This quirky delicious flavor is inspired by a drink off the Summer Specialties menu at one of my favorite coffee spots, Pinewood Roasters in Waco. Pinewood roasts and sells their own beans, has a stellar wood-paneled space, and is always a welcoming, customer service-oriented experience.
The Huey Lewis is a delicious, summery concoction made with house-made brown sugar and vanilla syrup, lemonade, and their house cold brew, all served over ice. Sound like a weird combination? Well, it is. But it works. And I thought it might also make a great ice cream flavor, so J.D., one of the owners who I used to work with, hooked me up with a few grams of their Rover Blend beans.
And, I was right. It’s complex, sweet and delicious — just like the drink that inspired it. In addition to the Rover Blend beans, which they use to make their house cold brew, I used brown sugar and vanilla and steeped fresh lemon rinds to emulate the refreshing flavor of the Huey Lewis. The coffee flavor comes up front, with notes of dark vanilla sweetness, and the lemon really comes through as a refreshing twist at the back end of a bite.
I brought a pint of the finished product by the shop for J.D. (pictured, midway through roasting a batch of beans) and the staff to try, and got unanimous approval. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as they (and I) did, and stop by Pinewood to try the inspiration!
- 1 pint milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4-5 TBSP fresh coffee beans, coarsely ground, depending on how strong you like your coffee flavor (you can order a bag of Pinewood’s Rover Blend here)
- 6 lemons, peeled
- Before combining ingredients for the base, grind the coffee beans and peel the lemons, making sure to leave as little fruit on the rind as possible to avoid curdling the milk with the acidity of the citrus. Compost the fruit, or use it to make lemonade.
- Combine milk, cream, 1/2 cup of cane sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium stock pot or saucepan. Stirring frequently (especially until mixture is fully combined), bring to 160˚F over medium-high heat.
- When the base reaches 160˚F, turn off the heat add the lemon rinds and coffee grounds. Stir briefly to make sure that the rinds and grinds are wet, and cover the pot. Allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, crack the 4 eggs, separating the egg yolks into a small bowl and disposing of the whites and shells. Whisk together the egg yolks with the other 1/2 cup cane sugar and set aside.
- After the coffee and lemon have steeped, uncover the pot. Using a fine mesh strainer or a spoon with holes in it, remove the lemon rinds (you’ll likely take some coffee grounds with you as well, which is fine).
- Using a ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by slowly pouring about 1/2 cup of the hot base into the eggs, while whisking constantly, until the egg/sugar/hot base mixture loosens up. Then pour the mixture back into the base, whisking constantly.
- After the egg mixture has been fully incorporated into the base, turn the heat back on at medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, bring the base to 170˚ F and turn off heat.
- Pour the cooked based through a fine mesh strainer and into a heat-safe bowl (most of the coffee grounds will strain out, but the smaller ones wont — which is totally fine). Place bowl in refrigerator and allow to chill, uncovered, until the base is cool to the touch, stirring occasionally to decrease cooling time.
- When the base is cool to the touch, cover, return to the refrigerator, and allow to set for 4-5 hours.
- After allowing the base to set, whisk thoroughly.
- Set up your churner.
- Pour the base into the churner and turn the cycle on. Allow the ice cream to churn and freeze until it has the consistency of thick soft-serve throughout, 15-30 minutes depending on your churner.
- Pour the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and cover. Allow the ice cream to harden to a consistent texture throughout, roughly 6-8 hours depending on your freezer.
I recommend enjoying the Huey Lewis as a refreshing (and slightly caffeinating) nightcap after a heavy dinner, or bring it (with plenty of ice) out to a picnic or barbecue!