One of my favorite parts about working in the city is working close to the Williams-Sonoma store by Union Square and during the holidays, it's a fun time because the store overlooks the tall Christmas tree in the square that's lit from top to bottom. Sadly, the founder Chuck Williams who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, passed away over the weekend. He was one of the early pioneers in the food industry, who traveled around the globe to find quality kitchen tools that we are now accustomed to and love. He helped make our cooking experiences richer and even more exciting by researching and introducing new kitchen tools and appliances, he will be missed!
I keep a small pot of peppermint growing and even though I've had it for over a year, I have to say, I'm almost a little ashamed that I've done absolutely nothing with it until now. Fresh peppermint makes amazing ice cream, it's one of the strongest infusions that's sweet but not harsh. So always try to keep some growing if you can!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this ice cream pie,
- Waterproofing the pie crust by brushing with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of melted white chocolate can help to protect the crust from getting too soggy (I didn't do it this time).
- The ice cream should be soft and pliable to work with.
- Use your favorite gingersnaps, however, I will recommend skipping those that contain chunks of ginger as it might be overwhelming when it comes to balancing the flavors of the dessert.
- I use fresh peppermint leaves but you can also use add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (edible grade) to the ice cream base once it is chilled.
peppermint white chocolate ice cream and gingersnap crust pie
peppermint white chocolate ice cream
yields: 1 quart
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh peppermint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons plain full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup peppermint bark, chopped1. Place all the ingredients from the milk to the white chocolate in a medium-sized thick bottomed saucepan and heat on medium-high heat. Bring the contents to a rolling boil and cook for 3 minutes with constant stirring, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
2. While the contents of the saucepan are simmering, quickly whisk the cornstarch and water in a small mixing bowl. Increase the heat to medium-high and quickly whisk in the cornstarch slurry, allow the mixture to boil for about 2 minutes with constant stirring until it thickens and acquires a thick custard like consistency. Remove from stove and pass the liquid through a strainer to remove any peppermint leaves and clumps.
3. Whisk the hot ice cream base slowly into a large bowl containing the cream cheese and whisk until smooth and completely combined. Transfer the ice cream base to a gallon ziploc bag and keep it in an ice cold water bath. Prepare the ice cream using the chilled ice cream base by following your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions. Fold the chopped peppermint bark in to the prepared ice cream. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer proof airtight container and freeze until ready to use.
gingersnap cookie crust pie
yields: one 9" crust
260gm gingersnap cookies
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted + a little extra to grease the pie pan
2 tablespoons fine-grain sugar
1/2 cup peppermint bark, finely chopped
1. Place a wire rack at mid-level in the oven and preheat to 350F.
2. Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds, four times until you get a fine powder. Transfer the powder to medium size mixing bowl.
3. Using a silicone spatula mix in the melted butter and sugar to form a "dough".
4. Lightly grease a 9" oven and freezer safe baking pan with the extra butter. Line the base of the pan with a circle of parchment paper cut to size. Transfer the cookie "dough" to the pan and press it gently with your fingers pushing it gently to coat and cover the pan. Level the edges of the crust with a small offset spatula.
5. Bake the pie crust in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until you can just smell the gingersnap cookies. Remove the baked pie crust from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Wrap the crust in the pie pan carefully and freeze for at least 2 hours before using.
6. When ready to assemble, soften the peppermint white chocolate ice cream in the refrigerator for about 30minutes. Unwrap the pie and transfer the ice cream, flatten it out using an offset-spatula. Freeze the pie for one hour. Decorate the outer edge of the pie with the chopped peppermint bark by sprinkling it to form a circular border that's around 1 inch in width. Wrap the pie and freeze for at least 2 hours until firm. Cut the pie using a warm and sharp serrated knife.
Note: A huge thank you to Williams-Sonoma for sponsoring this post as part of their #BarkYeah campaign. All opinions expressed are purely my own.