Hurry, it’s corn season! This corn ice cream is wayyy better than it sounds, trust me. It’s velvety smooth, delicious, and not too sweet. You can really taste the corn but it still tastes like a dessert!
I made this for dessert in my 5-course pop-up in LA a couple months ago. I was afraid that seeing corn ice cream as the dessert might scare people away from coming, but I think it actually helped to see something unique on the menu.
It turned out to be one of the most successful dishes of the night- everyone LOVED IT! I paired it with my churros and a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top. If I ever open a restaurant, this will definitely be on the dessert menu!
What does corn ice cream taste like?
Although it is very easy to describe what corn ice cream tastes like, it’s difficult to imagine! It really just tastes like corn, but sweet and cold and creamy (in the best way).
This recipe is basically a vanilla custard base, so it does kind of taste like vanilla ice cream + corn. The corn adds a bit of natural sweetness but it’s also savory. It can almost be described as having a slight cheese flavor- like cheesecake.
Corn- I recommend using 1 ear of fresh corn plus 1 can of corn kernels. You can use just one or the other, but the reason I recommend a mixture is because fresh corn on the cob is very starchy and gives the ice cream an unpleasant mouthfeel, but the flavor is better than canned corn.
Heavy cream & milk- don’t use half & half here, because the ratio of heavy cream to milk in this recipe is not equal.
Mexican crema- this is Mexican-style sour cream. It is used in a lot of Mexican ice cream recipes to help make them creamy, but it also adds a delicious & subtle tangy flavor. There are different kinds of crema- look for “crema agria.” American sour cream is fine too, but it will give your ice cream even more of a cheesecake flavor (which isn’t a bad thing!)
Egg yolks- these will give the ice cream a velvety custard-like texture. I only use 6 eggs yolks for this recipe, but you can increase it to 10 to make it more custardy.
Vanilla extract- the higher the quality, the better!
Salt & sugar- you can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking, but no need to adjust the salt. If you’re like me and don’t like your desserts ‘too sweet,’ stick with my measurements! Otherwise you may want to add a little more sugar.
Do not bring the mixture to a boil at any point during the process- You only want it hot enough to steam over a gentle simmer. Boiling will cause the milk to curdle.
Temper the eggs so they don’t coagulate- tempering is a technique used to combine eggs with hot liquid in a way that gently cooks the proteins so they don’t separate and form a bunch of egg curdles. This is achieved by adding a little bit of hot liquid to the egg yolks and quickly whisking it together to create a smooth texture before adding it back into the ice cream mixture.
Ice cream machine- if you’ve been thinking about getting one, this is your sign to do it! I LOVE my ice cream machine. It’s small, easy to use, and not as expensive as you might think. I have the Cuisinart 2 Qt Ice Cream Maker and I highly recommend it!
Can it be made without an ice cream machine?
If you don’t have an ice cream machine or prefer not to buy one, you can still make this recipe but you will need an additional stabilizer to get a creamy consistency.
I recommend adding about 1/2 teaspoon of cellulose gum. This is a stabilizer that prevents ice crystals from forming.
I recommend a wide, shallow container. If you want to make perfect ice cream scoops, choose a round container.
You can store this in the freezer for a couple of months, but you’ll probably finish it before then.
It will stay creamy because of the egg yolks and churning, but be careful not to let it melt too much when you take it out of the freezer. Once melted, it will start to form ice crystals when refrozen.
Instructions for serving
You should be able to scoop the ice cream directly out of the freezer, but if you have weak arms like me then you should let it sit on the kitchen counter for a 2-3 minutes to soften just a little.
More Ice Cream Recipes
Last year I started my paleta series. Paletas are Mexican popsicles, but some are creamy so they’re more like ice cream.
These are even easier to make! No cooking required. Here are a few of my favorite ones to try:
Corn Ice Cream
- Ice cream machine
- 1 can sweet corn (15 oz can)
- 1 ear fresh corn
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Mexican crema (sour cream)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- Cut the corn off the cob but don't throw it away.
- Add all of the ingredients to a pot (including the cob) except the egg yolks. Mix together over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.
- Add about 1/4 cup of the mixture to the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Whisk together quickly.
- Slowly stir the egg yolk mixture back into the pot and keep cooking over medium-low heat until it has thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Transfer the mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender.
- Push through a sieve into a large bowl.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely, mixing it occasionally to release steam and prevent a film from forming at the top.
- Once completely cool, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into your ice cream machine. Follow the directions provided by your ice cream machine brand- I use the 2 Qt Cuisineart Ice Cream Maker and it is usually done churning in 20 minutes.*This machine requires the drum to be frozen solid before using it.
- You can eat the ice cream right away if you prefer more of a soft-serve texture. For more of an ice-cream texture, store in the freezer for a few hours. *Do not store the ice cream in the drum. You should remove all the ice cream from the drum and store it in a different container. I recommend something large and shallow.