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.

Mound of Basil

Mound of Basil

Doesn’t it feel like summer has arrived when the farmers’ market is full of basil, tomatoes, corn, and squash? A few Saturdays ago, S and I headed to the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market (more on that in a second) at the absurd hour of 7 o’clock am, and I swear you could smell the basil in the air. It’s minty fresh fragrance lured me into taking home a bagful. The smell of basil makes me want to fire up the grill, invite some friends over, and sit around the table sharing stories until the sun has sunk below the horizon and the mosquito bites start to itch. Aaah, summertime.

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

At home later I wondered what I was going to do with all that basil. There were a lot of possibilities but in the end we settled on pesto. It took all of 5 minutes to make it. Grating the Parmesan cheese was the most time consuming step (especially after a few nibbles of the grated cheese). A few whizzes of the food processor and we had a beautifully verdant pesto ready for the freezer.



We mixed our freshly made pesto in penne for a light and fresh dinner. The rest we froze to save for a cold winter’s night. It will be the perfect reminder of summer.

Now for a few words on the aforementioned Matthews Community Farmers’ Market — I’ve been to A LOT of farmers’ markets in my day, and I have to say that this one is among the best. It’s all local producers so when you buy that tomato or ear of corn you can feel proud knowing that you are supporting local farmers (having grown up on a farm, I can tell you how important this is). Also, you are buying your food only hours after it was harvested. It’s about as fresh as you can get unless you grow it yourself. You can get everything from eggs to peppers to the best goat cheese all in one stop. The farmers’ market is also open throughout the summer and winter. I’m looking forward to a whole year of fresh produce. Its quaint, small-town location and early morning hours (the opening bell rings at 7:15) add to its charm. Check out their website and sign up for the newsletter. It’s the best way to start the weekend.

Pesto Sauce
Joy of Cooking

1. Combine in a food processor and process to a rough paste:
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
With the machine running slowly add:
1/2 cup olive oil, or as needed
If the pesto seems dry (it should be a thick paste), add a little more olive oil. Season to taste with:
Salt and black pepper
Use immediately, or pour a very thin film of olive oil over the top, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.