I was actually shocked when I came to the US and had a really hard time finding grape nut ice cream. I thought “every country must have this delicious blend of vanilla custard and chewy grape nuts.” I was in for a dose of true disappointment. The only place in Brooklyn that had grape nut ice cream was a place called Taste the Tropics on the corner of Ave D and Nostrand Ave. (Yes I’m a Brooklyn girl!) It wasn’t an easy find in the ice cream aisle at any local supermarkets and I realized it was sort of an odd combination that was popularized in only certain parts of America.
My grape nut memories are sweet as the treat itself. They go all the way back to quiet Sunday evenings in rural St Mary, Jamaica, when all the kids jumped for joy at the sound of “creamy’s” horn. Creamy was the affectionate name given to the 1 or 2 guys who sold ice-cream from a wooden box strapped on the back of a dirt bike. They used a classic bike horn to alert every tiny community they rode into, that the Sunday dessert had arrived. Kids would file out of their homes with pocket money, cups, bowls and spoons. Even in 90 degree Jamaican heat, the ice cream was solid and delicious. There was always an array of flavors — rum and raisin, rainbow, (fake) pistachio and my favorite, grapenut ice cream.
I’m so psyched that I’ve finally made homemade grapenut ice cream. All of the things that seemed so elusive are actually very simple. Moreover, I figured out a way to make this dessert using a NO CHURN method! This is not typical for a custard based ice cream. It generally has to be churned to become the texture it needs to be. My social media friends challenged me to share no churn recipes and I accepted the challenge. I hope you will love this recipe as much as I do and you will definitely give it a try.
For this recipe you will need:
- Blender or food processor
- Wooden spoon
- Medium saucepan
- Metal bowl or glass bowl that can withstand heat
- Measuring cups
- Heavy metal loaf pan (frozen at least overnight)
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream + ¼ cup for blending
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 6 eggs, separated
- 2 tsp real vanilla extract
- 1 cup grape nut cereal
- Crack the eggs, separate egg yolks and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk both white and light brown sugars into the egg yolks until pale and fluffy.
- Place a medium saucepan with 1.5 cups of water on medium high heat. Place a metal bowl or heat resistant bowl over the saucepan. Be sure that the water does not touch the bowl. To the bowl add 1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream and allow the cream to warm through. This will happen slowly and take about 7-10 minutes. Make sure the cream doesn't boil.
- Use a measuring cup to slowly stream small amounts of the warm cream into the egg yolk and sugar mixture. As you are streaming in the warm cream, whisk the yolks vigorously to incorporate the cream and prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Once all of the cream is whipped into the eggs, place the egg mixture over the medium saucepan on the heat. Using a wooden spoon, gently cook the custard over the steam produced from the saucepan until it is close to the consistency of condensed milk. This is not something you should walk away from.
- Once the custard is cooked and is at the right consistency, stir in the remaining 1.5 cups of heavy cream. Cover the custard and place in the refrigerator until it has chilled completely, at least 2 hours.
- Once the custard is fully chilled, stir in vanilla and grape nuts. Transfer mixture to a FROZEN loaf pan and freeze covered for at least 4 hours. It is crucial that the loaf pan is frozen well ahead of time. The grape nuts will sink to the bottom of the mixture by the time it is frozen. That is normal.
- Use a knife to cut the frozen base and place it into a blender or food processor. Add ¼ cup of heavy cream or whole milk to help the custard to blend well. Pulse the blender or the processor until the cream is smooth.
- Transfer the cream back to the loaf pan. It is important that you pulse the mixture. Do not leave the blender or food processor running. It may ruin the grape nuts.
- Place the ice cream back into the freezer and leave for an additional four hours.
- Once the ice cream is frozen, scoop and enjoy!