These gourmet ice cream sandwiches from Michelin-starred restaurant State Bird Provisions feature pumpkin seed (pepitas) macarons and oolong tea ice cream.
June 23rd, 2019
While we call State Bird’s signature dessert “ice cream” sandwiches and they eat like ice cream sandwiches, they’re technically frozen sabayon sandwiches. Because when we first opened, we had neither the extra money nor the space for a giant commercial ice-cream maker. So I did something tricky and tweaked classic sabayon—a sort of light, ethereal version of custard and the French version of Italian zabaglione—so it would turn out like ice cream when frozen. It was so good that I went wild, infusing it with all sorts of flavors from oolong tea to Sichuan peppercorn and mixing in lemon curd and cocoa custard.
In what will strike only the kitchen-efficiency nerds among you as a stroke of great inspiration, we decided to fuse two troublesome desserts. For the macarons, we nixed the laborious piping and filling. Instead, we just spread the batter in one thin layer on sheet pans, then baked and froze them.
Frozen cookies can be awesome, but not in this context—when you cut into or bite down on the hard cookie, the ice cream escapes out the sides. It’s messy. It sucks. Also, this new component of State Bird’s signature dessert is that rarest of cookbook miracles—when the restaurant version of a dish is easier, not harder, for the home cook.
Makes 12 small ice cream sandwiches.
For the oolong tea, Harney & Sons Brand is preferred.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Coat the baking sheets (including the sides) with nonstick cooking spray. Lay the parchment paper in the sheets so it covers the edges of the long sides, pressing so it adheres. Lay the baking mats on top of the parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, almond four, and pepitas. Set aside. Wipe the bowl of the stand mixer clean (lingering oil prevents the egg whites from whipping properly) and add the egg whites.
Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Blend on medium-low speed to break up the egg whites, 30 to 45 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the surface is frothy, about 1 minute. With the machine running, add the cream of tartar, then add the granulated sugar, about 1 Tbsp at a time. Continue beating on medium speed until sof peaks form, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the almond four mixture.
Use a rubber spatula to fold and stir well (no need to be delicate), just until there’s very little loose four visible, about 30 seconds. Use the dough scraper to scoop, fip, and smoosh the mixture against the walls of the bowl until there are no pockets of egg white remaining, about 45 seconds.
Divide the mixture evenly into the prepared baking sheets and use the ofset spatula to spread into even layers that completely cover each surface. Sprinkle the sea salt evenly over each layer.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets every 6 minutes, just until the surface of the macarons is a shade darker in spots, the edges are frm and just begin to pull away from the sides, and the center is set but still gives slightly to pressure, 30 to 35 minutes.
Once the macrons are cool, use the ofset spatula to loosen the edges. One at a time, put a cutting board on top of each baking sheet, lif and secure the sheet and cutting board, and invert the two so that the macaron releases onto the cutting board. Carefully peel of the parchment paper and baking mat. Line the baking sheets with the parchment paper again and slide the macarons onto the parchment paper. (The side of the macaron to which the baking mat used to be attached should now be facing up.)
If not using immediately, wrap the whole baking sheets completely in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Warm the cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it steams but doesn’t simmer (145°F / 62°C), 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the oolong leaves, and stir. Cover and let steep for 35 minutes. Strain through a fne-mesh sieve into a container and let cool. You should have about 2 1/4 cups; if not, add more cold cream to get that amount. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.
Put a large stainless-steel mixing bowl and the balloon whisk in the fridge or freezer to chill, about 30 minutes. When they’re cold, wipe the bowl dry, add the oolong cream, and whip to sof peaks, 4 to 6 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, while you beat the egg yolks.
In the stand mixer ftted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks and 2 Tbsp granulated sugar. Whip on medium-high speed and let the machine run.
Meanwhile, combine the water and remaining 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar in a small saucepan and stir until all the sugar is moistened. Set over medium-high heat, let the mixture liquefy and bubble, and cook, swirling occasionally, until it registers 245°F (120°C) on the instant-read thermometer, 4 to 5 minutes. Tilt the pan and let the mixture pool on one side to take the temperature reading.
As soon as the sugar syrup is ready, with the mixer running, pour it into the egg yolks in a steady stream and continue to whip until the mixture is fully cooled and thicker than whipped cream (when you lif the whisk, it should fall in what look like ribbons), 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the whipped cream from the fridge, add the kosher salt, and briefy whisk to beat in a little more air.
Immediately move to the assembly.
Freeze the baking sheet, uncovered, just until the ice cream is firm and frozen throughout but still indents slightly when you press lightly against the surface, about 2 hours. Too firm is better than too soft.
Remove the baking sheet with ice cream from the freezer. Remove the plastic wrap from the second layer of macaron (the one with no ice cream).
Reprinted with permission from State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski with JJ Goode, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography courtesy of Ed Anderson © 2017
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