Monday, May 21, 2012

Harvey Milk & Honey

Source: Wikipedia

Humphry Slocombe created this ice cream in honor of the first Harvey Milk Day (May 22, 2009) in California. As many now know thanks to the 2009 film staring Sean Penn, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay official to be elected to a public office. This ice cream is still served on Harvey Milk day. 

Harvey Milk and Honey is a milk flavored (Vanilla is a word not spoken in the HS book) ice cream with a healthy dose of honey and graham crackers. The cookbook offers a homemade graham cracker recipe, but I blatantly cheated and bought store made crackers instead. 

Here are the ingredients ready to go:

When making ice cream, the first steps are pretty consistent and don't change much. Essentially, you warm up the cream and milk (and in this case some salt) in a large saucepan. In another bowl, you whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Then while whisking constantly, you ladle a little bit of the warm cream/milk base (about half of it in all) into the sugar/egg mix in order to "temper" the eggs. If you just dumped the eggs into the hot mix the eggs would quickly cook and you would have something closer to scrambled eggs than ice cream. 

After the tempering process you combine back into the saucepan and heat until ~175* for a few minutes over medium-high heat. The Humphry Slocombe book states that you can either tell its done by listening for your spoon scraping along the bottom of the pan, or you can just use a candy thermometer...which I set up below for a more accurate count:

The mixture is then strained into a large bowl set in an ice bath to rapidly cool. At this point, the honey (I used raw honey I had on hand) is mixed in. I placed the mixture into the fridge overnight to settle and cool completely. The next day it came out looking like this:

At this point I have to admit that I actually made this recipe twice. The first time I put the cooled mixture into our kitchen-aid ice cream attachment, which hadn't worked great the last couple times I had tried to use it, and when I mixed in the Harvey Milk and Honey mixture is barely froze and the consistency was horrible. So I decided to invest in a Cuisinart stand-alone ice cream maker (as suggested in the book) specifically for this project. Here is the ice cream maker in action just after the ice cream was loaded in:

After about 15 minutes the mixture started to thicken up:

Once the ice cream has thickened up considerably, chopped graham crackers are mixed in. I then moved the mixture into a Tupperware container and placed in the freezer to firm up a bit.

And here is the final product: 

The Verdict

Pretty fantastic. In my opinion this ice cream is all about the honey, which is really the prevalent flavor and fairly strong. I used a really high quality honey and I'm glad I did as I'm not sure the processed mixture from a bear shaped plastic container would of tasted quite the same. The graham crackers added some nice texture and were a nice addition although next time I think I will try to make them from scratch. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your ice cream experience. I adore the book and look forward to seeing how things work up in your kitchen.

    You'll love the Cuisinart. I do recommend a second freezing bowl, they are pretty inexpensive on amazon.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Loki Cook. I've looked into a second freezing bowl but I'm hesitant as I'm not sure how great this project will be for my waistline! Maybe limiting my production would be a good thing...

    Again, thanks for reading. I have a couple more posts coming very soon.

  3. Does anyone know where I can buy the cream pie ingredient Harvey Milk?