Now, I will fully admit that this sounded like the most digusting thing in the world to me; not sure why, because all it is is ice cream wherein the custard base is made with duck egg yolks vs. chicken egg yolks. And since duck egg yolks are larger and much richer than chicken egg yolks, it made sense to use them for ice cream (plus the whites of duck eggs aren't particularly tasty, so you feel less guilty throwing them out).
But nonetheless, I resisted, until—lo and behold—I saw sitting in the dairy case of my local organic market half dozens of duck eggs, produced by one of the local farms. They're quite a bit larger than chicken eggs, and the shell is thicker, more brittle, and more transluscent, so that you see a rosy golden glow from inside them.
Before I could divert my kid's attention, she spotted them, too, and my goose was cooked.
Thank goodness, as it turns out. This was the first entirely successful ice creams I've made in my Cuisinart ice cream maker, and maybe the most delicious ice cream I've ever eaten, no joke. It's plain vanilla, but really: what could be wrong with that.
If you come across duck eggs, the rule is use 2 duck egg yold for every 3 chicken eggs. In this recipe, you could use 8 chicken egg yolks instead.
Duck Egg Ice Cream
Makes a quart
6 duck eggs, separated (whites discarded)
1 c sugar
2 c whole milk
2 c cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Put the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer. It needs to freeze solid before you churn—at least 24 hrs.
2. Make the custard: In a saucepan, off the heat, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar till smooth and glossy. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking all the time, until thoroughly combined. Place on stove over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape out the corners of the pot so nothing sticks. After about 10-12 minutes, the custard should have thickened—you'll know it's ready when you can run a finger across the back of the spoon and the line stays visible.
3. Fill a large bowl about halfway full with ice, and nestle a smaller bowl inside it. Strain the custard into the smaller bowl through a fine-meshed sieve. Stir in the cream and the vanilla extract till everything is completely combined. Cover the smaller bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hrs, so it's thoroughly chilled.
4. Take your ice cream maker's freezer bowl out of the freezer, pour in the custard base, and set the machine. Let the ice cream churn for about 25 minutes—it will look like softish soft serve, and will "grow" as air gets incorporated. When it's at this stage, remove it to a glass baking pan (like a Pyrex) or some other suitable container and cover it well with plastic wrap. Place it back in the freezer for at least 4 hrs.
5. Scoop, serve, and swoon.