Belgians have their own version of gingersnaps, called speculoos (SPEC-ou-looze). They’re meant to be nibbled alongside the copious amounts of beer that Belgians drink, which was one of the many lessons I learned when I went to chocolate school there. Belgians like their beer so much that outdoor beer gardens are busy all year long, even during the freezing-cold winters. We had to brush the snow off our table to put down our glasses! The good news is that you don’t have to worry about your beer getting warm.
Back home, I found that speculoos go equally well with lemon ice cream when the cookies are crumbled and folded in. Like Belgian beer, this can be consumed any time of the year, and it’s especially good when served frosty cold.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in the molasses and egg yolk.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until smooth. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and, using your hands, pat it into a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Zest the lemons directly into a food processor or blender. Add the sugar and blend until the lemon zest is very fine.
- Warm the milk with the lemon-scented sugar, ½ cup of the heavy cream, and the salt in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from the heat, and let infuse for 1 hour.
- Rewarm the lemon-infused mixture. Pour the remaining 1½ cups cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm lemon-infused milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
- Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Discard the lemon zest and stir over an ice bath until cool.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, fold in the crumbled speculoos.
Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated, copyright © 2018 by David Lebovitz. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Ed Anderson