Ginger Ice Cream with Nectarine Caramel Sauce

Ginger Ice Cream with Nectarine Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 quart
Adapted from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook

For the Ice Cream:
1/3 cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 pint whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
8 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 heaping tablespoons minced crystallized ginger (about 6 cubes)

For the Caramel Sauce:
6-8 very ripe nectarines, peeled and pitted 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Combine ginger, milk and cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and remove from heat allowing the ginger to steep for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour. Strain and return the liquid to the saucepan. Bring it back to a simmer.

Mix the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add some of the warmed cream mixture to the sugar and egg yolks whisking briskly to temper the eggs. Gradually add the remaining cream mixture, whisking until all combined. Return the new cream and egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and the back of the spoon is coated. It will resemble a very thin milk shake. Mix in the vanilla extract and the minced crystallized ginger. Pour into clean bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Finally, pour the cooled custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according the manufacturer's instructions. 

To make the caramel sauce, place the nectarines in a blender or juice extractor and puree. If using a blender, strain the puree through a seive to get about 1 cup of juice.

Combine the sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. When the mixture begins to bubble all over, swirl the pan until the sugar turns a golden caramel color. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the corn syrup. The mixture might seize up but just keep stirring. The residual heat will dissolve the corn syrup. Allow it to cool for a few minutes and then stir in the nectarine juice. Again, if the sauce seizes and the sugar turns into a lump, just zap the whole sauce in the microwave in 30 second intervals until the sugar dissolves again. Refrigerate until ready to serve over the ice cream.

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