Goat Cheese Honey Ice Cream

I could easily eat goat cheese for every meal of the day, but until this week, I had never tried it in ice cream. However, I couldn’t imagine a better accompaniment to Kimberly’s Broiled Figs with Za’atar and Pecans from her new book Vibrant Food, so I whipped up a batch sweetened with honey.

I developed the recipe from a couple of different sources: Carey’s Honey Thyme and Blackberry Goat Cheese Swirl Ice Cream (how good does that look?!) and Laura Chenel’s Honey Chèvre Ice Cream. (Also check out Cynthia’s crazy beautiful Honey Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Poached Pear Swirl. Swoon.)

A custard base keeps the ice cream smooth and emulsified. The honey lends a soft set due to its high content of invert sugars, making the ice cream scoopable right from the freezer.

Be warned: this ice cream definitely tastes like goat cheese. The goat cheese lovers in our house didn’t mind this fact (even the cat tried to get in on the action – he goes crazy whenever we pull the stuff out). I used Cypress Grove’s Ms. Natural, a mild and creamy cheese from a Northern California co-operative dairy. If your goat cheese has a more assertive flavor, you may wish to reduce the amount by half.

I’m envisioning this ice cream paired with other fruit desserts; perhaps a berry crisp, grilled plum halves, or roasted pears topped with walnuts. But it really is just right with those figs.

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Simply Ice Cream:

Crème Fraîche
Dreamy Vanilla
Honey Yogurt

Goat Cheese Honey Ice Cream

Use a light-colored honey and fresh, mild goat cheese here; I like Cypress Grove’s Ms. Natural and Sierra Nevada’s fresh chèvre the best. For a milder goat cheese experience, decrease the amount of cheese to 1.5 ounces and up the cream by 1/4 cup. For churning the ice cream, I have and highly recommend the ice cream maker attachment for Kitchen Aid stand mixers. Serve the ice cream with any warm fruit dessert, or with Broiled Figs with Za’atar and Pecans. All ounce measurements here are by weight.

Makes about 3 cups, 6-8 servings

4 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 ounces fresh goat cheese (about 2/3 c crumbled / 85 grams), softened
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces / 300 mL) heavy cream
1/2 cup honey (6 ounces / 170 grams)
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces / 300 mL) whole milk

Place the softened goat cheese in a medium bowl, and gradually whisk in the cream until smooth (being careful not to over-whisk and make whipped goat cheese butter). Place a strainer over the bowl and set aside.

Place the egg yolks in another medium bowl set on a damp kitchen towel. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk with the honey and salt until steamy and hot, stirring frequently. Don’t let the mixture simmer or boil or the acids in the honey could cause the milk to curdle. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pot and cook over a low flame, stirring constantly with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens slightly and/or registers 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately strain into the goat cheese mixture.

Place over an ice bath and stir until cold. Ideally, cover and chill the mixture overnight; this allows the milk proteins to relax and makes for a smoother ice cream. When the mixture is chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape the ice cream into a jar or pan, cover with a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper pressed directly to the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until firm, 3 hours or up to a month or two.

41 thoughts on “Goat Cheese Honey Ice Cream”

    1. We sounds like sisters from another mister when it comes to food… and so do our cats! Does your's go mad for almond butter and oatmeal, too? ;)

  1. So so beautiful, Alanna!! I can't think of a better combo than these figs and this ice cream — aahhh. So perfect. (And I love those action shots!)

  2. Oh, how I love goat cheese! I've gotten a little taste of goat cheese ice cream at Christopher Elbow's ice cream shop here in KC. It's about time I tried making my own!

    I'm still kicking my younger self for not learning to love goat cheese during my semester in France… I really missed out!

    1. That ice cream shop sounds fabulous! I've never seen goat cheese ice cream around here… that ought to change. And don't worry, my younger self ate all the goat cheese for you while in France. ;)

  3. Oh my gosh, yes. My favorite thing this summer is a plum and peach crisp. We put scoops of Jeni's goat cheese with red cherries ice cream on it once, and it was just perfect. :)

  4. My cat Cupcake loves goat cheese, butter, cream, and any kind of nuts, so she (and I) would love this, too! Where did you get that fabulous ice cream container? I have been looking for a good one.

    1. Thank you! Do you mean the glass pan that the ice cream is in? I got that little glass loaf pan at my co-op many years ago. If I see any more I'll let you know!

    1. That sounds delicious! I would steep fresh basil in the hot dairy, strain it, and make the custard with that. Then I would mash up some blackberries with sugar (necessary to keep them from freezing solid) and fold them in near the end of churning. Let me know what you end up trying!

  5. I want to make this for my baby’s first birthday, so I’m wondering if I could substitute honey for maple syrup. Would it be a 1-1 substitute?

    1. Aw that’s so sweet! You can certainly try this with maple syrup. It’s more watery than honey so the ice cream will have a harder texture and you will likely want to add a bit of extra maple syrup since it’s less concentrated than honey. If you have access to maple sugar you could also try using some of that to make it less watery. Let me know what you end up trying!

      1. Thanks! She LOVES goat cheese and blueberries. If I wanted to add (frozen wild) blueberries, would I just add them whole to the final mixture before it’s churned? Or would it be better to make a compote?

        1. Definitely make a compote with some sweetener or they will be too icy in the finished product. That sounds SO GOOD – you two have great taste! :)

          1. Ok, so I made it last night/today (had to let my KitchenAid bowl freeze overnight). I substituted honey for 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 maple sugar (man, that stuff was expensive at Whole Paycheck- $12 for 8 ozs). It is DELICIOUS. No joke, best ice cream I’ve ever had!

            I reduced the amount of goat cheese to 2 ozs (half a small log), because I was adding blueberry compote and didn’t want the goat to be too pronounced.

            I didn’t find the recipe too labor intensive for a first-timer. Could I use this sans goat cheese as a good custard-base?

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