{twd} helado de jamaica

I should be excited. I love ice cream and nothing rocks my world more than a good vanilla ice cream. However, I’m currently having residential issues. More specifically, I’ve been out of my house for almost two months and temporarily living with the parentals until my divorce settlement/judgment is signed.  As I write this my proposed settlement is on its way to my husband. I am hoping hoping hoping and wishing wishing wishing he will sign it which will allow me back in the house by my birthday in August.

What does this have to do with vanilla ice cream? This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Vanilla Ice Cream. And while I remembered to grab my ice cream maker on one of my excursions back to the house, I forgot to grab my vanilla beans. My gorgeous, plump, moist Tahitian Vanilla Beans I bought when I was in Taha’a last December.  I’ve looked at other vanilla beans at the grocery stores, at the gourmet stores, at Surfas and they all look so scrawny and cost so much that I can’t bring myself to buy them. Although I know you can make a very tasty vanilla ice cream without a bean, I wanted to use one the first time I made this recipe.

my gorgeous vanilla beans

my gorgeous vanilla beans

I decided to make Helado de Jamaica (Hibiscus Ice Cream) using the base recipe for the vanilla ice cream, but instead of infusing the cream with the seeds and pod of a vanilla bean using jamaica leaves instead. The most common use for jamaica is to make agua de jamaica, a sweetened tea. You often see it in Mexican restaurants next to carafes of horchata (a cinnamony rice and almond drink) and tamarindo (a tamarind drink).

You can find jamaica or hibiscus leaves at natural food stores or Mexican markets. On it’s own, it makes a very tart tea. As an ice cream, it has the tartness of a good frozen yogurt and the creaminess of real ice cream. I’m also digging the gorgeous color. I made it by adding 1/3 of a cup of hibiscus leaves to the heated cream/sugar mixture and let it infuse for 10 minutes.  Next on the list: Helado de Tamarindo.

Thank you to Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu for hosting this week’s recipe as we bake/churn our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. If you would like the original vanilla recipe, buy the book or visit Lynne’s blog.