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Nettle Ice Cream with Rosemary-Caramel Popcorn

Nettle Ice Cream with Rosemary-Caramel Popcorn

The flavor of this sheep’s-milk cheese is almost indescribable: The light floral and lemony notes are balanced out by a faint grassiness that fits right into this sumptuous ice cream. Although both recipes can stand on their own, the pairing of the two is not to be missed.

Serves | 8 |

Rosemary-Caramel Popcorn

  • 12 to 14 cups air-popped popcorn
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup

Nettle Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 oz Green Dirt Farm Fresh Nettle cheese
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

| Preparation – Rosemary-Caramel Popcorn | Preheat oven to 250˚F. Line two lipped half sheet pans with parchment paper. Fill a large soup pot (at least 6 quarts) with popcorn. Set aside.

In a small bowl, add baking soda, cayenne pepper, salt and rosemary and stir to combine. Set aside.

Add butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until butter has melted. Stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbles begin to form; stop stirring and boil undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat and add baking soda mixture. Mixture will bubble up; whisk rapidly until everything is homogenous. Working quickly, pour caramel over popcorn; use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir until popcorn is evenly coated. Divide onto 2 prepared sheet pans and bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to break up any clusters. Remove and allow to cool completely on baking sheets.

| Preparation – Nettle Ice Cream | In a large bowl, stir together egg yolks and fresh cheese until smooth. Set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add heavy cream, milk, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Whisking frequently, heat until first bubbles begin to form. Remove from heat. Carefully scoop out ½ cup of hot-cream mixture and stream it into the cheese mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat with another ½ cup of the hot-cream mixture, whisking to incorporate. Using a rubber spatula to stir, carefully stream in remaining hot-cream mixture; stir until smooth.

Place mixture back in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, coats the back of a spatula and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 2 to 3 minutes.

Place mixture in an ice-water bath and place on counter, stirring occasionally until cooled. Remove from water bath, cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

When mixture has chilled, remove from refrigerator and spin base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Remove and place in airtight containers; freeze for at least 6 hours until firm.

Once firm, scoop and serve immediately with rosemary-caramel popcorn.


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Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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