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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream, Take 2

Last time this I made peanut butter and jelly ice cream I used a peanut butter ice cream base and added small jelly sandwiches. As we found out, the peanut butter makes the ice cream very hard. After researching and consulting with some ice cream experts, no one has a good solution for this problem. So how do we capture the flavor PB&J without the excessive hardness?

The answer is quite simple and comes via a suggestion by Mrs. Fellow; namely to make a reverse version of the ice cream - jelly ice cream with peanut butter sandwiches. Our refrigerator was filled with strawberries and raspberries on the verge of being too old. They made the perfect base flavoring for the ice cream.

This recipe is almost identical to my basic strawberry ice cream, but with increased egg content. The eggs may take something away from the fruit, but the debate over Philly style vs. custard will have to wait for another day. Although it is called "jelly" ice cream, it is nothing more than a simple fruit base. When combined with peanut butter, it tastes like jelly. You may choose a different fruit or fruit combination. As with all fruit ice creams, the amount of sugar has to be adjusted for the ripeness of the fruit. You may even want to adjust the quantity of fruit puree based on your tastes and the type of fruit used.

The tasters who have had both versions were unanimous that the peanut butter ice cream based version was better, but everyone who ate this one loved it.

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For the berry puree:

This recipe probably makes more puree than you will need, but with all living things, the quality depends on the grower, the season, etc. You may need extra puree to get the right taste. The 1.5 cups that I used worked for me, but you may want more (or less) fruit flavor. Mix it any way you want, that is part of the fun of making ice cream, but remember to start with less than you actually need. You can always add more, but you can't take any out.

12 oz fresh raspberries
12 oz fresh strawberries
1/3 cup of sugar

  1. If you are using fresh berries, hull them and halve them (quarter the big ones). Toss them with 1/3 cup of sugar and let them sit for a while. The sugar will bring out the natural sweetness in the berries.

  2. Cook the berries with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt over medium heat stirring frequently. You can do this over lower heat, you have to wait longer, but the berries will not require as much attention. When they reach the consistency of loose preserves they are done.

  3. Puree the berries in a blender then strain to remove the seeds.

  4. Make sure to adjust the sweetness of the berries. If they need more sugar, add it here. It is important to perfect the flavor of the puree before adding to the milk. This way, it is easier to get the right amount of sweetness. Otherwise, you have to try to add sugar to your cooked custard. This can be problematic because if you don't adequately incorporate the sugar the final product can become grainy. On the other hand, by adding the extra sugar in this step, you can rewarm the puree to ensure it is incorporated properly.
  5. Set aside.

For the peanut butter sandwiches

Peanut butter
6 slices of bread

  1. Spread the peanut butter on the bread and create sandwiches.

  2. Using a heavy-bottomed saucepan, frying pan, or baking sheet press firmly to flatten the sandwiches.

  3. Wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil and freeze for at least one hour.

For the jelly ice cream:

6 Egg yolks
½ cup (or more as needed)
1 1/3 cup of cream
2/3 cup of milk
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups of strawberry-raspberry puree
1 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Pour the milk and cream and half of the sugar into a pot and bring to a slight simmer stirring occasionally.

  2. As the milk and cream are heating, place the egg yolks into a bowl with the sugar (and salt if using) and beat until it is a pale, frothy liquid.

  3. Once the milk/cream mixture is simmering, remove it from the heat and temper the egg mixture by adding a small amount of the hot milk/cream and stirring thoroughly. Repeat this process a couple of more times to ensure that the eggs have warmed up. You should use about 1/3 of a cup of hot cream mixture in total. Then pour the complete egg mixture into the cream pot.

  4. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly until the custard reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Strain into a bowl and combine with the fruit puree.

  6. Cool the custard to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.

  7. Freeze in your ice cream machine.

  8. During the freezing process, remove the sandwiches from the freezer, cut into squares no bigger than 0.5 inches by 0.5 inches. You may want to remove the crusts. Add the peanut butter sandwiches during the last minute of freezing.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

I was really excited when you picked this to be the next recipe. Peanut butter is a very versatile flavor that is easy to make into a bunch of different tasty teats. Chocolate, bananas, marshmallow, granola, honey, and jelly are some of the best add-ins. I was originally going to make a peanut butter ice cream sandwich. Fortunately for you, a dessert I was supposed to make last weekend that never materialized left me with 4 pints of strawberries. So my plan was to make some sort of peanut butter and jelly flavor. Yesterday morning in the shower I was lamenting that I if made the PB&J flavor I wouldn’t be able to make ice cream sandwiches. Then it hit me, why not put the sandwich inside of the ice cream? Mrs. Fellow loved the flavor idea and immediately began directing my effort. So today’s flavor is peanut butter ice cream with jam sandwich pieces. Ben and Jerry would be proud. I am happy to report that this flavor will knock your socks off. You won’t believe that something so mundane as a PB&J can be transformed into this masterpiece.

I made my own strawberry jam for this recipe. Make your own jam with your favorite fruit flavor. Store bought jam will also work, but you do have to thicken it more. Simmer it on the stove to reduce its volume. It should be so thick that you have trouble removing the cooled jam from the container. This helps concentrate the flavors. More importantly, it allows you to really pile on the jam in the sandwiches without it oozing out of the sides during pressing.

As for the bread, plain supermarket white bread is what is best to use. Sunbeam, Pepperidge Farm, and Sara Lee brands are good choices. Avoid bread that is too crusty because it makes it more difficult to press the sandwiches. I recommend leaving a small gap between the jam and the edge of the bread. This will help avoid the sticky mess if the jam oozes out when the sandwich is pressed. I also recommend removing the crusts when cutting the sandwiches into bite sized pieces because jam coverage is not uniform at the edges. Besides, isn’t it mandatory to remove the crusts from your PB&J?

Lastly, I tested this recipe three ways – untoasted bread, toasted bread, no bread. All three were outstanding, but none of the tasters could differentiate between the toasted and untoasted bread versions. The thick jam made a difference. It is nearly chewy when frozen and was a nice textural compliment to the ice cream.

May 1, 2008 UPDATE: After being in my freezer for a few days, this ice cream has become very hard. I don't think I have ever made one that is this difficult to scoop. You may want to thaw it for a few minutes on the counter before serving it.

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Sandwich Ice Cream:

For the Jam:
4 pints of strawberries
3 cups sugar
1 generous tablespoon lemon juice

1. Wash and hull the strawberries. If any berries are too large, cut them into smaller pieces.
2. Put the berries, sugar, and lemon juice into a saucepan. Stir frequently until the sugar becomes liquid.
3. Simmer this stuff for about 30 minutes. The temperature should eventually get to more than 24o F.
4. Remove from the heat and cool.

This makes about 2.5 cups of super concentrated jam. Extra jam can be frozen or canned.

The sandwiches:
6 slices white bread

1. If the jam has totally cooled, briefly warm it in the microwave to loosen it a bit; it should be still be thick, but easier to spread.
2. Make sandwiches using generous amounts of jam. Be sure to leave ¼ inch border on the bread.
3. Put the sandwiches in aluminum foil and cover loosely. Using a heavy bottomed skillet or saucepan press the sandwiches to reduce their thickness.
4. Cover tightly and place the sandwiches in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
5. Remove the sandwiches from the freezer and cut off the discard the crusts. Cut the remaining sandwiches into ¼ - ½ inch squares. Return the pieces to the freezer for another hour or two.

For the ice cream:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups cream
6 egg yolks
¾ cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
¾ cup peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon of salt (optional)

1. Pour the milk and cream and half of the sugar into a pot and bring to a slight simmer stirring occasionally.
2. As the milk and cream are heating, place the egg yolks into a bowl with the sugar (and salt if using) and beat until it is a pale, frothy liquid.
3. Once the milk/cream mixture is simmering, remove them from the heat and temper the egg mixture by adding a small amount of the hot milk/cream and stirring thoroughly. Repeat this process a couple of more times to ensure that the eggs have warmed up. You should use about 1/3 of a cup of hot cream mixture in total. 4. Then pour the complete egg mixture into the cream pot.
5. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly until the custard reaches 175F.
6. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peanut butter.
7. Cool the custard to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.
8. Freeze in your ice cream machine. Add sandwich pieces in the last minute of the freezing process. If you opt to skip the bread and instead use just the jam, than create small blobs of jam and put them into the ice cream after it comes out of the ice cream machine. This is when the ice cream is still in its soft serve stage. If it gets too hard, do not worry, you can put some ice cream in a freezer container, put down a layer of jam, then more ice cream, then more jam, then more ice cream. This will create a ripple effect when the ice cream is scooped.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ice Cream Social 2010

This Saturday, June 18th is the Fourth Annual Slow Food Atlanta Ice Cream Social. Last year, my Maple Bacon ice cream secured second place. This year, my flavor is even better and more of a crowd pleaser.

Some of the best pastry chefs in Atlanta will be there including the ones from three of best restaurants in Georgia - 5&10, Restaurant Eugene, and Miller Union. Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene has performed on Iron Chef! Here is a list of the competitors I know will be there:

Buckhead Bottle Bar
Burge Organice Farm
Cacao Atlanta
Fresco Pops
Jonathan Hosseini
Leon's Full Service
Lotta Frutta
Miller Union
Restaurant Eugene
Rob McDonald

The Social is in the same location as last year - St. Philip's Cathedral Garden at 2744 Peachtree Road in Atlanta, GA from 12:30 to 2:00pm. I think there still may be a few tickets left. Go to this link to buy them, come out and support me in my quest to be the best ice cream maker in Atlanta.

The competition is certainly going to be tough but this fellow is up for the task.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ice Cream T-shirts

Check out my new friend Matt over at RIPT - He makes a new t-shirt everyday. Today's shirt is an Eskimo trekking through and ice cream cone village.

Many of you know I am also an MBA student. From a business standpoint, Matt has a great idea for driving traffic to his site and for keeping his customers coming back. Not only through the ever-changing designs, but because of his strategy to reach out to bloggers like me who talk about subjects close to the shirt designs. This is innovation, and as you can tell from my recipes, this fellow loves it!

BTW, I read a couple of Matt's readers' comments. Some of his readers don't like the idea of grape ice cream. I know you rarely see it anywhere. I have been playing with a recipe for it lately. It works, but only when you have the right add-ins. I'll post something on this later. The recipe is super secret for the moment as I am a contestant in the Ice Cream Social again this year. Last year I finished second. This year, I am prepared to win so I can't disclose the recipe in advance.

Follow me on Twitter my user name is IceCreamFellow. I spend a lot more time making comments there than here on the blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Sorry it has been a while since I last posted anything of significance. I really have not had a lot of time to make ice cream. Nonetheless, I have found a few minutes to make a couple of outstanding desserts.

I entered the Domino's Sugar Baking Contest in Atlanta that benefited the charity Share our Strength. I did not win, the judges were not fans of my Maple Cheesecake. However, I was voted "Crowd Pleaser." Winning the overall amateur competition prize would have been nice, but I am very happy with the results. The attendees picked my cheesecake as the best dessert over every other contestant, including the professionals. I am glad I could make people happy and even happier that I can help out a good cause.

The other baking I did was for a party at a friend's house. The last time I was there, I made the frozen chocolate cherry torte so the bar was set pretty high. I am happy to report I was able to deliver another great dessert. I made the Sweet and Salty cake from Baked One of my friends dubbed it the PMS cake. I won't post the recipe, but I will suggest you buy the book if you like to bake.

The next Slow Food Atlanta ice cream social is around the corner. Anyone who has a good idea please drop me a line at

Last, but not least, please enjoy these pictures of puppies eating ice cream.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Vanilla Caramel Ice Cream

So, for reasons I won't get into right now, I made two cheesecakes, four caramel sauces, two fruit purees, and two flavored whipped creams last week. After eating six pieces of cheesecake with every possible combination of sauces I settled on what I liked. The problem was what to do with the remaining sauces and fruit purees. Of course I had to turn to ice cream.

This isn't a hard one to make, but it does take a lot of steps. Mix caramel, reduced balsamic vinegar, strawberry puree, and vanilla ice cream and bing bang boom you have a truly great result. Mrs. Fellow's one spoonful turned into a bowl's worth. It perfectly balances the flavors of every component. You can taste each flavor and yet they combine to create something entirely new.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry-Balsamic-Caramel

    Make some Caramel Sauce
    Make some vanilla ice cream (either 13 EGG or the CLASSIC)

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
Don't bother with white or expensive balsamic vinegars. This is a frozen dessert, the taste will be masked by your tongue. Any supermarket brand will do. I used the one sold at Costco. If you insist putting an expensive balsamic vinegar in the ice cream, go ahead, just skip this step. Real $100+ balsamic vinegars are superior products and do not need the be reduced very much, if at all.

    1 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Put the balsamic in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the reduction is so thick that you can run a spoon over the bottom and leave a temporary trail. When it cools it should be like syrup. If it isn’t, heat it again and keep going. You should have less than half a cup.

  2. BE SURE TO DO THIS IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA. Otherwise, your house may smell like vinegar for a while.

Strawberry Puree:

You may need to adjust the sweetness of the berries, but be careful to minimize the amount of sugar you use. Remember that you will be adding caramel to the puree so the sweetness can get overpowering if you aren't careful. If I were pureeing strawberries for other reasons, I would probably add a bit of lemon juice for acid. This is not necessary here because the reduced vinegar will take care of the acid component.

    2 pints of strawberries, stems and leaves removed
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup sugar

  1. Put all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until boiling. Simmer until berries are soft (about five minutes).

  2. Put the ingredients of the sauce in a blender and puree. Be careful and hold the lid on tight when blending hot things.

  3. Pour the contents of the blender through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.

To make the Strawberry-Balsamic Caramel:

Two things will jump out at you about this sauce. First, is that it won't be as thick as caramel, even when refrigerated. Don't worry, it works in the final product. Second, the color is dark. Balsamic does that. Don't worry, it makes a dramatic contrast to the vanilla ice cream.

  1. Mix one cup of the strawberry puree with 3/4 cup of the caramel and 2 tablespoons of the balsamic reduction. You may find this easier to do if the caramel is warm.

  2. Cool (if necessary), then refrigerate until cold.

Putting it all together:

  1. After you make the ice cream, place about 1/3 of the finished product in the container. Spread out a layer of the caramel.

  2. Repeat for the next 2/3 of the ice cream alternating with layers of the caramel.

  3. Put the full container in the freezer for an hour or so to firm everything.

Monday, January 4, 2010

13 Egg Vanilla

Unlucky thirteen. Actually, thirteen is very lucky for your mouth in this ice cream.

Before we get too far into this let me address one important issue - use of vanilla beans. This fellow is not abandoning his philosophy that vanilla extract is all that is necessary for great vanilla ice cream. If you recall from one of my earliest posts, I talked about the value of vanilla extract and how it is the real flavoring behind nearly every vanilla ice cream you will ever eat. I stand by that statement. There really isn't a need to ever use vanilla beans when making ice cream; however, I had some sitting around, so I put them to work.

This recipe is an adaptation from Ann Amernick's "The Art of Dessert." With the exception of the eggs and flavorings, Ms. Amernick's recipe uses the base that I favor the most - 2 cups of milk and cream and 3/4 cup of sugar. When it comes to eggs, she asks for 225 grams of egg yolks, which she says is 11 - 12 eggs. In order to get there, I needed 13 yolks. I suggest you use the same amount and forget about the scale. There is no reason to really measure to the gram. She is pastry chef and is used to working in metric volumes because baking is science and requires a degree of precision that is not necessary in ice cream. So please use your baker's dozen of egg yolks and enjoy the most unctuous of vanilla ice cream.

Her book is fantastic, Ms. Amernick is certainly an artisan to be admired. I made the complete recipe for the Apple Marmalade Sandwiches with Cranberry Coulis and Vanilla Caramel Ice Cream. The results were well received, although Mrs. Fellow thought it too orangey for her taste. I would make it again in a second. Unfortunately, something about her methodology for making ice cream prevented me from completely following her recipe.

Her recipe calls for the cream and milk to be brought to a boil, then removed from the heat. The eggs are tempered and whisked into the milk and cream. From what I have read and my own experiences, when the milk and cream comes to a boil, the fat separates from the liquid and cannot be reincorporated. The result is bad. So I opted to follow my usual method of heating.

I won't go into the details of this recipe too much. the ingredient list is as follows:

2 cups whole milk
2 cups cream
13 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

If you read my blog regularly, than you know how to make custard. If not, refer to my vanilla ice cream post. The main difference in the methodology is that the vanilla bean is split and scraped, then added to the milk and cream. Leave the bean in the ice cream until it is strained through the sieve.