The Ranjbars are huge ice cream fans. My father always made sure the fridge was stocked with mint chip, the not quite sorbet and not quite ice cream sensation sherbet, and Neapolitan. I clearly recall getting told off several times for eating all of the chocolate. My mom’s pick was always Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge, a flavor which to this day remains in my top ten. The last time I was in California visiting my mom, she has no less than ten different kinds of ice cream stashed in the freezer, from ice cream sandwiches and bars, to pints and gallons. Would it surprise you to know I’m the only fat sheep in the family?
When I first purchased an ice cream maker about a year ago, I whipped up all kinds of keto-style ice creams, including cheesecake, blueberry and coffee, but I’ve been back on sugar for a bit and it was past time to pull out the machine again and make something really sweet!
I’ll be sharing a few more amazing, personal ice cream discoveries soon, but this one came out perfect right off the bat. All you need to do is make a basic, but no-less spectacular, vanilla custard and crumble in “milk’s favorite cookie,” the Oreo.
Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
Makes approximately 6 cups or 12 half-cup servings
2 C heavy whipping cream
1 C half and half (whole milk works, too)
1 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean, split
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 C or about 15 Double Stuf* Oreo Cookies, smashed
In a medium bowl, I use a metal mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with a whisk or electric beater until it lightens in color. Slowly add half of the granulated sugar and whisk the mixture until it thickens and falls from the beaters in ribbons. You’ll know it when you see it. Set aside.
Heat the heavy whipping cream, half and half (or milk), salt, and vanilla bean (with all of those lovely seeds you scraped out) over medium heat, stirring until the mixture comes to a simmer, but don’t let it boil! Remove from heat. Ladle a a scoop of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to incorporate. Do it again. Return the combined mixture or custard back to the saucepan and whisk it all together, heating it again over medium-low heat. Stay and stir the custard, thickening it until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove the custard from heat and strain into a bowl, but don’t toss that bean! Let it sit in the strained custard while it cools.
You can cool the custard to room temperature by just letting it sit out on the countertop, or you can make an ice bath with a bigger bowl/pot and try to hurry things along. After it reaches room temp, cover it with saran wrap (making sure the wrap touches the top of the custard), stick it in the fridge and let it sit there overnight. This is important! I’ve made quickie versions after a couple of hours and it is not the same. Be patient. In this case, you’re momma was right! Good things do come to those who wait . . . for their custard ice cream to chill properly.
After chilling overnight, your custard is ready for the machine! Naturally, your tub will have been already chilled and waiting in your freezer for at least three days, so all you have to do is pop it out, put it together and pour in the vanilla custard base, minus the bean. BUT HOLD UP! You almost forgot the best part, the Oreos!
For my tastes, the Double Stuf Oreos are the way to go whenever one goes the way of the Oreo – for ice cream, cakes, pie shells, and especially dunking in an ice-cold glass of whole milk. But I think that rule goes double (see what I did there?) for this recipe because there is just something magically extra about the sugary, oily (formerly lardy) frozen “Stuf” floating around in a batch of cookies and cream ice cream. If you prefer regular Oreos, you go ahead and be you, but maybe just maybe try it once with the extra Stuf and see if you don’t agree.
With that being said, in the last 5-7 minutes of churning your glorious vanilla custard ice cream, add a cup of crushed Double Stuf Oreos into the machine. I just put the cookies in a large, Ziploc bag and whack ’em with a meat tenderizer, or I like to use the handle of my knife honer/sharpener that came with my knife block.
Eat it when it finished churning for a soft serve consistency, or put it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for a couple of hours before serving. Be sure to garnish with whole Oreos, if you haven’t already polished off the rest of the bag.