Well, in my quest for the perfect eggnog flavored ice cream, I decided to take a detour. The adult flavorings in the eggnog ice cream were simply too confusing to work out in one batch. (Where did that rum go again? Oh, I forgot; I hate rum.)
This is a wonderful Christmas flavored ice cream. It's also a very pretty pink, always a plus! And look at those delightful little candy cane morsels in there! This is from the Best Ice Cream Cookbook Ever, by Peggy Fallon, one of my finds at a used book sale in October. I'm giving you her directions, then my "lazy mom" spin.
CANDY CANE ICE CREAM
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup crushed candy cane (about 3)
2 egg yolks
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup crushed candy cane pieces
In a saucepan, heat the cream, milk, 1/4 cup crushed candy and sugar until nearly boiling, and the candy is all dissolved, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk the yolks in a separate bowl, add about 1 cup of the hot mixture, and whisk the yolk mixture back into the custard base. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened. A candy thermometer will read 160F, but it's not really necessary. Warning: do not let this mixture boil, because it will cause the egg to separate. Remove from the heat and cool this mixture on the counter for an hour, then stir in the extracts, and cool in the refrigerator at least 6 hours, and up to 3 days. Process in your ice cream maker according to directions, or follow the directions for freezing without the ice cream maker in my strawberry ice cream post. When the ice cream reaches soft serve stage, add the remaining candy cane pieces, process 1 minute more to incorporate, and freeze at least 3 hours.
As I did it (what, you thought I wouldn't find a better/easier way?):
In a large microwavable container (I use a 2 quart batter bowl from Pampered Chef), heat 1 cup each cream and milk with sugar and 1/4 cup candy cane bits. Microwave for one minute at a time, stirring after each minute, until sugar and candy cane are dissolved, about 5 minutes. The custard base will take on its pretty pink color as the candy cane dissolves. Whisk the egg yolks in another container, stir in some of the hot mixture, and then whisk into the hot mixture. Return to the microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time, until the mixture is hot and thickened. This took me about 3 minutes. Warning: don't let the mixture boil with the egg yolks in it! Let it sit about 5 minutes, then whisk in the extracts and the balance of the cream and milk. Chill for 6 hours or more, then freeze as directed by your ice cream maker, adding the 1/2 cup of candy cane pieces a minute before the processing is done. Freeze in the freezer at least 3 hours before serving. Note: I let my custard base cool overnight in the fridge, and had to whisk back in a skin that had formed on the top. It was no big deal. Note that I use my 2 quart batter bowl for mixing up the custard, and to store the ice cream in the freezer. It comes with its very own lid, which is a big plus in my world. It also has a handle, which seals the deal for me!
Two important notes:
1. If you use those red and green colored candy canes, I'm betting your ice cream will be rather gray. I suggest the traditional red ones only.
2. Do not let your children egg you on to try smashing the candy canes with your rolling pin! Both the big and little boys were in favor of smacking the canes with the rolling pin, so I tried it with the first one, and the cello wrapper burst, spraying little powdery candy bits all over the counter. Of course, you can hear in your head the choruses about how awesome this display of idiocy was. What works is to put a cane in a paper towel, folded over once, and gently roll it until it's crunched up. Safe and boring.
Finally, you can think of this as "diet ice cream". I only took one scoop, shown below, and didn't want to eat anything else for hours, because I only want to drink water after eating mints. Excellent result!
If you don't have an ice cream scooper that gives you these nice round puffs, get one from Pampered Chef. If you don't have a Pampered Chef lady, let me know; I have two I can share with you!