Lemon, Thyme and Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese Ice CreamThe most amazing things are born of me trying to use stuff up in my fridge. Crazy thoughts start to run through my mind as I try to imagine how to knock out all the fruit, cheese, and milk before going out of town. This little idea had been percolating for a while, but it got way more awesome when I realized that I had half a log of goat cheese to dispense with.

Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese Ice CreamI have been obsessed with thyme for years now, and I think I can safely say it is my favorite fresh herb. I love the mellow earthiness it adds to any dish, and I had been wondering about pairing it with lemon and nudging it from the savory to the sweet side of the flavor spectrum. This little experiment was encouraged by this farmer’s market miracle. We bought this thyme for one dollar. And this isn’t even all of it. An embarrassment of riches! I have been thinking up new things to do with it ever since.

Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese Ice CreamI realize that goat cheese sounds like an unlikely ingredient for ice cream. But I assure you, its light tang is the perfect counterpart to the bright lemony zest that makes up the rest of the spoonful. This is, without a doubt, my favorite ice cream I have ever made. I sprinkled in some pecans for good measure, and they’re perfectly at home here as well, just a touch of sweet crunch. Eric and I make ice creams all summer long, but I’ve never shared them here because it’s so hard to take a picture of them before they melt. This is the one that finally compelled me to give it a try. It looks kind of weird and chunky, but that’s because these were the last bits I had left. Never has an ice cream gone so fast from our freezer. And this may just be my favorite incarnation of goat cheese yet.

Lemon, Thyme, and Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Pecans

2 c whole milk
1 c heavy cream
4 oz. goat cheese
2/3 c sugar
1/4 Tbsp salt
Zest and juice of two lemons
Leaves from 10-15 sprigs of thyme (or more if you like it as much as I do!)

-Heat milk, cream, cheese, sugar, and salt over medium-low heat, and stir constantly until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice with thyme leaves. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 2 hours. Stir well to recombine the dairy with the lemon juice and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

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