Peppermint Ice Cream

Peppermint Ice Cream has a special place in my family’s heart.  Not only do we love its pepperminty flavor, but it was a favorite treat of my Grandpa Renelt’s during the holidays.  So, growing up, we always had a container of Peppermint Ice Cream in our December freezer.

with Grandpa & Grandma Renelt, my first Christmas, 1971

We never made Peppermint Ice Cream from scratch on the farm, however.  We were strictly vanilla making folk.  So I thought it was high time I tried it out.

I turned to Elise of Simply Recipes, as I was so happy with the results of the last ice cream recipe I tried from her site.  And, just like before, her ice cream recipe did not disappoint.

It was rich and creamy, with the perfect amount of peppermint.  And with a couple spoons of homemade Hot Fudge Sauce over the top?  Downright delightful!

Peppermint Ice Cream
(print recipe)

1-1/2 c. whole milk
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2-1/2 c. heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 c. crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candy

Special equipment needed: An ice cream maker, or a KitchenAid mixer with an ice cream attachment.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Make sure the sugar and salt completely dissolve.

Pour the cream into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and set a medium-mesh sieve on top.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden or heatproof rubber spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, about 5-7 minutes.  Be careful to constantly stir and to not let the mixture get too hot that it starts to cook the egg.

Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Then stir until cool over the ice bath. Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, add peppermint extract.  Different peppermint extracts vary in strength, so start out with 1 teaspoon.  Then add a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, tasting the mixture after each addition, until you reach the desired level of peppermint flavor.  I used 2 teaspoons of the extract I had.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When the ice cream is formed in the ice cream maker, and still fairly soft, fold in the crushed peppermint candy.  Spoon the ice cream into an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for at least an hour (will still be quite soft), preferably for several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.

Yield:  1-1/2 quarts

Source:  adapted from Simply Recipes, and David Lebovitz (author of “The Perfect Scoop”)