Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

From my story “Frozen Assets

4 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 ¾ cups scalded milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ vanilla bean, seeds and pod

½ cup heavy cream

Approximately ½ cup crushed peppermint stick candy or candy canes.

Directions

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until very pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.

With the mixer still on low, very slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs.

Pour the custard mixture and the vanilla seeds and bean into the saucepan you just used to heat the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. The custard will coat the spoon like heavy cream.

(For best results cook the custard with a candy thermometer in the pan. This will help ensure that you don’t cook it above 180 degrees. Cook the custard above that temperature and the eggs will scramble.)

Pour the cooked custard complete with the vanilla bean into a glass bowl or pyrex jug. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap—this will prevent a skin from developing. Set the custard aside to cool, then chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Pour the chilled custard into a bowl through a fine strainer, picking out the remains of the vanilla bean. Add the cream and stir briefly until combined.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Just before the mixture has finished freezing add the crushed peppermint candy and let the freezer stir the candy in thoroughly. Reserve a bit of the peppermint candy.

Transfer to a glass or plastic container, sprinkle the top with the remaining peppermint candy, and store in the freezer another two to three hours until the ice cream has “ripened” a/k/a frozen to a more solid consistency.

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