Mr. ST loves peppermint ice cream, now known in our house as the Christmas Ice Cream. It prances and dances with candy canes, peppermint schnapps and lots of cream. When Santa comes to our house, we leave a note telling him to check the freezer for his special treat which pairs heavenly with these chocolate sugar cookies. This ensures plenty of gifts under the tree.
While I was on a food press tour of Columbus Ohio, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home, and this inspired me to give her ice cream base a try. There are no eggs in the recipe. Corn starch and cream cheese are the thickening agents that help the cream and milk become the richest, creamiest ice cream ever. While the book has recipes for buttermint and backyard mint, there was no recipe for peppermint. I used my original peppermint ice cream flavorings over the base recipe. Results are stunning, so rich, you only need a little bit to get satisfied, and that’s probably a good thing.
Based out of Columbus Ohio, Jeni’s in Nashville has some local elements. Founder, Jeni Britton Bauer, teamed up with Tennessee farmers to procure Tennessee fruit which is taken back to Ohio and mixed with other fruits to make what some people call “the most delicious ice cream in the world.”
The magic behind Jeni’s Splendid ice cream comes from fresh ingredients, chosen with care, and then mixed in unusual ways. Nashville is lucky enough to have a Jeni’s Ice Cream Store right here in East Nashville, which by the way is her busiest store. We think she should open another store in Williamson County very soon. In the meantime, when I’m not in East Nashville, I can pull out my cookbook and try some unusual flavors, like chamomile chardonnay, roasted strawberry and buttermilk, and her very famous salty caramel.
This might just be the Christmas ice cream that I use to make my traditional ice cream bombe, made for every Christmas Eve. Not sure yet, because I’m drumming up a red velvet ice cream and there is going to be some tough competition, unless I make two, which is beginning to sound like an even better idea!
Tell me, do you eat ice cream during the holidays? Do you have a certain sweets tradition beyond Christmas cookies?
- ¼ cup ground up candy canes
- 1 whole candy cane
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons cream cheese softened)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2-4 drops of peppermint extract
- 2 teaspoons peppermint schnapps
- Grind enough candy canes up in blender or magic bullet to make ¼ cup.
- Whisk cream cheese in bowl until creamy.
- Set a large bowl with ice that this bowl will fit into to cool.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with cornstarch to make a slurry.
- Cook remaining milk, cream, sugar corn syrup in heavy bottomed 4 quart pot, including one candy cane. Bring to rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes on medium heat.
- Remove from heat. Whisk in slurry of corn starch. Boil again until thickened, over med. high heat, about a minute.
- Pour into bowl that has the cream cheese. Place that bowl in ice bath. Cool.
- Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Use your ice cream maker.
- Add in peppermint extract, peppermint schnapps and crushed candy canes during the last five minutes of ice cream churning.
- Put in plastic with lid. Cover first with parchment. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.