I used to have a problem. I had an obssession with watching baseball. In college I literally recorded every single Red Sox game I had to miss for class (silly classes always impeding fun activities). This was not recorded with a DVR. TAPED. This was 6-10 years ago, folks. I feel slightly old.

Anyway, I thought this was normal.

Fast forward to 2011. Although my eyes cannot possibly be glued to the screen for 3+ hours a night, I still try to catch as many games as I can. As I attempted  to record my team’s home opener (DVR) last Friday I hear behind me, “You’re recording the game? Why don’t you just watch ESPN highlights?.”

“Phhhhhhhh! Blasphemy!” He just doesn’t understand.

Now that food has become my career, it only makes sense to channel my love of the game into a few recipes. Of course, I couldn’t just make anything ordinary.

Behold:

 Craker Jack Ice Cream

Cracker Jack ice cream with dulce de leche and vanilla bean. 

I don’t think I can ever go back to store-bought ice cream again. This ice cream is PERFECT.

Lucky for you, this recipe of awesomeness does not necessarily require an ice cream maker.

First I started with a creamy vanilla ice cream  recipe that I adapted from The Perfect Scoop.

Then I added some oomph for a little baseball nostalgia.

Here are the ingredients you need:

1 cup (250ml) whole milk

1 vanilla bean, or  pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream

6 large egg yolks

For mix-ins:

Cracker Jacks (Found in convenience stores and grocery stores. You can locate which stores sell it by you by plugging in your zip code here.)

Dulce de leche or caramel

For cones:

Ice cream cones

MORE Cracker Jacks (you can never really have too much)

Semi-sweet chocolate

(bars are located in baking aisle of your local grocery store)

Here’s what you do:

Start out with your whole milk, sugar, and salt.

 Milk, Sugar, and Salt

 

Heat it up in a sauce pan on medium to medium low.

 

As it heats up, grab your vanilla. You have choices here.

 Vanilla bean and vanilla extract

I strongly suggest using a vanilla bean (or very good quality extract). And when I say strongly suggest, I really mean that I will come to your kitchen and bitch slap you if I catch you with cheap vanilla extract. The taste of vanilla bean makes a world of a difference.  

Don’t get me wrong, I use extract all of the time. Vanilla beans can be very pricey. When I use extract, though, it’s the GOOD stuff. The store brands (or just any cheap brand) makes me shudder. If you are going through the effort to make your own ice cream, use quality ingredients.

 Anywhoodles, back to the recipe. I’m certain you can guess that I picked the vanilla bean. Cut the vanilla bean in half, then use a small knife to scrape the tiny beans into the pot.

Scrape vanilla beans

 

Remove your pot from the stove, cover it, and let it  sit for one hour. This helps the milk become infused with vanilla goodness.

I like to use a timer, because I can barely remember where the car was last parked.

 Timer set for 1 hour

If you like, you can grab about 1/3 of a cup of rum or vodka and pour it into a jar. Put the leftover vanilla beans into the jar, completely immersing it into the alcohol. Store in a very dark place for about six months, adding additional leftover vanilla beans at any time.

 Vanilla extract with rum

Now set up an ice bath.

Ice Bath

Large bowl, 1/3 filled with water and ice cubes. Medium bowl on top. The medium bowl should hold about 8 cups (2 quarts, 1/2 gallon, 64 ounces, or equivalent to about two liters of cola).

Measure out your 2 cups of cream.

2 cups of cream

Pour the cream into the bowl sitting in the ice bath. Set a strainer on top.

Cream in milk bath

Grab six eggs.

Eggs

Separate the yolks from the whites.

Separate egg yolks from whites

Keep the yolks in a bowl large enough to add liquid.

Egg yolks

Whisk the yolks.

Whisk egg yolks

Now take your vanilla milk and warm up again on stove.

Warm up vanilla milk

Slowly pour the milk into the egg yolks while whisking it. Add a little at a time.

Add a little at a time

Don’t forget to whisk it while you pour.

Whisk the egg yolks

The reason that you gradually mix in the milk is so you don’t “cook” the eggs. This is part of the process of making a custard that ensures a creamy ice cream.

Pour your mixture back into pan and cook on medium to medium low heat.

Return your mixture to a pan and cook

Notice how the liquid drips easily off of the  spatula.

The custard is not thick enough yet

The custard is not yet thick enough.

Keep stirring….

Stirring,

 

………

and stirring,

 

……..

and stirring.

 

Until it hangs on your spatula like this:

Thick custard

Now pour your custard into the strainer to get rid of lumps.

Pour custard into strainer

Nobody likes lumpy custard.

Push it through the strainer.Nobody likes a lumpy custard 

 Mix the cream and custard. then pour into a bowl.

Pour mixture into bowl

Cover and pop into your fridge.

Chill for 1-2 hours, until cool throughout.

Move it to your freezer for about 30 minutes.

Freeze ice cream

Yes, my freezer is tiny. Yes, that chicken below is freezer burnt.

It should start to freeze a little around the edges. Take the bowl out and mix it with a mixer, or by hand with a whisk. I used a stand alone mixer.

 

Take bowl out of freezer and mix ice cream

 

Now pop it back into freezer for another 30 minutes.

Take it out. Notice the edges are frozen here.

The edges are freezing

Mix again.

Mix the ice cream a second time

Look how it is starting to thicken. Try a taste. Sooooooo good.

The ice cream is beginning to thicken

Place it back into the freezer one more final time. Why? The more you mix it in between periods of freezing, the more you break up the crystals. This makes the consistency silky and creamy.

After the last 30 minutes, take it out and mix for the last time.

Thick ice cream!

Now prepare the mix-ins. Grab some caramel or ducle de leche (Spanish caramel). I chose dulce de leche because the flavor has something deep and rich about it that I prefer over caramel. I make my dulce de leche from scratch. You can buy either at a store.

Dulce de leche

Chop up the Cracker Jacks into perfect little pieces so you get a taste in your ice cream, without too much chew.

Cracker Jacks

Now layer in a bowl. Swirl your caramel and sprinkle some Cracker Jacks.

Start with a layer of caramel and cracker jacks

Carefully scoop the ice cream on, the add another layer of the mix-ins. 

Cracker jack, ice cream, dulce de leche, baseball food

Keep going until you run out of ice cream.

See all of the layers?

make your own ice cream

Place (or shove if your freezer is anything like mine) back into freezer to allow the ice cream to harden. Notice above how I also covered it with Saran Wrap. Just to avoid any ice crystals. Ewe. 

Good thing I don’t have to share this ice cream with anyone.

A spoonful of ice cream for the game

I love the texture in this ice cream. The saltiness from the peanuts balance the sweetness of the Cracker Jacks. You have this smooth ice cream with light fluffy popcorn and crunchy peanuts.

Close-up  of ice cream

The only thing that would make this perfect is an ice cream cone…Which got me thinking:

Ingredients for ice cream cone

Break up a bar of semi-sweet chocolate. Place in a heat safe container. One that is deep enough to dip into. I used a mug.

Melt Chocolate in a mug

I heated it in the microwave in 5 to 10 second spurts. You need to do this because you are trying to melt it without cooking it. If the chocolate is over cooked, it freezes. In other words, it turns into lumpy doodoo mush that is totally useless. 

Ha ha, I just said doodoo.

Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Then dip your sugar cone in.

Dip sugar cone into chocolate

Let it thicken up around the rim, then roll it in the Cracker Jacks. If they are not sticking, feel free to lay it into the kernels, and use you hands to apply wherever they are not sticking on their own.

Roll sugar cone into cracker jacks

Then place on parchment paper to dry.

Sugar cones dipped in chocolate and rolled in Cracker Jacks

Awesome.

I foresee myself eating this on the couch while watching tomorrow night’s game, sans the overpriced tickets and cramped seats.

cracker jack ice cream,ice cream, baseball

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21 Responses to “Buy Me Some Peanut & Cracker Jacks” Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker!)

  1. Anita N. says:

    This…this is a revelation. Thank you so much!

  2. Twinkle says:

    This looks amazing! =)

  3. These look gorgeous! I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog! :)

    I’m going to make these next time I have summer guests I want to impress!

  4. Christine says:

    This looks soo delicious!

  5. Jonathan says:

    When I saw this, I literally tried to eat my computer screen, I did not succeed. Niiiiice job Jas!

  6. Eftychia says:

    This is super delicious. Bravo, very nice presentation you have here!!

  7. Dayna says:

    Reached your blog through Google. You know I will be signing up to your rss feed.

  8. kiki says:

    “I like to use a timer, because I can barely remember where the car was last parked.”-this is toooooo funny! you’re adorable! This recipe is amazing…definitely making once the weather warms up…thank you!

  9. [...] 1 Fine Cookie 0 I like This Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Buzz it up Email a friend | Posted in Desserts & Sweets | Tags: cone, crab, cracker jacks, dessert, dulce de leche, ice cream, sweet [...]

  10. Absolutely Love it! Your Pictures are Fantstic! You have inspired me to make my own Ice Cream! Wow..You are a Rockstar! Thank You!

  11. cookie cake says:

    [...] scrumptious treats with full tutorials, including step by steps photos. She has a recipe there for making a delicious ice cream with ball park specialties (think caramel corn!), and you don’t even need an ice cream maker [...]

  12. Food Frenzy says:

    This is fantastic. What a clever idea and such amazing photos. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Gourmantine says:

    Looking at you’re photos, I feel like I just had a trip o childhood wonderland! Indulgence at it’s best, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe :)

  14. Maurice says:

    This entire presentation as well as the recipe is incredible. why aren’t you on the food channel???

  15. Jessica Wood says:

    This looks so fun and delicious! Buzzed this & am a new follower!!!
    - Jessica
    http://cajunlicious.blogspot.com

  16. Texas Gal says:

    My grandsons ALWAYS have company on weekends. THey think my cooking is totally awesome and love to come over just for the food. Wait until I pull this out this weekend. They won’t believe it.!! Thanks so much. Awesome pictures.

  17. Kevin S says:

    Long time cultist, infrequent poster. Could you do this with Caramel instead? I know its not as pliable as chocolate but I would love it to be all caramel and peanuts and cracker jacks.

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