One of my favorite corners of Waco is 18th and Austin — specifically, the Wine Shoppe, home of David Mayfield Selections. I’ve gotten to know David in the last couple of years through various service industry connections in Waco. To me, he represents the best of the wine scene: he’s always eager to answer questions or offer pairing advice, he exudes a passion for what he does, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things fermented (and, I’ve never once heard him be pretentious about it).
David imports wines from around the world for restaurants all over the area, and the Wine Shoppe offers an immaculate tasting room, an impressive retail supply that fits a wide budget range, as well as a wine CSA program. When you walk in, you’re guaranteed to be greeted by a jazz vinyl and a friendly face (whether it’s David himself or one of his outstanding shop tenders) and offered a tasting lineup of three or four wines that are currently open.
I stopped by a few weeks back because I wanted to get the expert’s recommendation on the best port to use in this recipe. There are two primary kinds of port wine — ruby and tawny. David suggested using a ruby, which is sweeter and has a more fruit-forward character than tawny ports, and he specifically recommended his Casa Santa Eufémia Ruby (pictured).
As you can probably imagine, the final product is out of this world. It’s rich, creamy, fruity, just the right amount of boozy, and perfectly captures the all the gastronomic features of having a glass of fortified wine with a slice of cheesecake for dessert. After Cinnamon Banana Rum, it’s probably been my most universally loved recipe, and is sure to hit the spot as a perfectly sweet nightcap.
- 1 pint milk
- 1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy cream
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 3/4 cup raw cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 8 oz fresh blueberries
- 4 oz fresh strawberries, sliced
- 5 fluid oz ruby port wine
- Place the blueberries and sliced strawberries in a medium stockpot or saucepan and cover with 1/2 cup cane sugar. Toss the combination to coat the fruit evenly in sugar, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the water has cooked out and the compote is thick and sticky like jam, 20-30 min (see the Cooking Fruit page for instructions and tips on cooking fruit).
- Meanwhile, combine the milk, cream, cream cheese, 1 cup cane sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium stockpot or saucepan. Stirring frequently (especially until mixture is fully combined), bring to 160˚ F over medium-high heat. (Use a whisk to incorporate the cream cheese; it will take a little while, but will incorporate as the base warms.)
- At 160˚ F, turn off the heat. 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 remaining 1/4 cup cane sugar.
- 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. 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 berry compote has reduced and thickened to the point that it holds its shape for a moment when it is stirred, take the compote off the heat and pour it into a small bowl or jar. Allow to chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator until cool to the touch.
- While the compote and base are cooling, pour the ruby port into a small stockpot or saucepan and simmer on low heat until the wine has cooked down slightly, to about 4 oz (this is to cook off a bit of the water content to avoid icy texture). Put in a small glass or bowl and allow to chill.
- Once the base, berry compote, and reduced port are all cool to the touch, add the compote and port to the base. With an immersion blender (or in a food processor), blend until smooth. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and allow to set for at least 4-5 hours.**
- After allowing the base to set, whisk or immersion-blend it thoroughly again.
- 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.
** If you are pressed for time, you can get away without waiting this long, though the texture might not end up quite as creamy. Just make sure that everything is fully chilled, or else your churner is likely to have problems freezing the base.