Ok, so I tend to fall in love with every new flavor of ice cream I make (Exhibit A: Lemon Ginger Ice Cream) especially if it uses flavors I’m already a sucker for (Exhibit B: Sweet Potato Ice Cream)…but I think this is the first batch of ice cream I’ve ever made that Brad and I actually both obsessed over. To be honest, finding a flavor he’d love was my goal this time around since he hadn’t been all that tickled with the last few batches. To quote him, “I was so excited when you got an ice cream maker, but you just keep making these weird flavors…” Poor guy. While Brad cooks professionally, he’s still a real meat-n-potatoes, keep-it-simple-please kind of cook. I guess my tastes are more diverse than I thought.
So, I decided go back to the basics. However, being the person that I am I couldn’t just go for a simple vanilla or chocolate. Remembering Brad’s love for a peanut butter cup ice cream he had had on a visit to his parents’ place, I settled on this recipe for Buckeye Ice Cream. It was still pretty basic: chocolate, peanut butter, sugar, cream…but gave me enough to work with that I was interested. One hour later the soft ice cream was proofing in the freezer and we kept sneaking spoonfuls when the other wasn’t looking. It’s amazing the batch solidified at all, haha.
As an aside, what’s the difference between peanut butter cup ice cream, buckeye ice cream, and moosetracks ice cream? My dad has always loved moosetracks and I thought it was just a different name for the peanut butter cup kind, but Brad swears it tastes different. As far as I can tell, buckeye ice cream is about the same, just the peanut butter is in the cream base and not in a cup…any ice cream aficionados out there who can explain the details?
Buckeye Ice Cream
(from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer)
2 C whole milk
1 T + 1 t cornstarch
1½ oz. softened cream cheese
½ C unsalted natural crunchy peanut butter
½ t salt (omit if using salted peanut butter)
1¼ C heavy cream
2/3 C sugar
2 T light corn syrup
2 T honey
4 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate coarsely chopped
1) To prep: mix about 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix the cream cheese, PB, and salt (if using) in a medium bowl until smooth. Prepare a large ice bath.
2) Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over Medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring the liquid back to a boil over Medium-high heat and cook again, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened – about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
3) Gradually whisk the hot milk blend into the cream cheese mix until smooth. Pour the finished ice cream base into a 1-gallon ziplock freezer bag and submerge the base in the ice bath. I tried a different technique this time: to help it along, I kept the top of the bag unzipped an open – very carefully propping it up so no water would get in (or ice cream out). I’d stir it every 5 min or so until it was just warm – no longer hot – then I sealed the bag, submerged the whole thing in the bath, and put the bowl in the fridge. Replace ice as necessary and let stand until mixture is cold – about 1 hour. So far it seems to be the most effective, for me at least.
4) Once ice cream base is thoroughly cold, pour into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer’s instructions. As ice cream is aerating, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over Medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let cool until tepid but still fluid. When the ice cream is nearly finished in the machine, slowly drizzle the chocolate through the opening to swirl it into the mix. Allow it to spin and break up in the ice cream for about 2 minutes before removing the ice cream.
5) Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Let proof in the coldest part of your freezer until firm – at least 4 hours.
This ice cream did not last long. As I mentioned above, it was nearly half gone by the time it had finished freezing…and it’s even better once solid and the flavors have time to really develop. Brad has been requesting it on a regular basis since I first made it, but I’ve been holding out as long as possible – not because I don’t want more or because I want to torture my man, but because I know I will have absolutely no willpower once it’s in my freezer again. None. And I haven’t bumped up my yoga routine and returned to the gym for nothing. Yep, I think I can refuse for another week of hard exercise before I’ll have to cave and make another batch…but boy will I enjoy it.
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥