Saturday, August 6, 2011

PB & Jelly Ice Cream

The highlight of my week was, by far, using my ice cream maker for the first time! My husband bought me an ice cream maker for my birthday last year. The kind that you can either hand crank or use an electric motor for but, either way, you need ice and rock salt. I hadn't taken the time to break it out of the box yet since I was a little intimidated, to say the least. But, I consider myself an adventurous cook in other areas, why not make myself an old-school ice cream maker aficionado too. (Note: You don't have to use this kind of ice cream maker. Use what you have/prefer and be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Also, something to keep in mind if you are using the ice/salt kind, it's hard to find rock salt in the middle of the summer. Plan ahead!)

Being that I have a certificate in baking and pastry arts and I bake for a living, including doing work for a catering department on a regular basis, I am NOT afraid of making sauces such as creme anglaise. I've known for a while that, a classic creme anglaise made with egg yolks provides a base for making any ice cream. Growing up, on a occasion, my mom would break out the ice cream maker on a snowy day. She too had a machine that required ice (or snow) and rock salt, but she always used those mixes for an ice cream base that you bought in the store. I wanted to make my own, from scratch. So, as usual, I jumped on the web looking for recipes in a 'go big or go home' mindset. I couldn't start with plain old vanilla so my first homemade ice cream recipe search, PB & Jelly.

It is DEFINITELY worth making ice cream from a creme anglaise base. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the mix packs. They are delicious. But, I found out from tackling this approach that, when using a creme anglaise, the ice cream doesn't melt down to milk like most store bought ice creams or other recipes. Making the creme anglaise means that, as it melts, it melts back down to the same consistency sauce you started with. A creamy, almost custard-like sauce! Therefore, the last bite, melted or not, is almost just as wonderful as the first. Just make sure you heat your sauce until almost boiling and thickened. This will kill the bacteria that may exist in he eggs and thicken your sauce. It also becomes thicker upon chilling in the fridge. Also, if you do accidentally boil the mixture and get a grainy, curdled consistency from the eggs, quickly pour it through a fine strainer and blend with a little milk (in a blender or with a stick blender) and you can almost always bring it back to a velvety texture. It might also help to put your bowl or sauce pot into an ice water bath (bowl filled with ice and water) to quickly stop the cooking process so it doesn't go too far.

So here it goes folks! The most amazing thing I ate last week.... possibly all month!!! It really isn't as scary as it sounds and you HAVE to try it! The result is SO worth it!

PB & Jelly Ice cream
Recipe adapted from The Frozen Fix's Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice cream but I TOTALLY want to try he original recipe too!

1.5 cups heavy cream
1.5 cups whole milk (I only keep 2% milk in the house so I used 2 c. heavy cream and 1 c. milk)
.5 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
.5 cup peanut butter, heaping (I used chunky but, upon freezing, the peanuts got a little chewy, your
About .5-1 cup jelly (I used my mom's freezer strawberry jelly)

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk and sugar over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Just before the cream and milk come to a simmer, gradually add about half of the liquid while whisking constantly. This will temper the eggs so that you don't scramble them when adding into the pan. Add the egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the cream mixture. I switch to a heat resistant spatula at this point so you can keep scraping the sides and bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until the liquid forms a thick custard that coats the back of the spoon. You'll know it's ready when you can run your finger across the back of the spatula and nothing drips over the line your finger drew. Remove the custard from the heat and pour into a separate bowl (possibly using an ice water bath as described above). Add the peanut butter, mixing until all the peanut butter melts. It may take a minute or two for this to happen. I prefer to chill it overnight at this point. Once, your mixture is good and cold and finished thickening, pour into your ice cream maker and process as directed by the manufacturer's instructions. When it's done, layer the peanut butter ice cream in a container with layers of the jelly in between. I swirled it a little by hand before freezing to harden the rest of the way (but you could enjoy it immediately if you don't mind the soft ice cream). When you scoop the ice cream, you'll get the ice cream and jelly swirled together.

This recipe made approximately 5.5 cups!


**Sharing on Melt in Your Mouth Monday & Menu Mondays**