One of the questions I hear often is, “What do you do with all the bread you bake?” Truthfully, we normally don’t have a ton of leftovers; and if I know a loaf won’t be finished within a couple days I’ll usually freeze pre-cut slices. But every so often I wind up with a hunk of bread that’s just a little too stale for the freezer.
Sure, that bread could make some pretty fine croutons or breadcrumbs. Or it could be tossed in brown butter and sugar, baked until deliciously golden and nutty, and spun into a quart of homemade ice cream. Add a swirl of jam, and you’ve got breakfast for dessert? Dessert for breakfast? Either way — delicious.
This toast and jam ice cream starts with a creamy and slightly tangy buttermilk custard base. Once done churning, simply alternate layers of ice cream, brown butter crumbs and jam and freeze until firm. If you like toasty bits in every bite you can add the brown butter crumbs during the last minute of churning for more even distribution. You may not use all the crumbs, but save extras for sprinkling on top…if you can resist snacking on them beforehand!
Toast and Jam Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart / Inspired by Salt & Straw and Tartine
For the buttermilk ice cream base:
- 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp / 125g granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp dry milk powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp / 40g light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the caramelized bread crumbs:
- 168g (~2 slices) day-old bread (I used sourdough)
- 30g (2 Tbsp) butter
- 67g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Generous pinch of kosher salt
- ~1/2 storebought or homemade jam
- Make the buttermilk custard base: Combine the cream and buttermilk in a large measuring cup.
- Combine 100g (1/2 c) of sugar, dry milk powder, and xanthan gum in a small bowl and whisk well. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and remaining 25g (2 T) sugar and whisk until the yolks are lighter in color, about 1 minute.
- In a medium pot, combine the corn syrup and half (1 1/2 c) of the buttermilk/cream mixture. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the pot over medium heat and cook stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved (about 3 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat. Start whisking the yolk mixture and continue to whisk constantly while slowly drizzling the hot liquid into the yolks.
- Scrape the entire mixture back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (it should register ~170F on a digital thermometer). Strain into a heatproof and airtight container and whisk in the remaining buttermilk/cream mixture. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 6 hours and up to 1 week.
- Make the caramelized bread crumbs: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Crumble the bread into small, corn kernel-sized bits.
- In a skillet, heat the butter until it melts, then continue to cook until it starts to brown. Remove from heat and stir in the bread crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring a few times during baking, until the bread bits are well-toasted and a deep, dark brown.
- Cool completely then store in an air-tight container until ready to use. (They can be made a few days in advance and stored at room temperature.)
- Churn the ice cream: Whisk 1/4 tsp kosher salt into the chilled buttermilk base. Churn according to the instructions for your machine, until the mixture has the texture of soft serve. Transfer to a freezer-friendly container, alternating with dollops of jam and generous sprinklings of bread crumbs. (If you prefer, you can add the desired amount of bread crumbs during the last minute of churning.) Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, then cover with a lid. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. It will keep for up to 3 months.