Café con Leche Ice Cream

I am not sure what kind of school schedule you are on in your neck of the woods, but believe it or not, Josh heads back in just one more week. That means we’re trying to squeeze out the last bit of summer vacation while we can. And that means: more ice cream!

Both boys like the taste of coffee, and in particular, they love it when I make café con leche: Cuban espresso served with an equal measure of warmed milk, and plenty of sugar. So today we thought we’d try to make a café con leche ice cream. It turned out pretty amazing, though a bit time consuming.

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Cuban espresso coffee grounds
1 cup sugar

Heat the milk and heavy cream in a sauce pot to around 170 degrees. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and add the coffee grounds, stirring to make sure the grounds are saturated. Set aside the mixture for about five minutes.

When the grounds have settled somewhat, slowly and carefully ladle the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter. Try to ladle off from the top, leaving as much of the sediment as possible to settle. You may need to clean your sieve or use more than one coffee filter.

If the process is going too slowly, let the mixture sit for a while longer until more of the sediment has settled. This part definitely takes a little time and patience.

Eventually you will have strained out the coffee grounds, leaving you with your ice cream base. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours until completely cooled.

You can follow the directions on your ice cream maker for the last part, but you will find that the ice cream will set somewhat faster than you would expect. I assume this is a result of the oil content in the coffee. Normally, we will put up our ice cream for an hour or so to have a harder set dessert, but for this batch, we served it straight from the machine and it was delicious.

And yes, there is caffeine in Cuban coffee, so you might not want to serve up third helpings to your little ones as a late night treat!

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