I am a heavy library user. Every Saturday we head off to our local branch of the Ottawa Public Library and I pick up half a shelf of holds. The OPL doesn't have a limit on how many holds you can have so at any time I tend to have a couple of hundred titles on my hold list. Yes, you read that right.
I tend to rock the non-fiction pretty hard and every week when I head to the library there are a couple of cookbooks waiting for me. I preview all cookbooks via the library and have for years. This means all cookbooks I buy are ones I'll actually use and have recipes I really want to make. Most cookbooks don't make that list, especially specialty cookbooks. This past spring the Ample Hills Creamery Cookbook hit my shelf. I've been looking for the right ice cream recipe book for awhile and with this book I was pretty sure I'd found it. As I flipped through the book I knew there were lots of recipes I wanted to make but the recipe I had to make first was obvious.
Lee loves sugary cereal. LOVES IT. I am not a huge fan of cold cereal in general but when I do eat it, I have to confess I like the sugary stuff. Cap'n Crunch and I go way back.
We had a long, cold spring that really did not scream, "Make ice cream now!" I filed the recipe away, buying a box of cereal here and there over the last few months. Last week we finally remembered to put the ice cream maker in the chest freezer and, as always, I came back from the annual BlogHer conference with a need to make all the things.
July is National Ice Cream Month so it seemed like the right time to make ice cream. We ran a few errands Saturday morning to pick up the last of the supplies. And then a second trip out when I realized I had accidentally bought table cream instead of whipping cream. (Dear self, look at the words, not the colours, on the carton. Purple doesn't always mean heavy cream.)
First, I steamed some milk and then put in some cereal to steep. Yes, I steeped cereal. It was odd. And perfect. You're essentially making cereal milk at this point.
TIP: Breakfast Trash uses a lot of different kinds of cereal. You can find at least three of those types in the mini cereal packs and each box is the perfect amount for this step. We'll take the remaining boxes with us on our upcoming cottage vacation.
After your cereal has steeped you need to strain it. Then you add the skim milk powder and sugar. Once that's all combined you add the cream and put it on the stove over medium heat to coming up to 110F. This won't take all that long but you'll want to stand there and keep and eye on it and stir occasionally. While it's coming up to temperature, separate two eggs and put the yolks in a medium bowl.
When your milk and cream mixture hits 110F, take about a half cup of the mix and slowly add it to the eggs, stirring the whole time. When it's a uniform colour, and it's obvious you haven't accidentally scrambled your egg yolks, add the egg mixture to the cream. Put the pot back on medium heat, attach a candy thermometer, and bring up to 165F. You'll need to stir regularly to makes sure nothing sticks to the bottom. As soon as it hits 165F you pull the pot off the stove and stick it in an ice water bath for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. I didn't want to stick a hot pot in ice water so stuck a bowl in my water bath and poured the mixture into the bowl. I think this may have helped cool it down faster.
While the ice cream base was chilling out in the water bath I started on the cereal crunch. The recipe calls for Fruit Pebbles and Froot Loops but we also had some Trix kicking about so I tossed in some of that, too. You have to knead the cereal with your hands to break it down a bit. Trix does not break down easily, just FYI. Fruity Pebbles, on the other hand, break down very easily.
When you've broken down the cereal, you toss it with some skim milk powder and a very small amount of sugar. Take some melted butter and pour it over and mix it all up You'll have some small clumps. This is perfect! Spread it out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop it into a 275F oven for 15-20 minutes. You want it to get toasted but you don't really want it to brown. I found 15 minutes was perfect.
While the crunch was in the oven, I poured the ice cream base into a container and stuck it in the fridge to cool down. The Ample Hills recipe says you only need to let it chill out for a couple of hours. Some people say it needs to chill for at least 8 hours. If you don't do the ice bath step after pulling the ice cream base off the stove I recommend leaving it to chill in the fridge over night.
This is when you do all the dishes. Or, if you are me, when you get Lee to do all the dishes. I make messes. He cleans them up. We both eat yummy food. It works for us. Then you do nothing at all ice cream related for a few hours. I took a nap. Naps are delicious.
I let the ice cream base chill for about 2.5 hours. Then it was time to grab the ice cream maker base from the freezer, attach it to my KitchenAid and play.
Remember, your ice cream maker needs to already be moving before you start to to pour in the ice cream base. If you pour in the base before you start churning it will lock up. I churned for 20 minutes. It possibly could have gone a bit longer but my kitchen was rather warm and humid yesterday so I was going for the coldest churn I could get.
If it's your first time making ice cream, you will find that your ice cream isn't super solid at this point. It's the consistency of soft serve. I took a taste of the base at this point and it tasted like cereal milk but also like ice cream and it was kind of mind bendy.
While you can add your solids to the last couple of minutes of churning, I didn't want to do that for this particular recipe. (I totally would if I was adding something like chocolate chips or Oreo crumbs.) I scooped the ice cream out of the churn with a large spatula and folded in the cereal crumbs. I didn't add all the cereal crumbs. I had about half a cup left over. Save them. You'll want them.
At this point I stuck the ice cream in our chest freezer. When we pulled it out three hours later the centre of the container was still pretty soft but the edges were nice and firm. Making ice cream takes time. And patience.
The verdict? Good. Really good. Lee is absolutely smitten with it. And that leftover cereal crunch I didn't mix in? Lee sprinkled it over his ice cream like sprinkles. He declared it perfection. It tastes like our childhood.
Want to make it? Head over to Delish to get the full Breakfast Trash recipe. Play with the different cereals. Tell me your favourite combinations.