David Lebovitz is an ex-pat living in Paris. He is the former pastry chef at Chez Panisse and the author of The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - Cities.
David likes to use white chocolate in ice cream and in sherbert. For bars of white chocolate, David loves Askinosie's.
White Chocolate And Fresh Ginger Ice Cream with Nectarine and Cherry Compote
3-inch piece (2 to 2 1/2 oz) fresh ginger, unpeeled
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup plus 1 cup heavy cream
8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
5 large egg yolks
1. Slice the ginger thinly, cover it with water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain away the water but return the blanched ginger to the pan. Add the sugar, the milk and 1 cup of heavy cream to the saucepan and re-warm the mixture.
Cover and steep for at least an hour, or until you are satisfied with the ginger flavor.
2. Put the chopped white chocolate in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the ginger-infused cream mixture, whisking constantly as you pour in the warm cream. Pour the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the white chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Discard the ginger. Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and chill thoroughly. You can set the bowl over an ice bath to speed it up.
5. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Nectarine and Cherry Compote
1 lb fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 to 6 Tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rum or kirsch (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Split the nectarines in half and pluck out the pits. Put them in a 2-quart baking dish with the cherries. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the fruit.
2. Mix in the sugar and rum or kirsch, if using. Turn the nectarines so they're cut side down, arranging them in an even layer with the cherries and tuck the vanilla bean underneath.
3. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, opening the oven door twice during baking so you can jostle the baking dish to encourage the juices to flow. The fruit is done when a sharp paring knife easily pierces the nectarines.
4. Remove from oven and serve warm, or at room temperature with a nice scoop of the White Chocolate and Fresh Ginger Ice Cream.
Music Break: Record Year by The Decemberists