Rawaan Alkhatib’s Famous Cucumber-Caramel Ice Cream
This scarf designer goes back to her pastry-chef roots.
Turns out, Rawaan Alkhatib’s scarf line is one of many creative projects she’s cooked up. Back when, she planned to open a bakery with a friend in Dubai. “At the time, I had been baking and selling cookies and cakes out of my home kitchen, staying up till 3 A.M. filling orders, so it didn’t seem like a crazy idea,” she says. Here, a shockingly refreshing ice cream that may have found its way on the menu—alongside kooky goodness like Pop Rock truffles—if Rawaan had gone the confectionary route.
4-5 cucumbers (depending on size)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 good pinch kosher or flaky sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch (or rice starch)
1 cup cold heavy cream
Peel cucumbers and roughly chop. Process, blend, or grate to get about 1 ½ cups of cucumber-y goodness. Stir in lemon juice and set aside.
To make the caramel, spread the sugar in an even layer in a cold, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Turn on the heat, and allow the edges of the sugar to liquefy before gently dragging it in to the center of the pan to help the rest of the sugar along. Stir away. Observe it, because caramel likes nothing more than to burn. When it’s pale amber, pour in the milk. The caramel will harden into a raft. Stir it around to dissolve about half, and then fish out the block gently (it will be very hot!) and set it aside on a chopping board for a second. Stir the salt into the pot.
Combine the cornstarch and heavy cream in a bowl and stir to dissolve. Strain into the caramel mixture. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, boils, and bubbles up—this will take roughly two minutes.
Remove from heat, scrape into a bowl, and cool in an ice bath. Mix the cucumber puree into cooled base. Chill thoroughly in the fridge, for at least an hour, then whisk to remove lumps. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow the instructions.
While you wait for your ice cream to freeze, chop the caramel block into small (a little bigger than a grain of rice) or medium (a little larger than a pea) shards. Once the ice cream is ready, plop it into a freezer-friendly container and mix in the caramel choppings. Freeze for 20 minutes before serving.