Frozen Man Ice Cream, brought to you by Stephen P. Kiernan, author of The Curiosity

The Curiosity by Stephen P. KiernanIt’s sweltering here in New York City. This kind of heat turns my thoughts to ocean beaches, ice cream cones, and absorbing novels. And regarding those absorbing novels, ideally they are set someplace cold, so at least my imagination can keep cool.

I have just the thing for this scorcher of a weekend, then. I will tote a copy of The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan with me to the beach, and I will make Kiernan’s Frozen Man Ice Cream recipe to enjoy when I get home. The opening scenes of The Curiosity are set in the Arctic, where scientists are searching for species preserved in the ice to bring back to study in Boston, MA. One of their discoveries is so large that they have to empty out the food freezers to accommodate the block of ice, and everyone on board the research ship starts eating the evicted cartons of ice cream before it melts.

Parade named The Curiosity its Pick on July 7, 2013, and said in its review, “Stephen P. Kiernan’s novel is a marvelous blend of sci-fi, romance, and the tug-of-war between science and ethics.”  The Curiosity also received a glowing review on NPR’s All Things Considered, which said:

There’s ice aplenty in the final book I want to recommend, a first novel called The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan, which for me is one of the year’s great delights. Imagine a multi-multimillion-dollar expedition to the far Arctic to search for frozen creatures, anything from krill to shrimp to seals, and bring them back to life. Then, imagine the crew of the expedition ship finding an iceberg larger than any ever before discovered and flash-frozen inside it a fully dressed human male, the victim, as it turns out, of a 1906 drowning. Once thawed, 140-year-old former judge Jeremiah Rice becomes the center of a huge controversy that pits science against religion — and the object of affection of Kate Philo, the brilliant young biologist who served on the team that found him in the ice. I developed some real affection for Judge Rice myself. He is a wonderfully appealing character, whom we watch come back to life almost moment to moment, and whose curiosity about the world in which he finds himself, and sorrow about the world he has lost, turns this beautifully made first work of fiction into something more than just a hot summer fling.”

I hope you’ll read The Curiosity (read an excerpt here, and get to know Stephen P. Kiernan here, and watch a video here), but even if you don’t, I highly recommend that you make this ice cream–it’s amazing! This is my adaptation of the recipe. You can find the original Frozen Man Ice Cream recipe here.


  • 3/4 cup coffee, reduced to 1/3 cup and brought to room temperature
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mix
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 8-ounce bag Health Bar bits


  1. Mix reduced coffee with cocoa mix. Stir thoroughly.
  2. Whisk sugar into egg yolks.
  3. Heat milk to just below simmer. Slowly whisk half the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture. Pour the egg/sugar/milk mixture back into the pan of milk and  stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens. Keep the heat on medium to low so it doesn’t scramble the eggs.
  4. Add the  coffee-cocoa mixture. Stir until just blended.
  5. Put the heavy cream into a big bowl. Put a sieve over the bowl. Pour the custard based you’ve cooked through the sieve into the cream, and stir together.
  6. Let cool in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When the mixture is frozen, add the Heath Bar bits, let it churn for 30 seconds more, and then stop the machine.
  8. Pack the ice cream into an air-tight container. Put parchment on top of the ice cream, and seal the container. Leave the ice cream in the freezer overnight to harden.

“Makes 1+ quart. Enjoy with your favorite scientist or reawakened sweetheart.” — Stephen P. Kiernan

7 Responses to “Frozen Man Ice Cream, brought to you by Stephen P. Kiernan, author of The Curiosity”
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