desserts | frozen | ice cream | nut (flavor) | peanut butter | treats

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…

August 18, 2010

PEANUT BUTTER FORKIN’ ICE CREAM!!

Of course my new ice cream maker has sort of taken over my life. I knew this would happen- first of all, it being summer, what could be better than homemade ice cream? Second, it being summer, what could be better than a delicious treat that doesn’t require baking in a hot oven? I knew that my soul would temporarily be sold to the cold, creamy, frosty devil known as ice cream. My spare time is spent thinking of what ice cream flavor to try next, and what experiments I can perform using ice cream/frozen yogurt/etc. So I apologize to those of you who don’t own an ice cream maker- you’re probably going to be seeing a fair amount of ice cream recipes on here. At least until the cooler weather kicks in… but why don’t you get yourself one too and then we can all be fat, happy, ice cream eating campers?

Ice cream is a weird thing, when you think about it. Who came up with the idea in the first place? The first recipes for ice cream appear in the 18th century, and the earliest reference to it is in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1744.

Before the development of modern refrigeration, ice cream was a luxury reserved for special occasions. Making it was quite laborious; ice was cut from lakes and ponds during the winter and stored in holes in the ground, or in wood-frame or brick ice houses, insulated by straw. Many farmers and plantation owners, including U.S. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, cut and stored ice in the winter for use in the summer. Frederic Tudor of Boston turned ice harvesting and shipping into a big business, cutting ice in New England and shipping it around the world.

Ice cream was made by hand in a large bowl placed inside a tub filled with ice and salt. This was called the pot-freezer method. French confectioners refined the pot-freezer method, making ice cream in a sorbetière (a covered pail with a handle attached to the lid). In the pot-freezer method, the temperature of the ingredients is reduced by the mixture of crushed ice and salt. The salt water is cooled by the ice, and the action of the salt on the ice causes it to (partially) melt, absorbing latent heat and bringing the mixture below the freezing point of pure water. The immersed container can also make better thermal contact with the salty water and ice mixture than it could with ice alone.

The hand-cranked churn, which also uses ice and salt for cooling, replaced the pot-freezer method. The exact origin of the hand-cranked freezer is unknown, but the first U.S. patent for one was #3254 issued to Nancy Johnson on September 9, 1843. The hand-cranked churn produced smoother ice cream than the pot freezer and did it quicker. Many inventors patented improvements on Johnson’s design.

I’ve got to say I’m happy things aren’t that difficult now. It takes me about 30 minutes tops to actually make the ice cream, and depending on the type, only a few hours in the fridge. This particular batch didn’t have to be cooked, as there were no eggs in it. As I mentioned previously, Jay loves peanut butter. So does Indy, actually, but I don’t know if there’s any correlation there. Anyway… the first thing Jay said to me when he bought me the ice cream maker was “Peanut butter ice cream!” I wanted to ease into the whole ice cream making thing slowly, previous to owning an actual ice cream maker I’d only ever made it by hand in my freezer (which was okay, it came out great, but was a pain in the ass) and aside from that, just an easy sorbet. So I thought I’d take it slowly by doing frozen yogurt first, which was a success, then moving on to a recipe that didn’t require cooking, like this peanut butter one.

And holybabykittenspuppies&Jesus, this was amazing. So tasty. I might be over-exaggerating, but it was seriously phenomenal. And I didn’t really do anything but wait around for the fridge and the ice cream maker to do their thing. I have to say, based on my success with this, I’m feeling like peppermint ice cream (tinted pink of course) might be on the horizon. I love peppermint ice cream.

HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the creamy peanut butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer and beat until smooth.
  2. Add the milk and blend on low speed for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and the sugar has been dissolved.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla with a mixing spoon or a whisk.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  5. When ready, pour the ice cream base into your frozen ice cream maker bowl.
  6. Let mix until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. If you are adding in candies or peanuts, add them in the last 5 minutes of mixing.
  7. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

I’ll tell you what would be fantastic with this: Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups. Just throw ’em into the mix 5 minutes before it’s done and it would be really awesome. Alternately, you could use chocolate chips, or even peanut butter chips. Or just plain old peanuts! I had it plain and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, as I’m sure you can imagine, but it’s fun to play around with toppings & stuff to put in the ice cream. And have I mentioned how much of a glowing review I give this ice cream maker attachment? Yeah. It’s sick. Of course, you need a KitchenAid mixer to use it. So if you don’t have one, then you may be better off just buying a stand-alone ice cream maker. And if you have a lot of kids, or eat a lot of ice cream, the KitchenAid attachment might not be beneficial to you- it only makes 2 quarts. For me, that’s perfect. I don’t need to have to go up a size to a 6 all because I got an ice cream maker. Forreals.

All this ice cream I plan to make will surely soothe the sadness I feel that my adorable new haircut, that was just a month old, had to be changed drastically. It was cut shorter because of the dreaded hair breakage us platinum blondes are so plagued by. So now I’m back to my old Michelle-Williams-in-Vogue/Tabatha Coffey-esque ‘do, still platinum blonde. However next month I’ll have to go a bit darker. This entire sentence should be punctuated by deep, lingering sighs. Don’t get me wrong, I love short hair. It’s just that I was growing mine out for over a year. Oh, the perils of beauty! I had black hair for 5 years and kept it mainly because I couldn’t get rid of it without cutting my hair off, then I finally get rid of it, cut it short and go blonde, then grow it out again just to have to cut it off… again.*

*(Some of you may read this & see a cautionary tale. I do not. I’ve been going through this cycle since high school, and I don’t plan on stopping now. I am an ever-changing being and having the same hair color & style bores me to death. I’d rather have my hair break off & cut it short than look like 85% of the rest of the planet.)
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  1. I am so deeply and profoundly jealous right this second. I want an ice cream maker soooooooo bad. And I will have one. But probably I’ll get it like mid-January when no one (but me) will be into it.

  2. Oh I’m saving this one! I too am addicted to my new ice cream machine, but still stuck on healthy sorbets. So I’ve been turning all the fruit in our house into sorbets and gelatos. I shall advance to this!

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