Black Pepper Ice Cream

May 4, 2014

Updated July 31, 2022

To accompany the Sticky Toffee Pudding at our latest Feast, I made a Black Pepper Ice Cream. The puddings is traditionally served with vanilla ice cream. I wanted to make something a bit more “chefy” and turned to David Lebovitz’s book The Perfect Scoop for inspiration. This where I found his recipe for Black Pepper Ice Cream. I thought the sharp flavor of the black pepper would work nicely against the sweetness of the puddings.

Making the black pepper ice cream

While the puddings were baking I started the ice cream base which involved steeping two tablespoons of cracked black pepper in cream and whole milk.

Coarse ground black pepper in mortar & pestle
It took a few batches but my little mortar & pestle did the job

After steeping for an hour I added the eggs and remaining ingredients for the custard. After straining out the peppercorns, I let the base cool overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I churned it in my ice cream maker and let it firm up in the freezer before our Feast.

Black pepper ice cream churning

The two tablespoons of pepper makes for a very assertively flavored ice cream. I like it but could see cutting back on the amount of pepper for a more subtle flavor. It’s worth trying and pairs perfectly with the pudding.

Sticky toffee pudding and black pepper ice cream
A perfect pairing – sticky toffee pudding and black pepper ice cream
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Sticky toffee pudding and black pepper ice cream

Black Pepper Ice Cream

  • Author: David Lebovitz
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This assertive ice cream is from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop



1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely cracked

Pinch of salt

1 cup heavy cream, divided

3 large egg yolks


Warm the milk, sugar, peppercorns, salt and ½ cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Rewarm the peppercorn-infused mixture. Pour the remaining ½ cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer, pressing the peppercorns gently to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the peppercorns and stir the custard into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


From The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments © 2010 by David Lebovitz

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Category: ice cream
  • Cuisine: French


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 177.99
  • Sugar: 9.96 g.
  • Sodium: 59.00 mg.
  • Fat: 13.60 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 7.94 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 10.50 g.
  • Fiber: 0.20 g.
  • Protein: 4.10 g.
  • Cholesterol: 127.95 g.

Keywords: ice cream, black pepper, David Lebovitz

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