Chartreuse – in addition to being a vibrant color – is a French herbal liqueur made by Carthusian monks. It is flavored with a secret blend of 130 herbs and plants. The recipe, it is said, is only known to two monks at a time. Chartreuse is widely available in two colors: green and yellow. The green variety is more vegetal and is bottled at a higher proof, while the yellow is quite a bit sweeter and has a milder flavor. Both flavors can be an acquired taste at first, but once you have acquired it, they are downright amazing.
Chartreuse is a popular cocktail ingredient and can also be enjoyed on its own. The herbacious flavor of the liqueur is so potent that it can be used to flavor other things, as well, like this Green Chartreuse Ice Cream. This is a classic cooked ice cream recipe made with a generous amount of green Chartreuse added to it. The color of the ice cream will not mirror the liqueur, unfortunately, but you’ll pick up the flavor in every bite. It balances exceptionally well with the sweetness of the cream in every silky smooth bite. I used green Chartreuse because it stands out a bit more from the other ingredients than yellow Chartreuse does, but yellow could be substituted into this recipe, if you prefer.
The ice cream is slightly softer than some other ice creams, in part due to the added alcohol of the liqueur. It is still firm enough to scoop and pack into an ice cream cone however! I like this ice cream plain, but chartreuse works very well with chocolate, so feel free to stir in some chocolate chips or add a little drizzle of chocolate sauce to each scoop before serving.
Green Chartreuse Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk (pref. whole)
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp (pinch) salt
1/4 cup Green Chartreuse
In a medium saucepan, combine milk and cream and bring to a simmer.
While milk is heating, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large bowl. When the milk comes to a simmer, remove from heat. Temper the egg mixture by slowly pouring a little of the hot milk into the eggs at a time, while whisking constantly, until everything has been completely combined. Pour mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove ice cream base from the heat and stir in Green Chartreuse. Refrigerate until cold (an ice bath can be used to speed the process), at least 6 hours or overnight.
Pour ice cream base into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers’ directions.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts