mascarpone ice cream with candied prosciutto.

i know what you’re thinking.

“this girl must be crazy! who in their right mind is topping ice cream with prosciutto?”

you may be right, i may be crazy.

but it just might be a lunatic you’re looking for. right?

okay, i’m done paraphrasing billy joel songs. let’s talk about ice cream!

i have a mild obsession with mascarpone cheese. as you might know, i am not the biggest fan of cheese. in fact, i pretty much dislike almost every type of cheese, with the exception of brie and mascarpone. i like that they’re both mild, and soft, and a little bit sweet. they don’t scare me like most cheeses do.

i like mascarpone because it’s super-versatile. it’s delicious in both sweet and savory applications. whenever a recipe calls for cream cheese, i’ll usually substitute mascarpone with absolutely delicious results!

i’ve been wanting to make mascarpone ice cream for a while now, and i’m so very glad i did. this is one of the creamiest ice creams i’ve ever had. the flavor is clean and bright, and it very much tastes just like mascarpone: sweet, a teeny bit tangy, and velvety as all get-out.

exceedingly rich and smooth, this mascarpone ice cream makes an ideal canvas for highlighting contrasting flavors of toppings or mix-ins. like prosciutto.

i know, i know. it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of eating ice cream with candied prosciutto on top, but it totally, completely 100% works here.

mascarpone and prosciutto have always been great friends, and this ice cream is no exception. i sprinkled the prosciutto with sugar and baked it in the oven until crispy and shiny and glistening, then let it sit out at room temperature for an afternoon so it would be easy to crumble up.

the subtle sweetness of the mascarpone is enhanced by the candied prosciutto is such a lovely way. candying the prosciutto makes any of the overpowering unctuousness melt away. instead, the prosciutto is sweet and slightly salty, with hints of juniper. the creaminess of the mascarpone ice cream keeps the prosciutto from being too overwhelming, and the flavors all meld together just beautifully.

if i haven’t sold you on topping your mascarpone ice cream with candied prosciutto, let me offer you some other suggestions!

  • a simple drizzle of honey would be divine.
  • swirl in some fig jam after churning to make a delicious swirled ice cream, or serve the ice cream with fresh figs. figs + mascarpone = friends forever.
  • serve a scoop or two of this ice cream with roasted strawberries and thick slices of pound cake for a nice change of pace from a traditional shortcake. if you want to make it really amazing, drizzle over a tiny bit of balsamic glaze. oh, yes indeed.
  • blend up a few scoops of this ice cream with fresh berries, a bit of milk and a small shot of framboise for a delicious adult milkshake!
  • mascarpone ice cream + crumbled ladyfingers + chocolate shavings + chocolate sauce + whipped cream = a fun tiramisu-inspired sundae!
  • place a scoop of mascarpone ice cream in a dish, and pour over hot, freshly brewed espresso for a great twist on an affogato. simplest dessert ever!

those are just off the top of my head, but honestly, you could do anything with this mascarpone ice cream and it would be just divine. this is one of those ice creams that is delicious on its own, but even better when it’s paired up with contrasting flavors and textures.

even if you don’t try the candied prosciutto, definitely take this mascarpone ice cream for a test drive. i pinkie-swear promise you’ll fall in love with it!

mascarpone ice cream with candied prosciutto

Yield: 1 quart ice cream

Ingredients:

for the mascarpone ice cream

4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups half & half (you can use whole milk if you want)
one 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
large pinch of salt

for the candied prosciutto

6 slices prosciutto (not paper thin!)
granulated sugar

Directions:

for the mascarpone ice cream

place the egg yolks and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. attach the whisk attachment to the stand mixer, and turn on medium speed.

whip the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 3-4 minutes. you can also do this by hand, but it will take about 5 minutes.

once the mixture is pale yellow and thick, set aside.

in a small saucepan, heat the half & half on medium heat until steaming and small bubbles form on the edge of the pan.

once the half & half is heated, remove from the heat.

slowly pour the half & half into the whipped egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. if you're using your stand mixer, have the speed on low while slowly adding the half & half.

scrape the mixture back into the saucepan, and return to medium heat.

using a rubber spatula, stir the custard constantly. it will begin to thicken, and once it reaches 170 degrees F, remove from the heat.

pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl, and set aside for about 15 minutes to cool off a bit.

after 15 minutes, add the mascarpone and salt to the warm custard, and whisk until smooth and combined.

transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours.

when time to churn, pour the custard into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions, or about 20 minutes.

transfer ice cream to an airtight container, and freeze for at least 30 minutes before scooping.

the ice cream will keep stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

for the candied prosciutto

preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, with a rack in the center.

line a baking sheet with a silpat, or a piece of parchment paper.

place the prosciutto onto the lined baking sheet and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. make sure the entire piece of prosciutto is covered in a thin layer of sugar.

place baking sheet in the oven, and bake on 425 degrees F for about 6-8 minutes, or until sugar is melted and prosciutto is slightly browned and crisp on the edges.

remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

once the prosciutto is cooled to room temperature, you can crumble it into bits, or break it into large shards.

sprinkle on top of the mascarpone ice cream and enjoy!

the leftover candied prosciutto will last for up to a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

ice cream recipe adapted from food & wine

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5 Responses to “mascarpone ice cream with candied prosciutto.”

  1. #
    1
    Laz — July 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Fantastic. This is the kind of out-the-box thinking that moves me. Love this flavor profile.

    Just saw you on the Florida facebook group. Look forward to more of your kitchen adventures.

    Be well

  2. #
    2
    Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups — July 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I don’t think this sounds crazy. It’s similar to the bacon fad right now for dessert, but I like the prosciutto is not as smokey. Sounds great!

  3. #
    3
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — July 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Candied proscuitto is genius….I love it!!

  4. #
    4
    Home with Mandy — August 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    What? Get out! What? Shut up! This looks A.MA.ZING! Love it!!!

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