I’ve always liked Marshmallow Peeps. I’m a sugar junkie, so what’s not to like? I’m partial to the bunnies because I like biting their ears off.
The Washington Post’s Peeps diorama contest is now one of my favorite parts of Easter. While I’d love to create a diorama made of Peeps, I’m not that crafty. Plus, I’d rather just eat them. So, I created my own edible art this year. I am the artist…and ice cream is my canvas.
In honor of Easter, I made Marshmallow Peep ice cream, my first real attempt at ice cream recipe development. It turned out pretty well. The texture of the ice cream is nice and smooth and the chunks of Peeps added at the end provide a little more visual interest and extra marshmallow flavor. Yes, Peeps were hurt in the making of this ice cream.
I was a little underwhelmed by the marshmallow flavor, sort of reminiscent of marshmallow, but maybe a sweeter version of vanilla if you didn’t know the flavor before eating. It’s tasting more like marshmallow as the extra Peeps start to melt into the ice cream. I’d like to experiment with adding more marshmallow and maybe toasting it to enhance the flavor.
Marshmallow Peep Ice Cream
NOTE: I do everything by weight, so “ounces” refer to weight measurement, not volume (fluid ounces)
Makes about 1 quart
10 ounces heavy cream
11 ounces whole milk (meant to do 10 but forgot I needed to use milk to make a cornstarch slurry, 11 oz. worked fine)
6 ounces evaporated milk
1.5 ounces sugar
6 ounces Peeps
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
chopped Peeps to mix in (I chopped one “row” each: yellow bunnies, green chicks, and orange chicks, which yielded more than enough)
- Combine 1 ounce of the milk with the cornstarch until blended and set aside.
- Heat heavy cream, the remaining milk, evaporated milk, and the sugar over medium heat in a heavy saucepan until it starts to gently boil. Gently boil for about 4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the Peeps until they melt (laugh maniacally).
- Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
- Return the mixture to a boil over medium heat, boil for 1 minute while stirring.
- Strain the mixture into a gallon size freezer bag, seal, and submerge into an ice bath until about 40 degrees (about 30 minutes).
- Add vanilla to the ice cream mix, then freeze in an ice cream maker.
- Forget to chop extra Peeps until five minutes before ice cream is done freezing. Hack at Peeps in a blind fury.
- Mix chopped Peeps into the ice cream (doing this in a pre-chilled bowl helps keep the freshly made ice cream from getting too melty) and then pack into a freezer container and freeze for several hours.
FYI: While it might be tempting to use regular marshmallows for the mix instead of Peeps, don’t do this. Store-bought marshmallows contain a shitload (technical term) of cornstarch. While a little cornstarch in ice cream is good (it reduces iciness), the amount of cornstarch in a 10 oz bag of marshmallows produces a glue-like mix and a congealed, rubbery mass of frozen “ice cream.” Not that I would know that first hand or anything. Let’s just say I have discovered the perfect “prop” ice cream – useful for photography and TV and film. It looks like ice cream, but doesn’t melt — ever. If you don’t want to use Peeps, you could always make homemade marshmallows to avoid the cornstarch problem, or try Marshmallow Fluff.