If you dig making ice cream at home, peanut butter is one of your best friends. Especially if you get lazy and don't want to deal much with tempering eggs and making custards but you still want an awesome, ice-free texture every time.
That's because peanut butter is just a big glob of fat, protein, and sugar; three things pretty much guaranteed to make any ice cream smoother and creamier. All the more so in this peanut honey ice cream, which adds a generous slurp of strongly flavored honey to the base, keeping the ice cream plenty smooth. The base takes all of five minutes to make, and it's one of the creamiest I've ever had.
That's a small amount of effort for a deliciously complex scoop that's nutty, floral, and even a little citrusy all at once. It's intense, so keep your scoops on the small side. While I'm happy to douse most of my peanut butter ice creams in hot fudge sauce, this one is best eaten plain.
Be bold with your choice of honey. Go for something dark, interesting, and flavorful like a single variety honey such as blueberry or, one of my favorites, chestnut, where the nutty notes just make good sense. A good robust wildflower honey will also do you right; just stay away from really dark varieties like buckwheat, which have an almost molasses-like flavor that would overpower the peanut butter.
As for the peanut butter, stick to a no-stir butter that's already emulsified. I'm partial to our own Lee Zalben's Peanut Butter & Company peanut butter, which is just as creamy as my childhood Skippy, but with the actual grown up taste of real peanuts.
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (see note)
- 1/2 cup honey (see note)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Kosher salt to taste (see note)
In a blender or food processor, combine half and half, peanut butter, honey, and sugar. Blend until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Blend in salt 1/4 teaspoon at a time to taste. Move blender carafe to refrigerator and chill until mixture is very cold, about 3 hours.
Churn chilled base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to freezer to firm for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Blender or food processor, ice cream maker
For best results, use a smooth peanut butter, preferably unsalted or lightly salted so that you can adjust seasoning to your taste. A more heavily salted peanut butter may not require additional salt. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more in small increments. A darker, full-flavored honey is best for this recipe, such as chestnut or wildflower. Stay away from very dark honey like buckwheat, which has an overpowering flavor.