Just last weekend, I visited the High Road Craft Ice Cream and Sorbet factory store in Atlanta. Chef Keith Schroeder and his crew are passionate about providing a quality and unique product. Scouring the world to find the best ingredients, this locally-owned and run company is quickly making their own mark on the map: a mark that doesn’t yet include Augusta (but I’m working on it.) This group really knows how to make ice cream and are so inventive that I can’t believe I ever ate anything else.
When I was younger, my mom would occasionally buy those big pails of ice cream from the store for my brothers and I. Besides being cheap, I think she liked those the most because she could then save the pails for my brothers’ Legos or Matchbox Cars, or whatever other piles of crap five kids produce. We liked the pails of ice cream because, well, it was an entire PAIL of ice cream. Ice cream night was the best!
My dad–the strongest man in the world, obviously–would get out his power drill and his ice pick and start chiseling away (after some brief calisthenics) at the contents. Bit-by-bit, one-by-one, our bowls would fill with chocolate ice crystals. Our little-kid bodies wiggled with excitement at the thoughts of things to come. Finally, it was time. My dad would do his post-workout cool-down while my mom passed out the bowls of deliciousness.
It wasn’t time to eat yet. Oh no. You see, there was an art to eating this type of ice cream. My youngest brothers, not knowing any better, would dig right in–their little tongues no doubt sticking to their spoons. But Nate and I, we were seasoned pros. In order to ensure the best texture possible, we would have to let the stuff melt. We would take our spoons and slowly swirl the ice cream. The more it melted, the more furiously we swirled until, at last, we had a puddle of ice cream the texture of a super-thick milkshake. Sure, we couldn’t eat for about 12-13 minutes but when we could, we had hit the motherload.
With a novel approach that doesn’t require the use of chisels and carbon-dating (who knew?!), High Road is supplying some of the areas best restaurants and will soon be available in retail at the region’s Whole Foods Markets. Unfortunately for Augustans, we have to drive two of the most boring hours to get “ready-to-eat” ice cream. But you know what? It’s so worth it.
I tried some of their vanilla as it came out of the machine. Holy shit–best I’ve ever had. Seriously. I think Heaven is upholstered with the stuff. Ok… Maybe not heaven. But almost definitely a settee in Liberace’s living room. Its texture is light like marshmallow fluff but substantial like a thick milkshake. It’s also got that super soft feel on the tongue (unlike the stuff-in-a-pail.) Fortunately for us, Chef Keith gave me his tips on how to make vanilla ice cream: the recipe’s below.
Chef Keith is the brains behind the flavors; flavors which range everywhere from vanilla and salted caramel to grapefruit lychee sorbet and the D-O-double-G’s favorite; gin and juice.
To further prove their genius, the staff has expertly recreated the profiles of some classic cocktails into a sorbet. I couldn’t wait to try the Old Fashioned sorbet: bourbon and bitters with lemon, orange, and bits of maraschino cherries. The crew graciously gave me a bit to try, and even-more graciously, Chef Keith gave me an extra splash of Makers Mark on top. One bite, and I was planning a move to Atlanta…
Have you ever had that friend that, when you’re partying together, is all of a sudden like making-an-ass-of-themselves drunk? And then you think to yourself: “hmm…I didn’t see them drink that much…” And in all actuality they actually didn’t drink that much but they’re acting like a blubbering drunk just for the attention?
Well, after a couple of the Old Fashioned sorbets (or presumably after any of the boozy ones) I would be that guy. It tasted so real. I had the foresight to not finish what they gave me until I was safely in my car. Otherwise, I could’ve easily tricked myself into believing I was blitzed and then fake-drunkenly starting hitting on everybody in there in the hopes of scoring more ice cream. Thankfully, I kept my reputation as intact as High Road’s.
Now, thanks to Chef Keith, his right-hand-man Hunter, and the rest of the crew, you can try to embarrass yourself in the comfort of your own home with this Bourbon Brown Sugar Milkshake recipe. I know you’ll love it.
[print_this]Vanilla Ice Cream
Conversions are approximate
500g milk (or 2 cups plus 3 TB)
500g cream (or 2 cups plus 3 TB)
180g sugar (or just shy of 1 cup)
100g egg yolk (or about 6 large egg yolks)
1 pinch salt
1 vanilla bean
Bring all ingredients, minus yolks, to a slight simmer.
Temper the yolks by putting some of the hot liquid into the yolks in a separate stainless bowl and whisk. Add the egg yolks to the mixture.
Bring the entire mixture back to very low heat, and remove when the mixture coats the back of a spoon nicely.
Age under refrigeration overnight. Strain.
Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Bourbon Brown Sugar Milkshake
Blend in a blender until smooth:
1 cup finished vanilla ice cream
1 shot bourbon (preferably Maker’s Mark)
1 cup whole milk
pinch of salt.