Some weekends you just can't be bothered to go out. This Saturday was one of those days. After sleeping in, we decided to laze around at home and do, well... pretty much nothing. It was a hot, hot day and both the hubby and I were pretty worn out from quite a stressful week.
The heat made me start thinking of how perfect some homemade ice cream would be. To be quite honest, I've been craving some homemade ice cream for quite some time now and summer is when I get into ice cream making mode. Last summer I experimented with several different combinations using a basic vanilla custard base. Some of the better ones were lemon ice cream, which is the hubby's favorite, followed by Margarita flavor, caramel and then beetroot.
I had stumbled upon a peanut butter ice cream recipe on Epicurious. It was a rather no fuss recipe that didn't even involve the making of a custard base. And there were no eggs involved either! So I didn't need any convincing at all to try it out. The minute I saw no custard was involved, I was sold. No one wants to slave in front of a stove in this heat :)
The entire process of actually making it took no longer than 10 minutes. After that I only had to whip it up a few times during the freezing process, which takes about 4-5 hours. (If you have an ice cream maker, you can just throw the mixture in and leave it for 20-30 mins, after which you could freeze it for an hour or two.) I made the ice cream mixture at about 11 in the morning and it was done in time for dinner.
Here's what you need...
The original recipe calls for a cup of cream, but I used a cup of hung curd that was not too sour. I think its a healthier option and it didn't alter the flavor noticeably.
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar from which I removed 1 tablespoon of sugar and replaced it with 1 tablespoon of corn syrup.
pinch of salt
tsp vanilla essence
1 vanilla bean
2 cups half and half
1 cup hung curd (yogurt)
Here's what to do...
With a handheld mixer, cream the butter, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla seeds, vanilla extract and salt on a low speed. Then add 1 cup of half and half and continue to mix on a low speed till the mixture has a runny batter-like consistency. Next, add the remaining half and half and curd and mix by hand and not the mixer.
If you have an ice cream maker, then churn the mixture for about 30 minutes. Then place in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. If you don't have an ice cream maker, then place the mixture in the freezer. When it begins to solidify take it out and whip to stop any ice crystals from forming. Repeat this every hour. You will need to do this 3 times.
I wanted to add a little dark chocolate ripple to the ice cream. If you want to do this, then melt some chocolate in a pan with about 2 tablespoons of milk. The sauce should be quite thick and not runny. Let this cool to room temperature. When the ice cream is almost frozen solid, slowly add the sauce and use a knife to make a slight ripple. Transfer to a metal container and freeze for another 30 minutes to an hour.
Here is the result...
[Image - Shalini Pereira]
The ice cream was quite creamy and really delicious on its own as well as with the chocolate ripple. The next time I try this, I may add a broken up snickers bar instead of the chocolate ripple. I think the crunch of the peanuts with the chocolate would be quite nice with the creamy texture of the ice cream. Maybe next weekend.