Author Notes: “Peanut butter and jelly ritz cracker sandwich.” Years ago, when I saw this dessert listed on the menu, I knew how I would end the meal. My teenage self couldn’t get over the reverence this fancy restaurant had for a lunchroom standard. But this sandwich, which took the form of peanut butter mousse, macerated strawberries, and–most memorably—ritz cracker ice cream was better than anything I had ever tasted. I thought about trying to recreate that buttery ice cream studded with crisp pieces of ritz crackers, but it wasn’t until I used Jeni Britton Bauer’s Brown Butter Almond Brittle Ice Cream recipe as a base that I was successful. This ice cream captures the fun and tastiness of that memorable dessert.
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home —fil_mishmish
Makes: 1 quart
cups whole milk
tablespoons cream cheese, softened
teaspoon sea salt
cups heavy cream
cup packed light brown sugar
tablespoons light corn syrup
cups ritz crackers
- Preheat oven to 350F oven. Toast ritz crackers for 5-10 minutes on a baking sheet.
- Break crackers into pieces. Reserve only larger pieces and discard crumbs.
- In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry.
- In a medium bowl, add the salt and room-temperature cream cheese and whip all the bumps out.
- In a large bowl, make an ice bath (heavy on the ice) and set aside.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and let bubble until the foam starts to subside and the butter is a rich dark brown.
- Remove from heat and let stand until the butter solids settle to the bottom of the pan, about 5 mintues. Pour the clear yellow butter oil into a storage container. As you get closer to the butter solids in the bottom of the pan, use a spoon to remove as much liquid butter as you can. You should have about 1 tablespoon of brown butter solids and alittle bit of melted fat in the bottom of the pan (it is impossible to remove all the melted fat).
- Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot cream mixture into cream cheese mixture until smooth. Do this a little bit at a time so that you can whip out any lumps of cream cheese.
- Pour the hot ice cream base into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and seal. Submerge in the ice bath until very cold.
- Cut the corner off the bag, pour the chilled base into the ice cream machine, and spin until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, folding in the ritz cracker pieces as you go. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.