I'm going out on a limb to say this will probably be one of my least popular posts of all time. Why? Because I'm pretty sure I'm the only one under the age of 80 who buys Grape-Nuts on a regular basis. But I can't help it. I love that cereal! And I especially love the ice cream!
Grape nut ice cream is one of those flavors that lurks in the far corner of the menu board for one reason and one reason alone: to appease the grumpy guy down the street that orders a single scoop at the same time every day like he has for the past 40 years. If you took it off the menu, you'd never hear the end of it.
For everyone else, though, the decision is tough. What would you rather find in your ice cream: cookie dough, cake batter, candy bars, or Euell Gibbons' favorite health cereal? Then there's the temptation of chocolate-peanut-butter this or coffee-mocha-caramel that or some new maple-walnut-butterscotch-bourbon-pistachio-pecan-praline mash-up, which I will surely love, to complicate matters. Peaceful treaties between historically hostile nations could be hammered out in less time than it takes me to order an ice cream.
That's why I make my own grape nut ice cream at home. I have everything I need right in the pantry and it's always consistently good. (Sometimes grumpy guys have a point!) The secret is in the cereal itself: how those crunchy little nuggets of barley soften and mellow into malty, toothsome perfection. A little bit of malted milk powder sweetens the deal. If you can't find malted milk powder at the store, you can order it through King Arthur Flour or just ask your local ice cream shop for a take-out container of the stuff while waving a couple of dollar bills around. Nothing motivates the teenage summer help like cold hard cash. Or maybe it's the prospect of getting certain indecisive, troublesome female patrons to finally leave. We may never know for sure.
Grape Nut Ice Cream
I make my ice cream the old-fashioned way: with organic raw eggs. You are under no obligation to do the same. If you're worried about salmonella, your options are many: Use pasteurized eggs instead. Or leave out the eggs entirely for a very serviceable Philadelphia-style ice cream. Or pull out your favorite cooked custard-style ice cream cookbook (like David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop) and modify this recipe using egg yolks and a thermometer. Or pull out your favorite cornstarch-based, egg-free ice cream cookbook (like Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home) and modify her base. It's your kitchen after all.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 heaping tablespoons malted milk powder, like Horlick's or Carnation
3/4 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time, then whisk for 1 minute more. Add the cream, milk, and malted milk powder, and whisk for another minute until the sugar is dissolved. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually spin for 25 minutes).
During the last 2 minutes of churning, pour in the grape nuts. Transfer the churned mixture into a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.