Salty Peanut Ice Cream


I don’t recall exactly when my love for sweets began.  I do know however that I come from a long line of “sweet-crazed beings” and often try to place blame on genetics for my uncontrollable need for sweets.  I have many wonderful memories of growing up in a very small town in the South, however, I remember one of the most anticipated family events was our once a week trip to the local Dairy Queen or “DQ”.  It was a tiny ice cream shop then with a walk-up service counter.  My Mom loved to take us there because it made us kids so happy, but the truth is…it made her happy.  She’d splurge on frozen treats by the dozen to stash in our freezer for later consumption.  A great convenience since the DQ was an entire mile away…maybe.  I remember fondly and still today, my Mom’s favorite was the peanut buster parfait.  Soft serve vanilla ice cream blanketed with warm fudge sauce and topped with crunchy salted peanuts.  The combination of sweet and salty made it an irresistible treat.

I recently ordered dessert at a restaurant that included peanut ice cream as it was the waiter’s favored choice.  I ordered it without much thought, not really expecting anything too memorable.  To my surprise, upon first bite, I was instantly transported back to my childhood.  It was absolutely divine and incredibly nostalgic.  Slightly sweet yet salty, deliciously creamy yet crunchy and entirely mine.  I haven’t been able to stop obsessing about it since.  I’ve spent much time these past few weeks searching persistently for the perfect recipe for peanut ice cream but have mostly only uncovered peanut butter ice cream recipes, which seemed too sweet for my now unnaturally obsessive vision.  After much research, I decided to alter a peanut butter ice cream recipe to create a more salty peanut treat.  Wow.  What I created was unbelievable!

The ice cream is custard based which means that the milk is heated and then tempered into the egg and sugar mixture, similar to a pudding or custard.  In my opinion, this method is far superior resulting in an incredibly creamy and rich ice cream.  This process takes more time but is fully worth the effort.  The base of the ice cream is so creamy exuding subtle hints of peanut butter while the peanuts balance the sweet with an incredible saltiness and crunch.

Go ahead Mom and drizzle it with warm fudge sauce if you must, but this ice cream creates memories standing simply on its own.

This one is for you Mom…I love you and your sweet tooth!


Salty Peanut Ice Cream          {Print Recipe}

Makes about 1 quart

1 cup whole milk

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

½ cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably the low-sugar variety).  You can also use smooth peanut butter.

1 ½ cups heavy whipped cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup lightly salted, roasted shelled peanuts, chopped

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just hot (not boiling).  In a separate medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with a mixer until thick and pale yellow.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture in bowl (whisking constantly so you don’t scramble the eggs).  Once incorporated, pour the milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan.  Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and cook custard, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.  If using smooth peanut butter, strain the custard into a large bowl.  Let the mixture cool slightly, stirring often, then stir in the cream and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate until cold, 6-8 hours or overnight.

Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions (for about 20 minutes), adding the cup of peanuts about 5 minutes before it has finished churning.  Transfer to a bowl, cover and freeze until hard.  Break out the spoon and dig in!

Recipe adapted from Saveur Magazine


3 thoughts on “Salty Peanut Ice Cream

  1. I am so touched by your sweet memories! ……and so impressed by my precious daughter! I love you Mom

    Sent from my iPad


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