This Homemade Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream is so fun. Bright and Minty, with little crunch bits inside. Oh how I love this ice cream.
This minty ice cream is delicious on its own, or try serving it with hot fudge sauce or chocolate magic shell. Mint and chocolate are such a match made in heaven.
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I love ice cream when it’s cold. Maybe I’m unusual in that, but I love to eat cold ice cream when it’s cold out. Oh, and ice cream in the rain is awesome. Not that it rains very often where I love, but a girl can dream, right?
If you’re like me, and love peppermint, This Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream is a winter treat you won’t want to miss!
I used about 31 of those little round peppermint starlights candies to make ¾ cup of crushed peppermint candies.
You could also use candy canes for the candies. Especially if you have a bunch of candy canes leftover.
How do I crush the candies?
To crush the candies, place them, or the candy canes, in a plastic zip top bag. Seal the bag. Place the bag with the candies on a wooden cutting board. And, with the bottom of a sturdy metal measuring cup (like the one in the picture), the bottom part of the handle of a metal ice cream scoop, or a flat meat pounder, smash the heck out of the candies in the bag.
And, it’s way cheaper than therapy to smash those little candies!
Sure, some of the candies will break through the bag a bit. But, they are usually fairly easy to keep contained in the bag.
Oh, and one other tip about the candies.
Crush them up right before you are ready to use them. If you crush them too early, they do have a tendency to stick together in a massive clump. Remember Grandma’s old candy jar with all the candies stuck together? Yeah, just like that.
How to add your candy mix-ins
Since the candies are hard and a bit spiky I decided to add them to the ice cream as I layered the ice cream into the container to put in the freezer.
I was concerned that if I added the crushed hard candies directly to the machine to have them stirred in, they might scratch the sides of the freezer bowl and damage my ice cream machine. If that happened, that would be the second machine I’ve scratched and damaged that way.
If you have a scratch-proof ice cream machine, you may feel more comfortable adding the candies to the machine to mix in for you.
But, if you have one of the ice cream machines that you place the bowl in the freezer, like I do, I recommend adding the candies and mixing them in, as you place the ice cream in the freezer safe storage container.
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Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream Recipe
Peppermint Crunch Ice Cream
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch and set aside.
- Bring the half-and-half just to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly add half of the hot half-and-half mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you pour the hot half-and-half mixture in; then pour this mixture back into the saucepan.
- Place the saucepan back over medium-low heat, and cook the custard, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon; keep a close eye on it, as it should never come to a boil. When thick enough, the custard should register 170°F on a candy thermometer. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl.
- Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream and peppermint extract. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
- Stir the chilled custard. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container, layering and mixing in the crushed peppermint candies, and place it in the freezer until ready to serve.
- When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, wait at least 2 hours, or overnight.