Before writing anything about this weekend’s Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, I want to say that it is possible to make ice cream, any ice cream, without an ice cream machine. So don’t write off this lovely pink peppermint ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce if you don’t have one. Cool? Cool.
When I was living in UCSF housing, I managed to score several things for really cheap from other students/postdocs who were moving out. My PS3, Caleb’s Nespresso, my Nespresso, my couch, my bed frame, my floor-length mirror, and… an old Krups ice cream maker. Some lovely person sold it to me for $5 dollars, and in the last two-ish years, I haven’t used it once. I wasn’t actually sure that it worked or how it worked, since it came without the manual and the girl hadn’t used it herself. More importantly, I love ice cream, and will eat unreasonable amounts of it if A) it’s good ice cream and B) in my freezer. So it seemed like maybe making ice cream for myself was something I ought to avoid. But as luck would have it, this Sunday’s Baked challenge was this pink peppermint ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce from Baked Occasions. So once again, this lovely group of people forced me into new territory, and as usual, I’m glad they did.
It’s been ages since I made ice cream – I think the last time was in high school, vanilla bean ice cream with homemade fudge sauce. I’m pretty sure the same friend who made it (and ate it) with me then is coming over today and is going to be fed this peppermint ice cream too. What are the odds?
Technically, Baked Occasions’ recipe is for pink peppermint stick ice cream because it’s supposed to involve chopped up candy canes. I left the candy cane component out because I’m one of those people who, as described in the recipe header, don’t like the way candy canes stick to their teeth (unless the candy canes are in Williams-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark, which is pretty much the best thing ever). I had to talk myself out of buying W-S Peppermint Bark, or at least white chocolate chunks, to put in this ice cream. I thought it sounded so perfect. But in the end that was a good decision because with the amazingly rich hot fudge sauce that accompanies the recipe, it probably would have been overkill.
I was worried about how making the custard would go, so it took me a lot longer than it probably took other people to make the ice cream base. About 10 minutes to heat the sugar-milk-cream solution, a minute to whip the egg yolks and sugar, several minutes to slowly whisk in the hot milk to the egg yolk base (I slowly added half, then the other half, with my stand mixer running, instead of only adding half, then pouring that half back into the saucepan), and finally a full 20 minutes for the custard to thicken and reach 175 F. Maybe it was just my interpretation of the heat cues, but I was glad I was cautious because when I strained the custard there were definitely bits of cooked egg right along the bottom edges of the pan. Oops. It didn’t affect the flavor in any way.
The recipe instructs you to add the peppermint and vanilla extracts, and any desired food coloring (I added 3 drops of fuchsia gel color), then whisk for 1-2 minutes to release any residual heat. I had to whisk for a full 10 minutes in order to get my custard to cool down to a reasonable room temperature. It wasn’t in the instructions, but I also opted to press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the custard surface to prevent any skin from forming, then let it chill in the fridge for 6 hours.
The hot fudge sauce itself is really simple to make and should convince anyone to never bother with store-bought fudge sauce again. As a bonus, leftover fudge sauce can be used in a phenomenal chocolate Bundt cake recipe I have, although I’m not sure there will be any leftover…. .
After chilling, it was time to find out if my ice cream machine actually worked. What a relief, it did! (Still, don’t forget, you can improvise if you don’t have one). The Krups manual I found said to let the machine churn for 20-40 minutes. I let mine churn for 45 minutes, at which point it seemed like it had reached the right texture. After a stay in the freezer overnight, I tried it with and without the hot fudge sauce. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ice cream by itself. But paired with the fudge sauce, it was heavenly: not too sweet, silky smooth texture, indulgently creamy, exactly the right amount of peppermint flavor. Ice cream certainly shouldn’t be left to the summer months!