Custard

S'mores Ice Cream

May 24, 2013

Every Friday, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: When it comes to dessert, practice makes perfect. And s'mores chunks make everyone happy. Phyllis from Dash and Bella crafts the perfect Memorial Day treat -- with step-by-step instructions.

Scoop

Mama. Just so you know. You have a chocolate mustache. And marshmallow on your butt.

Bella, please turn up the music and hand me my gin and tonic.

It’s day three of developing a s’mores ice cream recipe. I’m standing on the back porch table, camera dangling around my neck, listening to Prince, straddling a cutting board covered with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate shavings. I squat down and start talking to what looks like a burnt rug of mini marshmallows, trying to coax it off the greased parchment with come on baby, you can do it, come on, please. The sticky mass flies apart, a chunk of it swinging onto the lens of my camera, the rest sticking to my forearm. 

This is the moment I realize that certain recipes should not be developed within my crazy head alone. I need help.

Peek

More: Phyllis gets obsessive about gremolata, too -- with delicious results.

I go on to do eight batches in ten days. I have 20 tasters. I ask for dozens of opinions from friends to neighbors to parents to kids to the woman next to me in yoga class to the checker at Whole Foods. The message is loud and clear: don’t get all complicated with brown butter graham cracker crumbs or bittersweet chocolate shavings. Don’t place a lid of marshmallows on top of the ice cream that once frozen requires poultry shears for serving. In other words, don’t mess with this elemental childhood trio. Simply let the chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker flavors sing. Equally. And add chunks. Everyone wants lots and lots of chunks.

So I listen. 

S'mores Ice Cream

Serves 4

For the S'mores Chunks:

12 graham crackers (honey or plain, but not cinnamon)
2 cups mini marshmallows
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate

For the Burnt Marshmallow Ice Cream Custard:

4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Here’s the breakdown.

Custard

All of the sugar in the ice cream custard comes from the marshmallows. And the intensity of flavor comes from infusing the custard with burnt marshmallows. The custard on the left has no burnt marshmallow flavor at all. The one on the right is too intense and bitter. The batch in the middle is just right. I recommend blackening a few of the marshmallows beyond recognition and broiling the rest until they turn brown. You can regulate this fairly easily by spinning the pan around as they broil. 

Cream

To begin the process, pour heavy cream over the broiled marshmallows and whisk over low heat until most of the marshmallows have dissolved. And then proceed as you normally would with a custard ice cream base by tempering the egg yolk/half and half mixture with the hot marshmallow cream.

Hot.
Marshmallow.
Cream.
Yes. 

Finger Test

The custard is done when you do the finger dragging test and a trail lingers on the back of your wooden spoon. Immediately chill over an ice water bath. The resulting custard has a lighter and silkier texture than your typical vanilla custard. Once cool, refrigerate overnight.

Line Up

To make the s’mores crunch (make extra to bribe your kids and husband and keep it in the freezer), line up six graham crackers. Generously pile on the mini marshmallows. It’s okay if they spill over the edges a bit. Broil to desired color (don’t step away or you will start a fire!). Remove from the oven and top with graham crackers. If you wait more than a minute, the top graham crackers won’t stick. So move quickly. 

Chocolate 

Cover in melted bittersweet chocolate. Freeze.

 Frozen

Cut into bite-sized chunks (just so you know, the chunks pictured above would be considered more afterschool snack-sized chunks). It will fall apart and become a bit of a mess as you cut, but that works beautifully because you end up getting all kinds of textural and flavor variety in each bite of ice cream. 

Don’t be alarmed. The cold marshmallow custard will be very thick. Churn it in your ice cream machine. Scoop it into a previously frozen receptacle. Fold in about two cups of the chopped chocolate, graham cracker, marshmallow goodness. Freeze for a few hours or overnight. Eat!

Ice cream

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Phyllis Grant

24 Comments

sexyLAMBCHOPx June 19, 2013
This is why I don't own an ice cream maker. It's all I would make and eat - oink!
 
ChezUs May 28, 2013
Amazing. I haven't made ice cream in so long .... now I must!
 
Author Comment
Phyllis G. June 19, 2013
let me know if you make it, denise!
 
Texas S. May 26, 2013
Looks great, but I'd so much like to know/see how finely you chopped the frozen s'mores. Thx.
 
Author Comment
Phyllis G. May 28, 2013
it's up to you. my daughter says the bigger the better. but i like them to be about 1 inch by 1 inch. they will fall apart quite a bit anyway. it even works well finely chopped. we tried it all!
 
Barb168 May 26, 2013
Oh my goodness, this sounds delicious!
 
katespreen May 26, 2013
You can make this dairy-free by using full fat coconut milk instead of the half and half and cream. The eggs combined with the coconut milk make a luscious custard. You can also use gluten-free graham crackers too.
 
Author Comment
Phyllis G. June 19, 2013
people keep telling me about using coconut milk. i must try it. thank you!
 
beetrixkiddo May 26, 2013
holy cow...mouth watering. Must remember I need to ear a bathing suit this summer... the child photo is ador!
 
Author Comment
Phyllis G. June 19, 2013
thank you. i think he's pretty darn cute myself.
 
Trena H. May 25, 2013
s'mores + ice cream = heaven! I just pulled out my ice cream maker and made a batch of vanilla ice cream and it tasted so good. I love s'mores and ice cream is the best - I cannot wait to try this recipe! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 
fiveandspice May 25, 2013
Holy frozen dairy products! My heart just skipped a beat this looks so good.
 
cheesypennies May 24, 2013
Thank you (and the 20 other tasters) for all of your sacrifices on our behalf. We are not worthy, but we are beyond grateful!
 
Marian B. May 24, 2013
Right? That's true friendship right there: selflessly eating ice cream for others.
 
Author Comment
Phyllis G. June 19, 2013
my pleasure!
 
Food porn at it's finest. YUM.
 
cookinginvictoria May 24, 2013
This looks wonderful. Definitely going on my list of summer recipes to try!
 
janscott May 24, 2013
I've just added half and half to my shopping list to make this tomorrow!
 
Brette W. May 24, 2013
Oh. My. God. I need to get an ice cream maker and make this NOW
 
Shalini May 24, 2013
This looks incredible!!!
 
laurenlocally May 24, 2013
wow!
 
drbabs May 24, 2013
amazing
 
EmilyC May 24, 2013
LOVE this!
 
Kenzi W. May 24, 2013
Dear lord this is amazing.