Ample Hills Creamery’s The Munchies

Ample Hills Creamery’s The Munchies

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Makes
1 litre
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

Of them all – and this is tough, because New York’s selection of ice cream is second to none – The Munchies at Ample Hills Creamery could be my favourite. Imagine all your guilty pleasures (salted pretzels, Ritz crackers, potato chips and M&Ms) set against a backdrop of more pretzel-infused ice cream for the ultimate creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty indulgence.

It’s Brian Smith’s top pick, too. He’s the ice-cream mastermind behind Ample Hills, along with his wife Jackie Cuscuna, and they kindly shared the recipe from Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). I can’t recommend this smart, fun cookbook enough, and the inventive flavours within its pages (Ooey Gooey Butter Cake runs a close second). At their beloved ice creamery, with locations all around the city, you can even opt for a pretzel or chocolate chip cone, but I like my ice cream in a classic waffle, which lets it shine.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
720ml milk
90g mini salted pretzels
150g organic cane sugar (or golden caster sugar)
60g skim milk powder
400ml pouring cream
2 egg yolks

Munchies mix-in

Quantity Ingredient
40g ritz crackers
60g salted mini pretzels
30g salted potato chips
60g skim milk powder
200g organic cane sugar (or golden caster sugar)
120g unsalted butter, melted
225g m&ms, chopped

Method

  1. Place the milk in a large saucepan over medium–high heat and warm, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes or until it starts to steam. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pretzels. Cover the pan and steep the pretzels for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down on the pretzels to extract as much milk as possible (don’t worry if some of the pretzel ‘pulp’ pushes through into ice cream; that’s totally okay). Return the pretzel-infused milk to the saucepan.
  2. Prepare an ice bath in the sink or in a large heatproof bowl. Add the sugar and skim milk powder to the pretzel-infused milk and whisk until smooth, making sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and no lumps remain (any remaining sugar granules will dissolve over the heat). Stir in the cream. Clip a sugar thermometer to the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and burning, for 5–10 minutes or until the mixture reaches 45°C. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually pour 125 ml of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Continue to whisk slowly until the mixture is an even colour and consistency, then whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring often, for a further 5–10 minutes or until it reaches 75°C.
  4. Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath and cool, stirring occasionally, for 15–20 minutes. Pour the ice-cream base through a fine sieve into a storage container and refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until completely cool.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 135°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  6. To make the munchies mix-in, place the crackers, pretzels and potato chips in a large bowl and, using your hands, break into pieces about a quarter of their original size – the goal here isn’t to pulverise them into dust (though a little dust is okay, as it will help bind everything together later on). Add the skim milk powder and sugar, and toss to combine. Pour over the butter and work the mixture together with your hands, squeezing it into clumps and breaking it apart, almost like kneading dough. Spread the mixture out evenly on the prepared tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the mixture just begins to toast and turn brown. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. Transfer the cooled base to an ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, folding in the munchies mix-in and M&Ms as you go. Use as much of the mix-in as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. Serve immediately or harden in the freezer for 8–12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.

Tip

  • When I made this I only used about half the mix-in. Naturally, I used it as an excuse to make another delicious batch of ice cream.
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Desserts
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