peanut butter ice cream

My ice cream maker has been busy the last few weeks.  It’s been too much fun trying out new flavours and being able to have homemade ice cream on hand to scoop up and enjoy, although my expanding waistline is starting to become a bit troubling (oops).  Apparently I haven’t been doing a good enough job of burning off the ice cream calories.

By far the most gut-busting flavour I’ve made is Peanut Butter Ice Cream.  To begin with, peanut butter is chock full of calories.  Its calorie-density makes me cry, because I love peanut butter so much.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I eat spoonfuls of peanut butter at a time.  Combine this with the fat-laden heavy cream and the sugar that goes into making ice cream, you better believe it’s not friendly to anyone on a diet.  Oh, but it’s so creamy, peanut-buttery, and tasty all around that I throw all caution out the window.

It’s very rare to find a standalone peanut butter ice cream.  Usually it’s paired with chocolate.  I wanted to showcase the awesomeness of peanut butter, so I looked to the web to guide me and came across this recipe for peanut butter lovers.  Hey, I’m a peanut butter lover!  I used this recipe as a starting point and adapted it just slightly.

ingredientsTo start, we gather the usual suspects of heavy cream, half & half, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sea salt.  I used the extra creamy peanut butter leftover from making cookies, but any peanut butter would do.

cookingStart by warming up the half & half, sugar, salt, 1 cup of the heavy cream, and peanut butter until it’s all smooth and steaming.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and another 1/2 cup used later on after churning to create a peanut butter swirl.  I wanted maximum peanut butter flavour so I put the entire amount (1 cup) into the pot.

creamMeanwhile, place the remaining 1 cup of heavy milk in a bowl or container with a mesh strainer over it.

Once the peanut butter cream mixture is smooth and steaming, add tablespoonfuls of it slowly to the egg yolks while whisking constantly; once the egg yolks are warmed up, scrape it into the peanut butter mixture and cook the custard over low heat until thick.

custardStrain the custard into the remaining heavy cream, add the vanilla extract, and give it a stir.  Let it cure for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

pbicecream6What you get is a super decadent, creamy, peanut butter explosion.  The texture is a lot denser; almost like cold, sweet peanut butter.  It would be perfect between a couple of dark chocolate cookies.  If you want a little bit less of the peanut butter texture and heaviness, I recommend going with the original recipe and doing the swirl (or using less peanut butter).  Being a peanut butter fanatic, this was just right for me.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 cup half & half
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Warm the half & half, sugar, peanut butter, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has melted. Continue cooking until the mixture starts steaming.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl or container and place a mesh strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour tablespoonfuls of the warmed peanut butter mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes.

Pour the custard through the mesh strainer and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.  Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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