Goat Cheese Ice Cream Topped with Pecans and Honey

I longed for an ice cream maker for years, and last November I finally made the purchase. It was shiny and red and on sale. The sale was for good reason — who wants ice cream in November? Well I didn’t really so the ice cream maker waited in its box while I perused countless ice cream recipes searching for the perfect inaugural batch. It wasn’t long before I found David Lebovitz’s recipe for goat cheese ice cream. Goat cheese ice cream? S was skeptical. Gosh, I was skeptical. But the idea of it was intriguing. It could be a hit or a flop. So we patiently waited days, weeks, months to try it.

A View from the Top

While the first batch was spinning in its frozen canister, S and I excitedly waited nearby with spoons in hand. Lebovitz mentions that the ice cream tastes like cheesecake. And sure enough, the ice cream smelled just like cheesecake as it was churning. At last the ice cream was ready and we tried the first spoonful. Sadly, it was terrible. It tasted a bit sour and a bit too goat cheesy. But I was not discouraged. I knew I needed to find a milder, higher quality goat cheese and use a bit less of it.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream

The search was on for a good goat cheese. Once again the Matthews farmers’ market came to the rescue. There I discovered a locally produced goat cheese from a farm in Waxhaw, North Carolina called Bosky Acres. Their goat cheese has the most pleasant flavor. It’s mild, delicate, and tangy — not at all sour.

Back into the kitchen I went to try again. This time I used the Bosky Acres goat cheese and only half of the amount called for by Lebovitz. Again, we waited for the machine to work its magic, and this time that first spoonful was perfect. It really does taste like cheesecake with a hint of tangy goat cheese. Topped with honey and pecans, this goat cheese ice cream makes for a delicious not-too-sweet dessert. The moral of this kitchen tale: patience is a virtue and if at first you don’t succeed, always try, try again.

Freshly Churned

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Makes About 3 Cups
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
6 large egg yolks

1. Warm the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan. While the milk is warming, crumble the goat cheese into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the goat cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted, then stir until cool over an ice bath.
4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Frozen Yogurt with Rhubarb Topping

When I was around 10 years old, TCBY stores starting popping up in my home town of Rochester, NY. As per usual with things in Rochester, we were in the tail end of what was rapidly becoming the nations first frozen yogurt craze. Entranced by the idea of a low-calorie, low-fat ice cream substitute, people were inhaling large substances of the stuff, without bothering to notice that it really didn’t taste that good. People were imagining a new low-calorie ice cream, but didn’t seem to realize that the frozen yogurt was much more – it had a tangy, creamy goodness all its own. Fast forward to today. With the advent of Pinkberry and imitators, it appears we have begun to grasp the fact that frozen yogurt should not taste like ice cream, but should actually taste like, well, frozen yogurt.

Brown Cow YogurtUnstrained YogurtVanilla Frozen Yogurt Base

David Lebovitz’s frozen yogurt recipe is just about the easiest thing around. It takes a while mostly due to the fact that it requires you to dump a container full of yogurt into a strainer lined with cheese cloth for 6 hours or so, but once that 6 hours is up what remains is something so easy it’s barely a recipe. I mistakenly bought vanilla-flavored whole milk yogurt instead of the called-for plain. Not a disaster – since the yogurt was already slightly sweetened – I just tasted the yogurt after every few tablespoons of sugar, and when it reached my desired sweetness I stopped. I also added in extra vanilla, since I love vanilla, but it just as easily could have been left out. Then this thick concoction went into the ice cream maker – twenty minutes later the yogurt was soft serve consistency. It was scraped into a container to firm up.


The tanginess of the frozen yogurt called for some sort of fruity topping. I had been re-reading ‘Garlic and Sapphires’ by Ruth Reichl and her recipe for roasted rhubarb sounded perfect. It was also incredibly easy – just chop up the rhubarb, toss with sugar, roast. What comes out of the oven looks like a red slimy mess, but it tastes delicious. An ideal combination of sweet and sour.

Chopped RhubarbChopped and Sugared RhubarbRoasted Rhubarb

The roasted rhubarb and frozen yogurt were perfect partners – sweet, sour and satisfying.

David Lebovitz’s Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

3 cups (720g) strained yogurt or Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Mix together the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note – To make 1 cup of strained yogurt, line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth. then scrape 16 ounces or 2 cups of plain whole-milk yogurt into the cheesecloth. Gather the ends and fold them over the yogurt, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. So, for the above recipe start with and strain 6 cups of yogurt.

Makes about 1 quart.

Ruth Reichl’s Roasted Rhubarb

2 pounds rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup of sugar

Mix the rhubarbs and sugar together. place mixture in an over proof dish and roast in an hot oven for 30 minutes. (Ruth Reichl says the oven can be anywhere from 325 to 425 – I went with 350.) Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.