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Candy cane ice cream. If you want it to be
pink, add red food color. Photo courtesy
One thing we love about the holidays is candy cane ice cream, also known as peppermint stick ice cream. The difference between it and the peppermint ice cream available year-round is the inclusion of crushed peppermint candy for a vivid peppermint flavor and crunch.
Different brands now have their limited-edition candy cane/peppermint stick pints and quarts in stores. There’s also peppermint bark ice cream, which includes bits of chocolate studded with peppermint.
If you want the fun of making your own at home, we’ve got some recipe options below.
The ice cream can be drizzled with hot fudge, packed into chocolate cookie pie crust, made into a trifle, added to hot chocolate or turned into a candy cane dessert cocktail.
This recipe produces white ice cream. If you want pink ice cream, add a few drops of red food color until the desired color is reached.
Prep time is 20 minutes plus chilling and freezing.
RECIPE: CANDY CANE ICE CREAM
Ingredients For 1 Quart
1. WARM 2 cups of the half-and-half and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until steam begins to rise from the surface (3 to 4 minutes). Remove from the heat.
2. WHISK together the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a heatproof mixing bowl, until blended. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving. Gradually add the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
3. RETURN the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the custard thickens and a finger drawn across the back of the spoon leaves a path, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil!
4. POUR the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Stir in the peppermint extract. Add the remaining 1 cup half-and-half and stir to combine.
Make a candy cane ice cream trifle (recipe below). Photo courtesy Perry’s Ice Cream.
5. NESTLE the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
6. TRANSFER the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At the end of the freezing stage, add the peppermint candies and continue processing just until they are blended into the ice cream. Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container, cover and freeze until firm, 3 to 4 hours.
Pair the candy cane ice cream with chocolate cake and whipped cream. The trifle can be made up to 1 week in advance.
1. CHILL the bowl, beaters and cream for the whipped cream.
2. PLACE a layer of cake cubes in the bottom of a straight-side glass bowl. Trim the cake as necessary to create an even layer.
3. SPREAD 3 cups of vanilla ice cream on top of the cake layer. Repeat process and top with a layer of cake cubes or crushed Oreo cookies. Top with candy cane ice cream.
4. COVER with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 1 hour, until the ice cream is re-frozen.
5. MAKE the whipped cream: Beat the cream, sugar, vanilla and salt to soft peaks with an electric mixer.
6. TO SERVE: Remove the trifle from the freezer 10 minutes in advance of serving. Drizzle with fudge sauce. Top with whipped cream before bringing to the table and add optional garnish.
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