Pickle Ice Cream w/ Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl

No, I haven’t finally taken leave of my senses! This is indeed a recipe for pickle ice cream…with peanut butter. Peanut butter caramel at that. Whist it might sound like I’ve thrown everything at this but the kitchen sink, all for the sake of sensationalist recipes, as ever there is method in my wild thinking.

For starters July is both National Pickle Month AND national Ice Cream month. See? Already I have a reason! I’ll have to come clean though, admitting I’m not an fan of pickles myself. The texture that is. The zesty, vinegar flavour has however proved quite addictive to me over the years. Which is where this recipe is a win.

The ice cream here carries the zesty, almost herbaceous flavour of the pickle itself without any of the (for me) unappealing nubs of vegetable. It carries a certain freshness to it which makes consuming it on Summer days all the more appealing.

So where does the peanut butter come on? Well, as so is often the case with me I fell down a food rabbit hole whilst doing research on the ever so humble pickle and its varying uses. One of the ones that popped up and immediately piqued my interest was the “PB & P” sandwich- Peanut Butter & Pickle. The peanut butter and pickle sandwich isn’t some new viral trend but has in fact been a low-profile favorite in the U.S. since it appeared on deli counters during the Great Depression. A little mentioned stalwart of many a grandparent out there it would seem. On trying it, the way that the creamy peanut butter plays off the crunchy, briny pickle is really kind of amazing. Give it a go!

Salted caramel swirl ice cream is one of my favorites- both taste and visuals are satiated tracing the sweet rivulets through sweet creamy mounds. So why not include that here. I use peanut butter as a base for the caramel swirl in order to tie all my reference points together – paying homage to bygone favorites with a nod to my own personal ones. And hey, it’s Summer! Who doesn’t like ice cream?

Check out this #recipe for Pickle Ice Cream w/ Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl

Ingredients

Pickle Ice Cream

  • 2 half-sour pickles
  • 1/4 cup pickle brine
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Peanut Butter Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Teaspoon light corn syrup, or glucose
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Method

Peanut Butter Caramel

  1. Heat granulated sugar and glucose in a heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly (use a heat-resistant spoon or spatula). Melt the sugar into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn it!
  2. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the peanut butter until melted and fully combined. The caramel will bubble rapidly when the peanut butter is added.
  3. Return to heat when it’s combined and cook for 1 minute without stirring
  4. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the heavy cream in a slow, steady stream. There will be a steamy reaction so please be careful! After all the heavy cream has been added, stop stirring and allow to boil for 1 minute. Keeping watching in case it bubble sup too much. If it does, reduce the heat.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Set aside to cool to room temperature before using in the ice cream. The sauce will thicken as it cools

Pickle Ice Cream

  1. Combine the pickles and brine in the carafe of a blender, then blend until pureed, about 1 minute
  2. Strain the puree and discard any pulp. Save 1/3 cup pickle liquid and discard the rest
  3. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy
  4. Add the condensed milk, honey and pickle liquid to the cream cheese and continue to mix until smooth
  5. In a separate large bowl whip the heavy cream until firm peaks form. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk/ pickle mixture until combined
  6. Fold this lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended, being careful not to overwhip in case you deflate the mixture
  7. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into a plastic container, or loaf pan, cover and freeze, for 1 hour. Keep the cream/ pickle mix in the fridge, covered
  8. Remove from the freezer and drizzle over 1/2 caramel sauce in swirling pattern. Pour over another 1/3 of the cream/pickle mixture and return the ice cream to the freezer for another hour
  9. Repeat Step 8 as above with the remaining caramel sauce and cream/pickle mixture. Before returning to the freezer run a chop stick or knife through the ice cream the swirl the mixtures together.
  10. Cover and return to the freezer for minimum hours, or overnight.
  11. To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving so that it is scoopable

Pickle Dust Snack Mix

This bountiful mix of Umami goodness started as an experiment with my air-fryer. I had previously used said air-fryer to dehydrate pears for cake decorations but…could I use it for something else? To dry ingredients so as to alter them altogether? I’m aware that sounds a LOT more intriguing than the actual result. I mean it’s not like I’m going all Star Trek and altering matter! Using my air fryer I dried pickles to the point where, using a spice grinder I ground them to a powder with the zingy briny flavor of pickles. (Trivia- it remains my most viewed piece of social media with 29.7K views on TikTok, albeit with some questionable comets!)

A point to note on the use of pickles. Using “Bread & Butter” pickles doesn’t work. The sugar content of the slices yields a piece that on dehydration becomes sticky, gummy and more chewy than what is needed. The spears that I used were 1/2 sour and quartered and ended up looking like “the Chocolate Lady from Sponge Bob Squarepants“…or so I’m told!

I digress! Once you have your pickle dust, it along some no fuss ranch dip seasoning become the flavor bombs in this tasty and utterly moreish snack mix. In fact, so easy is it to make that I even roped the kids in to doing it. After much chorusing of, “Not another handful” they eventually managed to combine the ingredients into the savory buttery coated mix you read of now.

Once It’s made and cooled you can store it in a tin at room temperature and it’s good for a couple of weeks. I find this is great for this summer time of year when it can be bagged up for road-trips, picnics, or taking along to BBQs and cookouts. Oh! and also perfection with an ice cold beer.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Shreddies
  • 2 cups cheerios
  • 2 cups Chex
  • 2 cups mini-pretzels
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon pickle dust*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pack (1oz) ranch dry seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons half-sour pickle juice, from the jar
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 300oF
  2. In a large bowl combine the Shreddies, Cheerios, Chex, mini-pretzels, pecans and peanuts. Give them a good stir to mix up
  3. In a pan, combine the butter, pickle dust, garlic powder, ranch seasoning, pickle juice and vinegar. heat over a medium heat, whisking occasionally until the butter has melted. Continue to heat for another 2 minutes
  4. Remove the butter mixture from the heat and pour over the cereal mix
  5. Using a spoon (or when it’s cooled for a few minutes you can use your hands) mix up to ensure all the cereal is coated and slick with the butter mixture
  6. Transfer the buttered cereal mixture to a large cookie sheet and place in your preheated oven
  7. Bake for between 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cereal starts to lightly brown
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray on a cooling rack
  9. When fully cooled, transfer to an airtight container, or jars, for storage and eventual scoffing!

* I make pickle dust by dehydrating pickles in my air-fryer. For this recipe I dehydrated 2 medium half-sour pickles, cut lengthwise into quarters. Arrange on your system’s drying rack and dry at 150oF for 6 1/2 hrs. Once they have dried out successfully (they will shrivel up quiet a bit) they will cleanly snap rather than bend. Break them into smaller pieces and using a spice grinder, or coffee grinder, blitz the pickle pieces to a find powder. This will give you 1 tablespoon of pickle dust (powder). Keep in an airtight container until ready to use.

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