Guess what kind of books I have the most of in my office? Cookbooks, of course! My little girl, Amber, is a bookworm. Aside from her favorite chapter books like Ivy and Bean, she enjoys reading my cookbooks. Her favorite is Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna. This one is different from any other that I have because the illustrator, Lauren Kaelin, created three cartoon characters to guide readers through the cookbook. They are Walty the Cow, Whitty the Chicken, and Peanut Butter the Pig. They go on an adventure and try different kinds of ice cream.
“Knock! Knock!” Amber said with excitement outside my office.
“Who’s there?” I asked.
“Amber with Walt, Whitty, and PB,” she said.
“Oh boy. She is going to ask for a scoop of ice cream,” I thought.
“Mommy! Look!” she said, pointing at a page in the Ample Hills Creamery. “Breakfast trash ice cream! Doesn't this look interesting? Since we have cereal, we should make this!” Amber suggested. It was a yummy-looking home-made ice cream infused with cereals found from around the house.
Amber and I adopted the recipe from this cookbook and used our own selection of “breakfast trash” to “trash” this recipe. We are both fans of Apple Jacks, so that’s what we went for.
“Mommy this is the most delicious ice cream we’ve ever made,” Amber said and smiled broadly after she tried this ice cream for the first time.
“Mmmmm. I really like this too!” I added.
“This ice cream has cereal in it. Is it healthy?” she asked, tilting her head. She was thinking deeply about this question.
“Well, it’s good for our mental health!”
Here is the recipe of Breakfast Trash Ice Cream, adapted by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna. Bon Appetit!
Breakfast Trash Ice Cream
FOR THE CEREAL ICE CREAM
- 3 cups 720 ml whole milk
- 2 cup 132 g Apple Jack
- ½ cup 100 g organic cane sugar
- ½ cup 60 g skim milk powder
- 1⅔ cups 400 ml heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
FOR THE FRUITY BREAKFAST MIX-IN
- Butter for the baking sheet
- 2 cups 60 g Apple Jack
- ½ cups 20 g Honey graham crackers
- ⅓ cup 40 g skim milk powder
- 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
- ½ cup 120 g unsalted butter, melted
Make the cereal ice cream:
- Prepare an ice bath in the sink or in a large heatproof bowl.
- In a large saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until it starts to steam, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cereals. Cover the pan and let the cereal steep for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the cereal in the strainer to extract as much milk as possible. Don’t worry if some of the cereal “pulp” pushes through into the ice cream. That’s totally OK. Return the cereal-infused milk to the saucepan.
- Add the sugar and skim milk powder. Stir with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Make sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain (any remaining sugar granules will dissolve over the heat). Stir in the cream.
- Clip a candy 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, until the mixture reaches 110°F (45°C), 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly pour ½ cup (120 ml) of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Continue to whisk slowly until the mixture is an even color and consistency, then whisk the egg-yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture.
- Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and continue cooking the mixture, stirring often, until it reaches 165°F (75°C), 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the ice cream base through a wire-mesh strainer into a storage container and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cool.
Make the fruity breakfast mix-in:
- Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C). Butter a 12-by-18-inch baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, crush the Apple Jack and Honey graham crackers with your hands (or meat pounder) to about half their original size. The goal here isn’t to pulverize them into dust (though a little cereal dust is OK, as it will help bind everything together later on). Add the skim milk powder and sugar and toss to combine. Pour the butter over the cereal mix and work it together with your hands, squeezing it into clumps and then breaking it apart, almost like kneading dough.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cereal just begins to toast and turn brown. Set aside to cool completely.
- Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Assemble the ice cream
- Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, folding in pieces of the fruity breakfast mix-in as you do. Use as much of the mix-in as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. Serve immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.
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Chief Entertainment Officer
Melissa is 100% MIT (Made in Taiwan), where she worked as a food writer. She’s also worked alongside renowned chefs like Ming Tsai and Joanne Chang, honing her craft and gathering stories along the way. Part story-teller, part educator, and part food lover, Melissa brings a special blend of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to her work. She blends her Asian background, her new home of New England, and love of food and culture to bring joy, optimism, and inspiration to food lovers and fun-seekers everywhere.
What sparked your passion for the industry?
The desire to make things by hand. The joy of sharing delicious, hearty food with students. The opportunity for people to get connected via cooking and baking. When a child smiled broadly and told me it’s the best scone he has ever made and eaten, it really made my day!
In your opinion, what’s the most important course?
Well, I usually take a peek at the wine list first. I like tapas style, so the course doesn’t really matter. Cheese and charcuterie are always a good place to start. And since I’m a pastry chef, there is always room for dessert!
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