Happy December! The holiday season has begun and preparations are underway for holiday crafts and gifts. My current project is stockings. I decided that I was tired of looking at the stockings my husband and I have been using for the past few years, so I am making my own. Making the first stocking went pretty well so I am excited to complete the others. I plan to make a stocking for myself and my husband but also for our two kitties – they need a place for gifts too!
When the temperature drops and Christmas music begins to play, I start to crave holiday flavors. Peppermint, although easily enjoyed year-round, is a Christmas-time favorite for me. I was recently sent a collection of ice creams from Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, New York, and included in the collection was a flavor called Peppermint Pattie – cool peppermint ice cream with homemade peppermint patties. I loved this flavor and it was my favorite in the collection. (By the way, Ample Hills Creamery contributed their recipe for Sweet as Honey Ice Cream for the Scoop Adventures cookbook. If you haven’t already checked them out, get on it. They now ship their ice creams around the country.)
My husband and I finished off the pint from Ample Hills pretty quickly, but I was still craving that strong peppermint punch so I decided to create my own version. I did not make my own peppermint patties (maybe one day) but the ice cream still has a great flavor. I love that the peppermint patties become a little chewy once frozen in the ice cream. Enjoy!
Peppermint Patty Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
Be gentle with the peppermint extract. Peppermint lovers will enjoy the full 2 teaspoons of extract in the ice cream, but those who just like peppermint may choose to start with 1 teaspoon and gradually add the extract by 1/2 teaspoon increments until you reach the taste of your liking.
1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large or 6-8 small peppermint patties, chopped
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.
Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into a medium bowl. Whisk in salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts. Chill overnight.
Once chilled, taste base and add more peppermint if necessary. Pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When churning is near completion, add peppermint patty pieces and continue churning until well combined. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.