Bake the Book: PB&J Ice Cream

[Photograph: Lucy Schaeffer]

When it comes to kick-ass, no-brainer combinations, it doesn't get better than peanut butter and jelly. Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop swirls a generous portion of peanut butter into a sweet cream ice cream base, then folds in spoonfuls of jelly just before serving. The result is a nutty ice cream with little treasure pockets of jelly scattered throughout. Killer on its own, even better between two peanut butter cookies.

Tips: Making the base for this ice cream is like concocting a custard, only a little more finicky. A candy thermometer is used to monitor the temperature of the sugary cream/milk combination to ensure it heats without scalding (165ºF vs 180ºF, respectively). That's a fairly small difference in temperature, and isn't really perceptible with hand or eye, so you definitely want to be using a thermometer for any and all of these ice cream recipes.

Tweaks: Concord grape jelly is absolutely delicious, but it's not a rule that you have to use it in this recipe. Raspberry, strawberry, or even currant jelly would work well in this recipe. Be sure to use a jelly, not a jam. The difference between them is that there are no pieces of fruit in jelly; the fruit comes from fruit juice.

As for the peanut butter, the recipe calls for "all natural peanut butter." Please don't use the stuff that comes from the grind-it-yourself machines in Whole Foods or Fairway, or the "stir to combine" jarred stuff. Those oils can separate back out of the peanut butter and make a mess of your ice cream. We've always used brands like Peanut Butter & Co for peanut-butter based recipes in Bake the Book, with splendid results.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop to give away.

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