Creamy, homemade ice cream gets a zip from loads of freshly grated ginger. Cooking the ice cream base first, then grating in fresh ginger, eliminates the need to blanch the ginger, which would curdle the cream if heated together. This makes a pleasantly spiced ice cream, with sweet floral notes and a kicky afterglow. You can use 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk in place of the dairy listed if you prefer. Feel free to fold in some minced candied ginger post-churning if you like that sort of thing. I use a microplane grater to get my ginger to a pulpy consistency.
2tablespoonspeeled, very finely grated fresh ginger (see headnote)
Cook the custard:
Place the heavy cream and 1/2 cup of the half and half in a heat-proof 1-quart capacity container or bowl and place a fine mesh strainer over the container. Set aside. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl anchored on a damp towel and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, warm theremaining cup of half and half, sugar and salt over a medium flame, swirling the pot occasionally until the mixture is steaming and small bubbles form on the bottom of the pan, a few minutes.
Dribble the hot half and half mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pot, place over a low flame, and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-proof silicone spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan, until the mixture begins to "stick" (form a film othe bottom of the pan, and/or measures 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer, justa few minutes.
Immediately remove the pot from the heat and pour the hot custard through the strainer and into the cold cream mixture. Stir in the grated ginger and its juice, and chill for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. (If you're in a hurry, you can place the mixture in an ice water bath and stir until it is very cold.)
Churn the ice cream:
Place the ice cream base in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to get it really cold, shaking or stirring it every 10 minutes (this will make for a smoother ice cream). Spin the ice cream in an ice cream maker until it is the consistency of a thick milkshake. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container (preferably one that has been chilled in the freezeand freeze for at least 2 hours for a scoopable consistency.
The ice cream is best within a few weeks of being made, but will keep for several months. To prevent ice crystals from forming, press a piece of parchment right on the surface of the ice cream, and store in a covered container.
Nutritional values are based on one of six servings.