co-owner Brian Smith wants people to come and try the ice cream at Ample Hills, but he also wants folks at home to recreate his famous flavors. We're here to help with that second part.
A note on equipment: At Ample Hills, they do not make batches that are as small as this recipe. Some of the appropriately sized bowls and saucepans were not available. Please note the sizes of receptacles in the recipe. Also, any at-home ice cream maker will do.
Owner Brian Smith takes us through the steps to make Ample Hills Creamery's Sweet as Honey
Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, his wife and partner, own Ample Hills Creamery. They live in Park Slope, Brooklyn with their two kids. The Gowanus location is the shop's second: the first, in Prospect Heights, has lines out the door pretty much every night. Smith is pictured here behind the counter at Ample Hills Gowanus. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Make the Walt's Dream sweet cream ice cream base
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, skim milk powder and milk.
¾ cup organic cane sugar
½ cup skim milk powder
1 2/3 cups whole milk(Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Stir with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Make sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain (any remaining sugar granules will dissolve over the heat). (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Stir in the cream
Add 1 2/3 cups heavy cream to the mixture. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Heat and cook
Clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and burning, until the mixture reaches 110ºF, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Separate the egg yolks
Place three egg yolks in a medium bowl. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Temper the egg yolks
While whisking, slowly pour in ½ cup of the hot milk mixture to temper the egg yolks. Continue to whisk slowly until the mixture is an even color and consistency. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Combine and cook
Whisk the egg-yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and continue cooking the mixture, stirring often, until it reaches 165ºF, 5 to 10 minutes more. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Transfer the liquid to a bowl or the ice cream maker receptacle. Chill in an ice bath, letting cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Pour the ice cream base through a wire-mesh strainer into a storage container, bowl or back into the ice cream maker and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cool. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Make ice cream!
Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before churning. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Make the honeycomb candy
Butter a 12-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, syrup, and ? cup water. Whisk to combine.
2 cups organic cane sugar
¼ cup clover honey
7 tablespoons golden syrup(Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan and set the pan over medium-high heat. Cook until the syrup reaches 305ºF. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Add the baking soda... watch the mixture grow!
Remove the pan from the heat and, wearing an oven mitt for protection, whisk in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking soda. Whisk vigorously for a few moments to make sure you’ve incorporated all the little bits of baking soda, then stand back and watch the honeycomb grow. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Watch it grow...
Baking soda aerates the honey comb, helping it to expand. It creates "swiss cheese holes," Smith said. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Pour it out
When the honeycomb stops growing up the sides of the pot, gently pour it onto the prepared baking sheet. Let it cool. Refrigerate the candy for 30 minutes. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Chop it up
Chop the honeycomb into bite-size pieces. (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Combine Walt's Dream base with honeycomb
Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, like a tupperware, and fold in the pieces of honeycomb candy as you do. Use as much of the candy as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. (Save the rest for later!) Serve immediately - it will be like soft serve - or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.
Recipe has been adapted from "Ample Hills Creamery Cookbook," by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna with Lauren Kaelin.(Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)