Saturday, May 21, 2011

Peanut butter cup ice cream

If you have a busy barbecue agenda the next day, this can be whipped up in the few minutes before bed after finishing the batch of egg salad. This is my first "real" aka custard-style ice cream, where you stir hot milk into beaten eggs then heat the mixture until thick but not scrambled. The technique mostly worked for me, and the resulting texture just after churning is much thicker, creamier, and generally ice-cream-like than the other frozen desserts I've made so far. This is a 2/3x batch of the recipe in the Weinstein book, makes 3-4 cups.

1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c milk
1/2 c peanut butter (creamy, no-stir)
1 c heavy cream
1.5 t vanilla
3/4 c TJs mini peanut butter cups

Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a mixing bowl. Heat the milk in a small or medium saucepan over medium-low heat until a skin forms on top and bubbles start forming underneath it. Slowly pour the milk into the eggs, whisking with the other hand. When combined, pour the proto-custard back into the saucepan and heat over low, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it thickens quite suddenly. Turn off the heat, place a strainer over the mixing bowl (to catch any solidified eggy bits), and pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth, then stir in the cream and vanilla. Place the strainer over a quart-sized container (to catch any large peanut butter bits) and pour the mix into the container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, churn in the ice cream maker for 13 minutes until thick and smooth, add the peanut butter cups, and churn for another few minutes while poking at the ice cream with a plastic spatula to keep it moving. Scoop back into a quart-sized tupperware and freeze for a few hours before bringing to Mike's end-of-the-world barbecue.

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