It's still the time of the cranberry around these parts, and while scones, pound cake, and sorbet are all fine uses for fresh berries, I wanted to take them into full-on ice cream territory. But cranberries are a lot more assertive than your average dairy cow; they need something to stand up to their punch.
Cranberries and goats seem like kindred spirits to me. Part ornery and part adorable, they present cooks unique charms and challenges to coax the most out of them. Chevre, though mild and lemony, shares goat's barnyardy flavors, and as I've seen before, makes great ice cream. Goat cheese ice cream requires no time on a stovetop or fussing with eggs. It's light and tangy, with a savory finish. Even if your pre-holiday kitchen is overwhelmed with chores and projects, you can churn up a batch in no time flat.
The cranberry syrup side of the ice cream is as adaptable as it is easy to make. I flavored it with orange and maraschino liqueur, but ginger and pomegranate molasses would do just as well. Stay away from cinnamon, star anise, and the like for this recipe, though; sweet baking spices jive wrong with goaty flavors.
Most of my fall and winter ice creams are served on warm pie, cake, or cobbler, but this is bold enough for a scoop to stand alone. Goats and cranberries need no help. They don't want it, anyway.
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About the author: Max Falkowitz writes Serious Eats' weekly Spice Hunting column. He's a proud native of Queens, New York, will do just about anything for a good cup of tea, and enjoys long walks down the aisles of Chinese groceries. You can follow his exotic spice- and ice cream-based ramblings on Twitter.