Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Low Carb Honey Jalapeño Pickle Ice Cream

There’s an ice cream shop in Denver, Colorado called Sweet Action Ice Cream that used to make this flavor. This is one strange combo, even for me, but how can I resist the challenge?! I was surprised how much I like this savory, sweet, and spicy flavor.

My first idea was to combine a honey flavored sweet cream base with chopped up dill pickles and jalapeños. Pretty straight forward. However, I was a little concerned about the pickles and jalapeños freezing solid. I also needed to figure out how I was going to impart a pickle and jalapeño favor to the ice cream itself. Then I remembered the new Philadelphia style low carb ice cream base that I created. It’s mostly almond milk, which is essentially water. I can substitute pickle juice for some of the almond milk. My first attempt involved a half cup of pickle juice and a whole fresh diced jalapeño added into the mix prior to heating. What was surprising about the result was that the flavors weren’t strong enough. I should have used pickled jalapeños instead. I was just about to buy a jar of them when I realized that they were going to be more trouble than they were worth. What I really need to use was pureed jalapeño, which is essentially hot sauce! I bought a bottle of Cholula green pepper hot sauce and dumped the whole thing into the mix. Yes, there’s sugar in the hot sauce, but it’s going to be a relatively small amount per serving of ice cream.

The acidity of the pickle juice and hot sauce will cause the dairy to curdle. The mix will have a slight texture of ricotta cheese after it’s been aged in the refrigerator. This is to be expected and doesn’t mean it spoiled. A little whisking before churning will smooth the lumps out and the ice cream dasher will take care of the rest.

I don’t mind the spicy heat this ice cream brings, but others may think it’s too strong. Try cutting  back on the hot sauce and make up the difference with almond milk or more heavy cream. The ice cream came out a little “dry” probably due to the whey and casein. I could try making this again using a cooked custard base instead, but I figured a Philadelphia style mix would allow the flavors to be bolder.


1 cup (242 g) dill pickle juice
2 tablespoons Truvia
1 level scoop (36 g) unflavored whey protein isolate
1 level scoop (28 g) unflavored micellar casein
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ teaspoon Dixie Diner’s Thick It Up Low Carb Thickener
1 bottle (5 fl oz) Cholula Hot Sauce, Green Pepper
1½ cup (357 g) heavy cream
1 teaspoon LorAnn Oils Honey flavoring


  1. Put a fine mesh strainer on the 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup and pour in the pickle juice.
  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the heavy cream and honey flavoring to the 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup and beat with an electric mixer at maximum speed for approximately one minute.
  3. Add the heavy cream and beat with electric hand mixer at maximum to ensure it’s integrated, too.
  4. Transfer mix to a small pot (preferably non-stick) and heat on medium to medium-high while constantly stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot using a heat resistant silicone spatula.

    Ice cream mix in pot.

    Monitor the temperature. When it reaches 161 °F, lower the heat, start a cooking timer, and keep stirring for five more minutes. Do not allow the temperature get much hotter or cooler. Remove pot from the heat source temporarily while stirring, if needed.
  5. Transfer mix back to the 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup and beat with an electric mixer at maximum speed for approximately one minute. Add the honey flavoring and mix it in. Do not exceed one teaspoon.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in a refrigerator for 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight.
  7. Remove from the refrigerator. The mix will be thick and slightly gelatinous. Curds will have formed from the pickle juice and hot sauce. Mix by hand with a silicone spatula or whisk before transferring to the ice cream maker. The mix should be homogenous but there will be some minor lumps.
Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

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