2 Weird Flavors That Make The Best Ice Cream Ever

jenisPhoto: Courtesy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, by Kelsey McClellan.
Absinthe and meringue. Just leave your judgment at the kitchen door for a second — we're making the bold statement that these strange bedfellows are the two best flavor combinations for ice cream. The absinthe imparts a mild licorice flavor, while the meringue counterbalances with a light sweetness. With a little added matcha for crispness (and a beautiful hue) this makes for one killer scoop.
And, you can even make it yourself. This recipe from Jeni Britton Bauer, the author of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, is something even ice novices can handle. Ahead, your task for the rest of the weekend: licking this smooth, green treat right off that silver spoon.
icecreamembedPhoto: Courtesy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, by Kelsey McClellan.
Absinthe & Meringue Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart

2 2/3 cups whole milk
1 tbsp and 2 tsp cornstarch
2 oz (4 tbsp) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cup absinthe, Pernod, or pastis
12 tsp anise extract
1 cup crumbled (about 14-inch crumbles) meringue, store-bought

Instructions: 1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
2. Whisk the cream cheese, matcha, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
4. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
5. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold — about 30 minutes.
6. Remove the frozen canister from the freezer, assemble your ice cream machine, and turn it on. Pour the ice cream base into the canister and spin until thick and creamy.
7. Pack the ice cream into a storage container. Stir in the absinthe and anise extract and mix in the meringue pieces as you go. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

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