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Honey Ice Cream with Almond Nougatine in Sesame Seed Cups

Almond Nougatine:
1/2 cup
1/3 cup
sliced blanched almonds
Sesame Seed Cups:
3/4 cup
1 1/4 cup s
sesame seeds
3/4 cup
(4 to 5) egg whites
3 tablespoon s
unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon
sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon
sesame oil (optional)
Honey Ice Cream:
1 cup
2 cup s
heavy cream
egg yolks
1/2 cup
honey (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  1. First, make the Almond Nougatine: Brush a small baking sheet with vegetable oil and set aside. In a very clean, medium-sized, heavy saucepan, cook the sugar over high heat, stirring frequently, until it liquefies and turns a caramel color. Stir in the almonds and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Pour out onto the prepared pan in a very thin layer and let it harden and cool. When the nougatine is completely set, scrape it onto a chopping board with a heavy spatula. Cut or chop it into small bits. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.  
  2. Next, make the Sesame Seed Cups: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the milk, until well combined. Cover this batter with plastic wrap and leave it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Using a 2-tablespoon measure, spoon some of the batter onto a nonstick baking sheet. Dip a fork into the milk and, using the back of the tines, gently pat the batter, spreading it into a very thin circle 6 to 8 inches in diameter. (The milk will prevent the sugar from sticking to the fork.) On an 11-by-15-inch baking sheet, you should be able to make 2 to 3 circles spaced about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and, using a spatula to transfer each water, immediately shape them over a 2 1/2-to-3-inch bowl or mold, forming a freeform cup. Leave them to cool and harden. (You may want to start by making 1 or 2 at a time, as the wafers crisp very quickly and can crack.) Store carefully in an airtight container until ready to use.  
  4. Finally, make the Honey Ice Cream: In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisking the yolks continuously, gradually pour the heated liquid into the bowl. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened into a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and to hold a trace when you draw your fingertip across the spoon.  
  5. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the honey to taste. (Different types of honey will have stronger or sweeter flavors than others.) Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and set the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. When the mixture has cooled, pour it through a fine strainer into another clean bowl.  
  6. Freeze the chilled custard in an ice cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions. Just before the ice cream is completely set, stir in the chopped Almond Nougatine, and continue to churn for a few minutes longer to distribute it evenly. Transfer to a freezer container and store in the freezer until serving time. To serve, place individual Sesame Seed Cups on serving plates and scoop the ice cream into them.

 Makes 1 Quart

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About this Recipe

Be sure to add the honey at the end of cooking the custard, to keep the sweetener's flavor pure and natural. If you like, make double the amount of Almond Nougatine, and break half of it into large pieces that you use to decorate each serving of ice cream. The Sesame Seed Cups are actually thin wafers that you mould into serving cup shapes while they're still warm.

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