Sunday, April 5, 2015

Honey Bunny Crunch Frozen Custard

Recently, I found 4 baby rabbits laying the grass. They did not even have their eyes open yet, so I guess their mother fell victim to a predator. I scooped them up and put them in a box.  Luckily, there was someone close by that had a daughter that was involved in rabbit rescue, so I gave them to him.  Last I heard was that they were coming along quite well and were starting to get fur and did open their eyes.

Since it is Easter Sunday and the rabbits were still on my mind, I decided to name this frozen custard accordingly. In the early stages of creation, I was thinking of a custard base made with some kind of cereal soak.  The soak idea stems from Christina Tosi's cereal milk, as sold at the Milk Bar. Since there are quite a bit of cereals that are heavy in sugar, I wanted something that was not so sweet.  Then it came to me - crunchy honey oat granola bars. After soaking, I added honey.  This gave it more flavor and reduced the amount of processed sugar. 

The end result is a base with a honey oatmeal flavor. Quite tasty by itself, but I could not resist to put some crunch into the smooth cream. Chopped up granola bars coated in dark chocolate were the perfect add in. The reason it is referred to as custard is that it does not freeze hard like your standard ice cream.  After 2 days in the freezer it still remained soft.  Not like soft serve ice cream, but not like regular ice cream either.

It is that time of year. The time to get outside more- so go to the lake, fire up the grill, have a picnic and enjoy some homemade frozen custard! You will need to plan ahead due to the steep time of 3 hours and the time it takes to freeze. This recipe makes about 1 quart of ice cream.

Honey Bunny Crunch Frozen Custard
by Flourtrader

1 cup and 2 tbs milk
2 1/4 cup cream
2 cups chopped crunchy honey oat granola bars, divided (about 10 bars)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbs invert sugar (recipe:dessert components)
3 eggs (room temp)
1/4 cup 2 tbs sugar
1/2 cup 2 tbs honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pour milk and cream into a saucepan. Add one cup of chopped granola. Place over medium high heat and let come to a boil. Remove from heat and cover.  Let sit for 3 hours for flavors to meld.

During that time, set up a double boiler over medium high heat and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place semi sweet chocolate chips in the top pot and let melt, stirring occasionally. Once all is melted and smooth, stir in the chopped granola. After coating all the pieces, empty onto the parchment paper.  Separate all the pieces with a fork, making sure no big clumps remain.  Place sheet in the refrigerator for chocolate to set up.

In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Go back to the saucepan of the cereal cream and strain the liquid into a bowl. Discard the cereal and pour the liquid back into a saucepan.  Add honey and invert sugar (if using) and place over medium heat. Stir and cook mixture until all is melted and completely mixed in with the cream. Remove from heat.

Run the mixer on low, slowly whisking the egg/sugar batter.  As you continue to whisk, pour a small, steady stream of the cream mixture into the eggs.  Continue with this process until all the cream has been mixed into the egg batter.  Lastly, whisk in the vanilla extract.

Transfer mixture back to saucepan and place over medium heat. Let the custard simmer for about 4-5 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. The temperature should reach 170 to 175 degrees. Then pour mixture into heatproof bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator. Let cool for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Check the chilled chocolate covered granola.  If you still see that the chunks are too large, chop into smaller pieces.  Place back in refrigerator until needed. Once the chilling time is complete for the custard, add to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers' instructions. Toss in the chilled chocolate covered granola chunks at the halfway point of the churning process.  After churning process is complete, transfer to cold custard to a bowl, cover and place in freezer.  Let freeze overnight or until desired consistency is met.

Tips and Notes :

1. If trying another cereal milk flavor, take into consideration the sugar content of the cereal and the elimination of the sweetness of the honey.  For peanut butter/chocolate fans, try Captain Crunch milk soak and add in chunks of Reese cups.

2. The invert sugar is not required if your custard will not be stored in the freezer a long time.  It is mainly used to prevent ice crystals from forming. Just increase the honey content by 2 tbs, which would give you a total of 3/4 of a cup of honey.

3. Do not use chewy granola bars, I used Nature Valley brand crunchy type.

Enjoy your Easter!