Toasted marshmallow ice cream scoops in a blue bowl
Last year I ate at Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery and fell in love with his Toasted Marshmallow shake (along with the tasty burgers and fries). I’ve had the chance to eat there several times over the last year. That’s why when my sister found out that Spike would signing his new cookbook in the Eastern Market area right after my birthday, she ran down there to get one signed for me. So far I’ve only cooked a few items out of it, but the first one I tackled was the toasted marshmallow shake. That inspired me to recreate the recipe as a straight up ice cream over the summer.

It took me a little longer to figure out the recipe than I thought it would, but I’m finally happy. Mostly, I struggled to figure out a toasting process that made me happy with the final result and, after that, the thickening power of the marshmallows made me reevaluate the cream to milk ratio. The recipe looks a little complicated due to the marshmallow toasting instructions, but otherwise it’s a fairly basic ice cream.  I used, and recommend using, local dairies whenever possible. The milk actually came from Kalona, Iowa and the Kalona Organics brand (I love their new branding!) and the cream came from the smaller, Sheeder Cloverleaf Dairy.

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

10 ounces marshmallows
2 cups skim milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
scant 1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (split in half and scrapped)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

There are two options for toasting the marshmallows in the kitchen. You can use a broiler (not recommended) or use a torch (recommended).

Broiler method:

Move one of the shelves in your oven to the highest possible position and preheat the broiler at high for a few minutes. Meanwhile, line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicon mat and spread the marshmallows over the pan in a single layer. Place the pan directly under the broiler and watching closely, let them start to brown. Once they start to toast remove and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Then flip each marshmallow over and toast the other side. If the marshmallows start to expand too much make sure to remove them before they hit the heating element.

Torch method:

Spread the marshmallows out in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silicon mat (recommended). Light the torch and begin toasting the marshmallows. If the marshmallows catch fire, blow them out, careful not to blow on the torch and mindful that you’re holding something that could burn down your house. You’ll need to rotate the marshmallows to toaste every side. Be careful because the marshmallows can get very hot!

Making the ice cream base

Transfer the toasted marshmallows to the blender. Put the milk and the vanilla bean and scrapings in a heavy bottomed pan and turn the heat to medium. Stir regularly bring the milk up to a light simmer (it should be steaming, but not boiling much). While the milk warms up, put the egg yolks, sugar, and salt into a bowl and whisk together vigorously until the mixture is pale yellow.

Once the milk is hot, remove the vanilla bean and add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the egg yolk mixture while stiring. Once the milk and eggs are well mixed, add a litte more hot milk and mix again. You’re gently warming the eggs so that you don’t end up with creamy scrambled eggs. Then pour the yolk/milk mixture into the milk in the pan and start stiring gently, but constantly. Allow the mixture to heat back up to steaming, but make sure that the mixture doesn’t boil. The mixture should thicken up to about the consistency of heavy cream. Take it off the heat and stir vigoursly for about 3 minutes to cool slightly and then pour into the blender with the marshmallows.

Cover the blender and run it for about a minute to mix well and then allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes (this helps the remaining marshmallow chunks to start breaking down). Run the blender again for about a minute and then add the vanilla and the cold cream and run the blender for about 30 seconds more. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Right before churning in your favorite ice cream maker, whisk the ice cream mixture to throughly blend everything together. Churn in your ice cream maker and then allow the ice cream to ripen (freezer harder) in the freezer for at least two hours.