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Peppermint Ice Cream

Peppermint Ice CreamWhen my kids came to visit for Thanksgiving, Darling Daughter asked if I’d buy some Ben and Jerry’s.

“No,” I said, ” but I’ll make you some ice cream.”

She didn’t do a very good job of hiding her disappointment that there would be no Karamel Sutra or Neapolitan Dynamite in her future, but I was undaunted.  I had tasted what comes out of my ice cream freezer, and she hadn’t.

Several days had gone by before I mentioned the ice cream again, and she (somewhat reluctantly) agreed that I should make some.  After polling the family and getting the usual reply of “Chocolate!” from The Young One and “Coffee Toffee!” from Beloved (those two are fiercely loyal to their favorite flavors of ice cream), Darling Daughter asked for peppermint.

Oh, like I’d turn that down – aside from Bluebell’s Pecan Pralines and Cream (oh, Bluebell, I miss you so!!), peppermint is my very favorite flavor of ice cream, and the fact that you can usually only find it during the holidays makes it all the more special.

This peppermint ice cream will put the stuff you get at the store to shame, and Darling Daughter agreed.  Even The Young One ate it enthusiastically, and that kid doesn’t eat anything enthusiastically.

Don’t have an ice cream maker?  Don’t sweat it – go here for instructions on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Peppermint Ice Cream

makes about 1 quart

1 cup whole milk

pinch of salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract

1/2 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candies

Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Pour the cream into the smaller bowl and set a strainer over the top of the bowl.

Heat the milk, salt and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat until very hot, but do not boil.  In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks;  gradually pour some of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spoon or spatula.  Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the peppermint extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the crushed peppermint candies during the last 2 or 3 minutes of freezing, just long enough to incorporate them throughout the ice cream.

From the blog