Oh peanut butter, I could eat you every day and all day. You are versatile, sweet, nutty, and satisfying. I love to spread you on bread, fruit, and chocolate. If I could only chose one food to take with me to a desert island, I would take you. Peanut butter, you are my favorite.
Okay enough of the lovey dovey stuff, but peanut butter is seriously one of the best American creations ever. Yes peanut butter is quite the American thing - one half of all edible peanuts are produced in the US are used to make peanut butter and peanut spreads. Although it is thought that ancient cultures such as the Incas were making peanut butter (in the form of a peanut paste), modern day peanut butter came about with the invention of the "Process of Preparing Nut Meal" in 1895 by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. By 1914, many companies were making peanut butter. Peter Pan came about in 1928 and Skippy was introduced in 1932. George Washington Carver discovered and published 300 uses for peanuts, including use in ink, paper, and oil, but peanut butter is still my favorite. It was Carver who made peanuts a significant crop in the American South in the early 1900's. Thank you Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Carver.
The idea for peanut butter and jelly ice cream can be credited to my friend, Amanda. She asked me to make this flavor several months ago but I never got around to it. Last week, fellow tweeter @BlackenedOut tweeted about making PB&J gelato, which sparked the idea again. I decided to give it a try. First, I made a luscious peanut butter ice cream base. Although it is substantially creamy, the ice cream is not too sweet. I did this on purpose so it would be a good partner to the sweet strawberry "jelly" swirl (the second step). This ice cream is so good that I would substitute it for a PB & J sandwich any day. Enjoy!
Be sure to use regular, creamy peanut butter in this recipe. Most "natural" peanut butters have less or no sugar and your ice cream will not be sweet enough. The peanut butter ice cream base can also be eaten alone or combined with fudge ripple or your favorite mix-ins.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (100 g) cane sugar
1/8 cup (30 ml) corn syrup
Big pinch of salt
1/2 cup (130 g) creamy peanut butter
Combine milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce slightly and simmer for approximately 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter until peanut butter is fully incorporated. Strain ice cream base through a sieve. Cover (or pour into a baggie) and place mixture in the refrigerator to chill, at least 2 hours.
Strawberry Jelly Swirl
1 pint (375 grams) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup (62.5 ml) water
1/4 cup (50 g) cane sugar
1/8 cup (30 ml) corn syrup
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water
Combine first five ingredients (strawberries through corn syrup) in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. As strawberries begin to soften, smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to break into smaller pieces and extract flavor. Combine cornstarch and water. After 10 minutes, strawberry mixture should begin to thicken. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cornstarch slurry. Return to heat, bring to a boil for 2 minutes. If you still have large chunks of strawberries in the mixture, use an immersion blender to make smooth. Pour into a plastic container and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
To make PB&J Ice Cream:
Once ice cream base is chilled, pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream has completed churning, pour a layer of strawberry jelly into a plastic container (or other container for ice cream) and lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers of jelly and ice cream until the container is full. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and close with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.