I’ve been playing around with making a toasted marshmallow ice cream as the base for a s’mores sundae (more on the sundae in a later post), and, although it took a few tries, I finally came up with one I liked.
Why a few tries? Well, first of all I didn’t want it too sweet, and I wanted it to taste like toasted marshmallows. Also, since I’m having problems accessing pasteurized whole eggs, I didn’t want to go the barely-cooked-egg-yolks-in-the-ice-cream route.
First I tried a cornstarch thickened base and lightly toasted marshmallows. It was nice, but just nice. For the second batch I steeped graham cracker in the milk (a la the cereal milk from Momofuku Milk Bar), which was an improvement, but not fabulous. The third batch used really charred marshmallows and the graham-cracker milk. Also, I decided not to use any additional thickener, figuring that the gelatin in the marshmallows and the starch from the graham crackers might do the trick. Although it’s a cliche, the third time was the charm.
TOASTED MARSHMALLOW ICE CREAM
Make The Graham Cracker Milk
- 3 cups crumbled graham crackers TIP : I tried using fancy graham crackers and using Nabisco graham crackers and I liked the Nabisco ones better for this recipe because they dissolved more in the milk and were a bit sweeter.
- Generous pinch of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons, packed, light brown sugar, divided
- 1 quart whole milk
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F).
- Spread the graham cracker pieces on a rimmed cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon on the pieces, toss to combine and spread out in a single layer.
- Toast the crumbs for about 15 minutes.
- Cool the crumbs.
- Place the crumbs in a container and pour in the milk.
- Let the milk steep for about 30 minutes – the crackers should be very soft.
- Drain the milk through a fine meshed strainer, pressing down a bit to get all the liquid out.
Make The Ice Cream
- 32 large marshmallows
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
- 3 cups graham cracker milk
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Toast the marshmallows so they’re really on the burned side. TIP : I tried toasting mine indoors over a gas stove (make sure the melted marshmallow doesn’t get on your burners – it’s tough to get off) and flaming them with a kitchen torch. The torch was faster. I’ve read about people putting them on a silpat mat and broiling them, but never tried it myself.
- Put the marshmallows in a tall, heat proof container.
- Heat up 2 cups of the milk, stirring frequently, over medium until it’s almost boiling.
- Reduce the heat and add the brown sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring, until the brown sugar has dissolved.
- Let the warm milk cool for a bit, then add it to the container with the marshmallows.
- Blend the mixture with a hand blender (or in a blender).
- Mix in the remaining one cup milk.
- Chill the base in the refrigerator until it’s cold. This could take a few hours. TIP : If you want to speed up the process a bit, put the ice cream base in a heavy duty resealable plastic bag, seal it and put it in an ice bath in your fridge. I would actually put the bag with the base inside a second bag and seal them both up just in case of a leak.
- When the mixture is chilled, process it in an ice cream maker according to your machine’s instructions.
You can make the ice cream ahead of time and keep it in the freezer.
You may notice that you’ll have a cup of graham cracker milk left over. Might I suggest mixing some up with Amaretto over ice? For a non-alcoholic drink, try using it to make hot chocolate – and don’t forget the marshmallow!