peanut butter ice cream


I’m not normally one to make New Year’s resolutions, which is kind of surprising considering that I am a person obsessed with lists.  But I’m pretty happy with my life and my health and the way I generally spend my time, so New Year’s resolutions have always seemed unnecessary.  Besides, if there’s something I want to change about my life, why not change it right now?

But this year I have a whole list of them.  Although I’m not calling them resolutions…let’s think of them more like goals.  They involve things like moving through books more quickly and eating more fruit and going on some kind of vacation.  And in general, I need to do things like use my time more wisely now that I’ve started a new job, especially if I still want to be able to do all the things I was doing before I started the job (like keeping up this blog, and taking time to write, etc.).

And apparently one of my goals needs to involve thinking ahead and reading instructions ahead of time.  Really, I promise I’ve gotten a whole lot better about that butter thing.  But now I have this ice cream maker.  And the ice cream maker bowl has to sit in the freezer for about six hours before it is even usable.  I wanted to make ice cream the other day when I made this pie.  So I went through the whole recipe, cooking the peanut butter and half and half on the stove, and panicking about almost scrambling my eggs, and finally putting it in the fridge to chill for its necessary one hour.  Then I unpacked my ice cream maker from its box and began to read the instructions and found out it had to freeze for several hours.  So no ice cream that night.

But that’s okay, because that also meant we didn’t have to share, which means we still have some in our freezer that we get to eat for several more days.  This ice cream is, I believe, the perfect peanut butter ice cream.  It is super sweet and smooth and has the perfect peanut butter taste.  My only complaint is that the recipe called for crunchy peanut butter.  Since I had to let the mixture sit for awhile longer (okay, actually 2 days) than was necessary because I had to freeze the bowl and then I started work and then we had dinner plans, the peanuts got a bit soggy, which is not particularly appetizing.  But if you want a little crunch add some mini chocolate chips or some chopped up peanut butter cups.  You won’t go wrong when you have this as the base.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
adapted from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Freeze Time: 1 hour*
Wait Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

1 (12 oz.) jar peanut butter**
1 1/2 quarts half and half
6 large eggs
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. In a large stockpot, combine peanut butter, 2 cups of half and half, and eggs.  Cook over low heat, whisking constantly for 7 minutes, or until thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.   Add remaining half and half, the condensed milk, vanilla, and milk.  Stir until combined.***
2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and flour.  Whisk into the hot mixture, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
3. Pour into an ice cream freezer and freeze according to instructions.
4. Once ice cream has frozen, remove from ice cream freezer and scoop into a storage container.  Store in freezer.

*This will depend on what type of ice cream freezer you have.
**You can use creamy or crunchy, but I think I would prefer creamy from now on.  The recipe calls for crunchy, but I let my custard mixture sit for awhile longer than an hour and my peanuts got soggy, which I did not enjoy.  So creamy would be much more forgiving.
***My mixture never got to 160.  I got too impatient.  But it still worked.  So I guess 7 minutes or 160 degrees, whichever comes first?

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