Finns love ice cream. And it’s not just a warm-weather summertime treat! Finns are more than happy to enjoy a cup or a cone any time of year.
I remember the first time I explored a Finnish grocery store I was blown away by the extent of the ice cream options in the freezer section. Case after case of every flavor you can imagine in tubs, cones and bars. Of course, in the summer months it’s an extra special treat to order ice cream from an outdoor kiosk. There’s nothing better than a sunny afternoon in Helsinki, walking along the Esplanade with an ice cream cone in hand.
The flavors of Finnish ice cream run the gamut from the classic Vanilla, Chocolate and Coffee, to regional favorites such as Lemon-Licorice, Arctic Cloudberry, and even a Tar! When I start missing the rich and creamy indulgence of Finnish ice cream, I make my own. This recipe for Cardamom Ice Cream showcases Scandinavia’s favorite spice.
The base for this cardamom ice cream is made by steeping whole cardamom pods in milk and cream. The cardamom-infused mixture is then blended with egg yolks, sugar and a little vanilla extract to prepare the ice cream base. After refrigerating the base overnight, I churned the ice cream using my KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker. I love this attachment for the stand mixer! All you have to do is freeze the ice cream maker bowl then stir on the lowest setting for 20-30 minutes. The result is a rich and creamy cardamom ice cream that immediately takes me back to Finland!
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 16 cardamom pods
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine milk, cream, and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Beat together until the mixture is pale and falls in thick ribbons when the beater is lifted.
- Remove cardamom pods from the milk and cream mixture.
- Gradually beat the hot milk into the egg-sugar mixture. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; do not let boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cool completely. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
- When ready to prepare, churn according to ice cream maker directions.
- Immediately transfer cardamom ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in airtight container.