We All Scream (for Bubble Gum Ice Cream!)

We LOVE this ice cream!

One of my favorite food (groups) is ice cream.  Always has been.  In college, I worked in a coffeehouse-slash-ice cream shop, and let’s just say I probably suffered from malnutrition, even though I probably also went over my recommended sugar/fat/calorie allowance every single day of my entire college career.  WhatEVER.  Coffee + ice cream 4 LYFE.

This is a bubble gum ice cream recipe I tried out last summer.  It quickly became Jen’s favorite flavor, and she’s admittedly not even really a fan of most ice cream.  (Fortunately, that’s not a friendship dealbreaker, as we have so many other common obsessions.)  Bonus: I tinted it the most adorable shade of pink!  It turned out as pretty as it was delicious.

Read on for the tutorial and recipe.  Enjoy!

-Viv

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 PREVIEW:

Even shopping for ingredients was fun!

Unwrap the pink bubble gum and drop it in a container:

“Steep” the milk/cream:

 After cooking/cooling the base, it’s time to dial the fun up to 11!  Churning:

Add some gumballs at the end! And try to resist the urge to immerse your whole body in that velvety, silky ambrosia.

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RECIPE:

(Adapted from A Beautiful Mess and The NYT Master Ice Cream Recipe)

Time: 20 minutes plus several hours’ cooling, chilling and freezing

  • cups heavy cream
  • cup whole milk
  • About 3 oz. bubble gum
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • egg yolks
  • Optional:  food color
  • 1 cup gumballs
  1. Combine the milk and cream.  Steep the bubble gum in this mixture in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
  2. Remove and discard the gum, reserving all of the milk/cream mixture. (I just poured it through a strainer over the pot I used for the next step.)
  3. In a small pot, simmer the steeped milk/cream mixture, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Remove pot from heat.
  4. Temper the eggs:  In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream.
  5. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
  6. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl over an ice bath. (Optional:  Add food color to tint the base to your desired hue.) When the ice cream base is cool, cover and let chill in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.   Add the gum balls just before turning off the machine, or by hand, to be certain the colors don’t bleed.
  8. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and store in freezer until firm enough to scoop (at least 2 hours).

Yield: About 1 1/2 pints

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VIV’S NOTES:

You don’t have to use Bubble Tape, but I was too lazy to unwrap individual pieces of gum.  Just make sure you use “regular” or “original” bubble-gum-flavored gum for the most authentic and traditional tasting final product.

I’ve seen some recipes that call for heating the bubble gum in the milk and cream, but apparently that makes it all melty and gooey, making it messier and more difficult to extract.  Cold-steeping worked beautifully, so I recommend planning ahead and accounting for the extra time (totally worth it to avoid cleaning a goopy pan).

Tempering eggs isn’t as hard or intimidating as it seems.  Just work slowly (when adding the hot liquid to the eggs and when adding the tempered eggs back into the rest of the hot liquid), and stir constantly throughout (both steps of) the process.

I used red food color to pump up the pale pinkish color imparted during steeping.  Blue is another traditional shade for bubble gum ice cream, but you’ll need a little more food color to cancel out the hint of pink from the gum and the yellow from the egg yolks.  If you decide to tint your ice cream, go slowly!  You can always add more color, but you can’t remove it if you go too far.  Also, keep in mind the color will lighten up a little after churning.

Experimenting is fun!  Adjust the milk-to-cream ratio for a richer or lighter end result.  Add more or less pink bubble gum, sugar, and/or gumballs to suit your taste.  Just remember that sugar and fat help give the frozen ice cream base its luscious texture (science!), so don’t skimp too much.

This ice cream is really fun for kids (if they’re old enough to chew gum), but adults will enjoy it too.  The jury’s still out on whether Jen and I count as adults, but one thing’s for sure: WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

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2 thoughts on “We All Scream (for Bubble Gum Ice Cream!)

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