For the most part, I tend to be a big believer in everything in moderation. I will never shy away from a gorgeous steak, a big beautiful glass of malbec, or a cup of the most delicious duck fat fries. That being said, I try to balance those meals with lots of vegetables and a healthy dose of exercise. Now, before you think me too virtuous, I have a confession: all moderation goes out the window when it comes to ice cream. Especially this Oreo Sweet Cream Ice Cream. I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth, typically preferring salty/crunchy treats, but for ice cream or gelato, I have no restraint. A few years ago on an epic European vacation with my husband, we actually had a goal to eat gelato at least once day and truthfully, it was usually twice! Thankfully it was a trip also filled with lots of walking or I’m quite certain my pants would not have fit upon our return.
With that said, it should come as no surprise that I also adore making ice cream at home. It’s not something I do all that often as it is definitely easier to run to the store and pick up a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (latest obsession: Americone Dream. Try it. You can thank me later.). When I do make it, though, I’m always a bit regretful that it isn’t more of a regular habit.
One of my go to sources for great home ice cream recipes is Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream fame. She penned a fantastic cookbook a few years ago that really is an essential in the ice cream canon – and it won a James Beard award! So, you know, it’s totally legit. Anyhow, her basic Sweet Cream Ice Cream is an absolute must try recipe. I’ve adapted it slightly by adding oreos early in the mixing process to let them blend up and make a creamy, dark, oreo-tinged summer dessert that my whole family loves. The sweet cream is also fabulous as a base for berries, corn (yes! try it in August when the corn is really perfectly sweet), and caramel. I can’t recommend it enough.
Britton Bauer has a slightly unconventional take on her approach to ice cream – she uses cream cheese, corn starch, and (gasp!) just the slightest bit of corn syrup to keep things smooth and with a texture more consistent with gelato then standard hard pack ice cream. You should really use an ice cream maker for the best results, but you can absolutely get away with a manual churn or just popping it in the freezer if you really need to.
With Memorial Day fast approaching, make a batch and stick it in the freezer for a perfect after BBQ treat!
- 2 cups milk, divided
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 16 oreo cookies, gently crushed, divided
- In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup of the milk and the cornstarch to form a slurry. Set aside.
- Next, in a sauce pan, whisk together the remaining milk, cream, sugar, salt, and corn syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook for four minutes.
- Stir in the cornstarch slurry and return the mixture to a boil, then cook for approximately 2 more minutes.
- In a separate bowl, add ¼ cup of the warm cream mixture to the cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Mix in the remaining cream mixture.
- Prepare a large ice bath.
- Pour the warm cream mixture into a large freezer bag, seal the bag tightly, and place in the ice bath until cool.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture to your ice cream maker and add in half of the crushed oreos.
- Process according to your machine's directions (I find this usually takes about 25-30 minutes).
- At the end of processing, add the remaining oreos and mix for 30 seconds or so to incorporate.
- Transfer to a freezer safe container and let set for a few hours or enjoy immediately.