“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
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.