Monday, December 6, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Sweets: Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream

I've been meaning to make peppermint ice cream for over a year now. When I got my ice cream maker last year I intended on making it during the holidays because not only is it festive and a welcome change from the abundance of cookies, but peppermint is my husband's favorite ice cream flavor. Because I failed to get around to making it, I made it my top priority this year. This recipe has a lot of leeway in how you make it. If you really love the peppermint flavor, add the peppermint extract. You could also try it with just vanilla, leaving the candy canes to flavor it. The size and amount of the candy canes is also up to you. I pulsed mine in the food processor just a few times to get both little pieces and the peppermint "dust."  

Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream
(Printable Recipe)
2 cups milk (I used skim and it worked. Use what you have in your fridge.)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1  teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6-8 candy canes, chopped 

Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan until it begins to bubble. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture is light. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg/sugar mixture. Return to the pan and cook until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Whisk together the heavy cream with the peppermint and vanilla extracts. Place a medium sieve over the bowl of cream. Pour the custard through the sieve into the cream. Whisk together over an ice bath (fill a bowl with ice cubes). Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions, adding the candy canes the last 5-10 minutes of churning. Freeze until ready to serve.

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