I love peppermint ice cream! Too bad around here the grocery stores only stock it during the holiday season. This week I decided to make my own and got some great advice from the king of desserts himself, David Lebovitz on just how to go about it. David is coming out with a book on ice cream this spring (keep your eye out for it) so he should know. I fudged a bit with the ingredient proportions that David gave me, but the method is all his. Thank you David.
As with French vanilla ice cream this method requires cooking a custard to add to the cream. It’s a little more work, but the egg yolks are what makes the homemade ice cream divinely creamy. Otherwise, without all the emulsifiers that typically go into the store bought versions, homemade ice cream can be a bit icy. If I’m going to go to the trouble to make something from scratch, I want it to taste better than what I can buy from a store, and this does.
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 8 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candy
Special equipment needed
1 Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Make sure the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
2 Pour the cream into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and set a medium-mesh sieve on top.
3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4 Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden or heatproof rubber spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, about 5-7 minutes.
5 Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Then stir until cool over the ice bath. Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
6 One the mixture is thoroughly chilled, add peppermint extract, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, tasting the mixture after each addition, until you reach the desired level of peppermintiness. (Different peppermint extracts vary in strength. I used 2 teaspoons of McCormick peppermint extract, which was just the right amount for our taste.)
7 Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
8 Once the ice cream has been formed in the ice cream maker, it will be fairly soft. Fold in the crushed peppermint candy. Put in an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.