Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Donut Ice Cream

I double dog dare you to eat a donut-donut ice cream sandwich

The time of summer has come where its so hot your brain and stomach sort of melt together, and the desire for ice cream is full force.

I like to make ice cream, but with the surge of amazing new artisanal flavors and brands, I feel the need to make something totally different and delicious. But not so weird that the kids will deny it.

A few years ago, my husband was a reporter for the now defunct Life Magazine, and we had the honor of eating at a restaurant in Chicago called Moto. He was writing about new food in Chicago and we ate dinner there. The most memorable moment of the meal was the "Donut Milk" dessert, which was a small shotglass of warm milk which looked and felt like milk on the tongue, but tasted like a rich honey glazed donut. 

I have thought often of that drink, how it made me feel so many emotions at once- comfort, humor, nostalgia, college dorms, Sunday mornings, etc. while drinking it.  I have wanted to make it for so long, but haven't felt the right moment for how I could use the amazing flavor in a new way. While racking my brain for a good ice cream flavor,  it struck me that making the donut milk will be the perfect base for a flavorful, donut ice cream. And a note to self that in the winter this will make a killer hot drink for the campfire. 

But here is the dilemma- I bake with organic ingredients, yet I also have two kids who love the local donut shop. We actually have one of the best old fashioned, old school donut stores in all of New York City called Peter Pan Bakery. The women wear mint green and pink uniforms and the baker can be seen working at 3 in the morning through the window. (Witnessed on my last moms-gone-wild night out). 

I do love making homemade donuts, but I usually do it in the winter to celebrate Hanukkah. (Fried jelly donuts symbolize the oil in the menorah that miraculously lasted for 8 nights instead of 1). They take lots of time to rise and sweating into a vat of boiling oil is pretty unappealing in the summertime heat. So with great humility and for a lack of a better word for being a totally lazy mom in an overheated summer kitchen, we will use the humble Honey Dip from Peter Pan Bakery for this cause.  (If you do make homemade donuts, you really are better than me at the moment and I am sorry if I let you down.) My organic donut recipe will come in the future when life is feeling less boiling and kids going summertime-crazy. For now, making life easy and delicious makes the most sense to me.

First rip up three donuts. 

Add milk and heavy cream to saucepan

Bring to a boil, then cover for 25 minutes to infuse the flavor

Strain the mixture in a fine mesh sieve. 

Beat egg yolks and sugar until light and thick. This is an important step

You can use a saucepan or microwave to get the custard going. It should coat the spoon. 

It is ready when the mixture thickens up and you can mark your finger down the back. 

The glory.

the critic's reaction

the spoon is licked clean


3 honey dip/glaze donuts
1 cup organic heavy cream
2 cups organic whole milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 
6 organic egg yolks
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
*extra donuts for double dog dare ice cream sandwich 

1. Rip donuts up into pieces, put into a small heavy bottomed saucepan.
2. Add milk and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover pot, let sit for 25 minutes for donut flavors to absorb.
3. Set up a medium size bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top. Pour donut mixture through strainer, with a spatula. 
4. In a medium size bowl or standing mixer, whip the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is light and thick, about 4 minutes. 
5. Now to make the custard base two ways:
a. Microwave method: Warm donut milk in microwave safe glass bowl for 1 minute. With standing mixer on low speed, slowly pour the warm milk into the egg/sugar mixture until combined. Then pour everything back into the glass bowl, and put into the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes, stopping it every 1 minute to whisk and mix. Check more frequently if mixture gets hot, this is to ensure the eggs do not curdle and overcook. Once hot, custard should be thicker and noticeably coating spoon. Add vanilla, let cool to warm temperature, then cover bowl with plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

b. Stove top method: Pour donut mixture into medium heavy bottom saucepan. On low heat, slowly add the egg/sugar mixture and bring to medium heat, whisking frequently until mixture is hot and almost simmering. Whisk constantly to prevent curdling, and after 5 minutes, custard should be thicker. Pour into glass bowl, add vanilla, and let cool to room temperature.

6. Once your donut cream mixture is chilled, follow the directions on your ice cream maker.

*Note: If you are a 6 year old boy who cleans their room, or a total glutton, you can buy extra donuts for a donut ice cream sandwich. Split the donut in half, and slather with a thick layer of donut ice cream, refreeze for 20 minutes then eat. Peter Pan Bakery does this with their donuts and all kinds of flavored ice cream, it is the ultimate combination!


  1. that sounds delicious, and your boys are absolutely adorable!!! :)

  2. That combination of donut and cream sounds heavenly! You should try a donut bread pudding. I saw Nigella make it once and it looked heavenly.

  3. your daughter is the cutest little girl I have seen in a long time!

  4. lady, I think these can cure my headaches!! : )