Spicy ice cream is a wonderfully odd sensation - specially with the self-soothing effect the creaminess of the ice cream itself provides!
I added 3/4 of a jalapeño pepper (very finely chopped, seeds & all, by hand) and the juice of one lime to the basic ice cream custard then strained out the jalapeño bits before cooling it.
Once the jalapeño bits were out I added the rinds of three limes and the last 1/4 of the finely chopped pepper to keep the bite of the flavour in and add to the texture a bit.
Jalapeño & Lime Ice Cream
Yields about 1 quart
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Jalapeño pepper, very finely chopped
5 large egg yolks
Juice of one lime
Zest of 3 limes, finely grated
In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in three quarters of the chopped jalapeño pepper. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour. Taste and let sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
Rewarm the cream mixture over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 175° to 180°F at this point. Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Press firmly on the jalapeño pepper in the strainer with the spatula to extract as much flavor as possible.
Cool the custard to below 70°F by stirring it over the ice bath. Stir the lime juice into the cooled custard.
Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold the lime zest and the reserved chopped jalapeños into the just-churned ice cream, transfer to an air-tight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.