I love homemade ice cream. I love my little chilling bowl that hides in the freezer compartment of my refrigerator waiting to bring joy. And I really love Jeni Britton Bauer’s ice cream recipes. I have very few cookbooks, but this is one that I bought and use all the time. She’s just got it down with the most delicious and unusual flavors and the creamiest custard.
But I was captivated by this recipe for Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream online the other day and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Oh dear. What a giant piece of manure that recipe is! Please do not waste your time with that thing. It’s complicated, it’s time-sucking, it’s a lot of busy baloney that doesn’t have to happen. That said, those little bits of crunchy toast are genius! But the darn stuff was so thick that my little freezer just bogged down and wouldn’t whip it. Boo. Thick, cinnamoney, dense paste with crispy toast inserts. Tasted great, but didn’t have the essential air beaten in. I think the crumbs boiled into the custard was the kiss of death for this thing; even though I strained it out, the custard was really weird after that. I seriously do not know what these people were thinking.
The one thing the recipe does right is tell you how to make these crunchy little cinnamon bits and then stir in after freezing. They really do stay crunchy and make the ice cream a surprising, happy treat.
Dice up 3 slices of plain bread into 1/4-inch cubes. Whisk together 3 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. Drizzle butter mixture over bread cubes and stir to lightly coat. Spread on a shallow baking pan. Bake bread cubes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes total. Cool in pans on racks, then transfer bread crumbs to a bowl.
So my advice, is to make your favorite vanilla ice cream, mine being Jeni’s Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. And sub the vanilla bean in your custard for a couple of cinnamon sticks. Then, make the cinnamon toast croutons from the Epicurious recipe, and stir them in after freezing and before packing and ripening.
Creamy, crunchy, cinnamoney, delicious!