If you follow our weekly explorations, you know that a few weeks back we cranked out a flavor derived from the classic beer cheese soup. Working with beer in ice cream has been pretty enjoyable, so I decided to tackle another classic combination involving beer; beer and pretzels. Not just beer though. And not just pretzels. We bring you this week’s flavor – Black Lager with Candied Pretzels.
About a month ago, we were asked to make a New Belgium 1554 Black Lager ice cream for a beer and food pairing event sponsored by New Belgium Brewing. It turned out so well, that it just made sense to pair with the candied pretzels for this week’s flavor. Although not a local brew, the 1554’s dark malty caramel quality works extremely well in ice cream. For the ice cream, the beer gets reduced to nearly nothing. By the end of the reduction, a 12 ounce beer becomes about a tablespoon of syrup. After doing a side by side taste test using cane sugar in one base and brown sugar in the other, the 1554 with brown sugar crushed. Not surprising, the brown sugar helps accentuate the deep caramel notes in the beer. The beer reduction is added to our brown sugar ice cream base, and after cooking, is cooled, and then ready to churn.
Next, candied pretzels. BTW, candied pretzels…they’re the shizz. To make our candied pretzels we modified the “Pretzel Crunch” recipe from the great pastry chef, Christina Tosi, of Momofuku Milk Bar fame in NYC. With the pretzels, her recipe calls for malt powder, brown sugar, and butter. With the black lager ice cream, the flavors couldn’t be jive’n any better than that. The pretzels get crushed, and all ingredients are mixed together. Our version is going to get baked about twice as long as the original to achieve ultimate crunchy candied pretzel status. Either way you have it, these crunchers are worth their weight in gold. They’re broken up and added into the Black Lager ice cream at the end of the churn.
It’s a classic combination that meets present day ice cream. And by present day, I mean future. Rich caramelly black lager ice cream with crunchers of malty candied pretzels. It’s beer and pretzels at their best.
Black Lager with Candied Pretzels
2 12oz. Beers – New Belgium Black Lager
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Whole Milk
3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup pretzels, crushed into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
4 Tablespoon Butter, Melted
3 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoom Milk Powder
1 Tablespoon Cane Sugar
1 teaspoon Malt Powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Beer Reduction: In a stock pot, add the beer and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally, keep your eye on reduction until foam has died down. You may need to lower the heat occasionally to avoid boil over. Once foam has died down, beer can be reduced on high until beer is nearly gone and approximately 2-4 Tablespoons of syrup remain. Remove from heat and set aside until ice cream base ready.
2. Make ice cream base: Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk fully. Add brown sugar and whisk. Add heavy cream, milk, and salt. Whisk until ingredients are combined. Pour into stock pot with beer reduction.
3. Cook/pasteurize ice cream base: Over medium heat, whisk or stir base continuously. Keep stirring continuously until temperature reaches 165-170 degrees. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (an ice bath will do this in about 15-20 minutes). Put base in a clean container, cover, and chill in refrigerator overnight.
4. Prepare Candied Pretzels: Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Break up pretzels into small pieces and toss with other dry ingredients. Add melted butter. Toss until combined and spread out onto lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until dark golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet. Break up candied pretzel’s and freeze in airtight container until needed.
5. Churn ice cream base in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add 1/2-1 cup of candied pretzels to black lager ice cream at the end of the churn. Store ice cream in air tight container in freezer until chow time.
*Yields approximately 2.5 pints
If you’d rather not make it, you can be one of two lucky winners of this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. Two winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 4/24/15 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally in Minneapolis. Prizes must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!