Philadelphia CheeseSteak Ice Cream

“That’s possibly the worst idea I’ve ever heard.”

Michelle didn’t use these words lightly. She didn’t say this when I’d suggested we fly across the country to a park staffed by 108 dwarfs, or we hand-feed live animals to hungry tigers, or we train to become professional taxidermists.

But evidently Michelle has her limits, too.

She draws a line at Philadelphia Cheesesteak Ice Cream.

We were about to watch Rambocky X, the legendary double-feature pairing of Rocky VI and Rambo IV. (You know: “When a 60-something fighter comes out of retirement for one last bout, who knows how it’s going to end?!! Well tonight, It Ends Twice!!! That’s right: Rocky & Rambo each wage a sexagenarian battle that could be a fight to the DEATH!!!”)

To accompany this back-to-muscled-back 191 minutes of awesomeness, I’d made avocado ice cream, mango sorbet, and Thai rice ice cream. But those flavors only represented Rambo IV, Thailand and Burma. They left nothing for poor Rocky VI, Philadelphia’s favorite pug.

So I had to fix the situation. And the remedy seemed to be CheeseSteak Ice Cream.

“Why don’t you just make Rocky Road?” Michelle demanded.

“Because that’s not Philly. Philly is cheesesteaks! We need something Rocky would eat.”

I Googled, but Google insisted there was no such thing. There were no recipes, or precedents. This was uncharted territory. I was an explorer. I was a fighter. I felt like Rambocky himself!

{Cue training montage}

I sliced up blood-red chunks of tenderloin.

Sautee’d them in a splash of olive oil, then cooked them in a pool of Karo.

Shredded two-tone cheddar, and a few tablespoons of cream.

Minced candied & cooled tenderloin.

“This is going to be a disaster,” Michelle warned before she went to bed. Okay, she didn’t actually say those words, but I could feel them. Had she voiced her thought, she would have added, “A disaster of historic proportions.”

I nodded, furiously mixing and stirring. There was no way this was going wrong. It was too important.

And it went right. Oh how right it went.

Nuggets of sharp cheddar cheese mixed with crunches of sweet beef, all settled in a gorgeous Philly-style ice cream base. I took a bite, and gasped. “Spectacular,” I announced, even though Michelle had long since fallen asleep. I took another bite. “AMAZING!” She still didn’t wake up. Oh, well.

Granted, it was weird. But it was also something like the greatest weird taste sensation of all time. It was Americana. It was Sweet Jeez! It was glorious.

Except for a cheesesteak itself, I don’t think there could be anything better than this.

So here’s the recipe….

Andy Deemer’s Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

The Cheesesteak:
60g beef tenderloin
1t olive oil
3T light Karo syrup

Slice the tenderloin real nice and thin. Heat the oil over medium heat, and cook until lightly browned. Add the Karo syrup, and cook until well done. Allow to cool. Mince it up.

The Cheese:
100g sharp cheddar
2T cream

Shred the cheddar big, then melt with the cream in a pan over medium heat. Allow to cool to a firmish malleable glop.

The Ice Cream:
2c milk
1-1/4c cream
2/3c sugar
1T light corn syrup
4t corn starch
3T cream cheese

I modified Jeni Bauer’s amazing ice cream base, a true Philly-style base from an incredible book of ice cream recipes.

Mix 1-3/4 cups of milk, 1-1/4 cups of cream, 2/3 cup sugar and 1T light corn syrup in a big pot. Bring to a boil, and let bubble away for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix 2T milk and 4t corn starch in a small bowl, and whisk into the hot milk mixture. Heat up again, and boil for another minute.

Mix 3T cream cheese and 1/8t salt in a big heat-resistant bowl.

Slowly pour hot milk mix into the cream cheese, whisking away. Cover and cool in the fridge.

When cool, pour milk mix into an ice cream machine and whir away. Chuck in the candied beef bits at intervals. When it’s expanded, and about 3/4 done, start adding the small nuggets of cheesiness. Don’t do this all at once, but at regular intervals.

And there you have it! Kapow it’s awesome!!!

Would have tried throwing in fried nuggets of Amoroso roll, and Cheese Whiz instead of Cheddar, but I’m in China, buddy! Give me a break!