If there is one regret I have about having an unconventional wedding (and it is not really a serious regret, just something I occasionally think about, when I am in one of my more superficial moods) it is that we never registered, and we asked people to not give gifts, which means that I never got to ask for the one utterly unnecessary kitchen appliance that I really want to have: an ice cream maker. (DEAR SANTA CLAUS: Take note. If you’re feeling generous, I’d settle for an aquamarine KitchenAid with an ice cream maker attachment.)
But luckily for me, I have this cookbook called Your Frigidaire Recipes, all about how to make all of your meals using a fridge as your main cooking implement. And luckily for me, said cookbook has a chapter called “Cooking With Canned Milk.” And luckily for me, said chapter has instructions for a few fairly convincing ice cream substitutes, the best of which is for a little something called Peanut Butter Cream.
Sadly for you, I am in Canada visiting my ancestral home, and “Your Frigidaire Recipes” is in my apartment Los Angeles, and I forgot to take a photo of the actual recipe page, so I am just recreating this from memory (which has never gone wrong before). But basically, here is what you need and what you do:
Take a bunch of peanut butter (2 cups? I think?) and cream it with sugar (maybe ½ a cup? Wow, this is such a helpful recipe). Then blend the peanut butter sugar mixture with water (at least a cup) until it dissolves. It will have a fairly unfortunate color and consistency, but don’t let it put you off. Then! Pour in a can or two of evaporated milk. Whip it, put it in your freezer, let it partially set, take it out, re-whip it, freeze it, and VOILA. It’s kind of like ice cream and it tastes like a nutter butter, and you probably want to eat it on your tiki-themed balcony. Your Frigidaire Recipes suggests topping it with chocolate sauce, and, yes, it’s true, you probably want to do that. I topped it with Kalhua, which wasn’t half-bad either.
This froze much more solidly than I expected, but with a quick microwave zap, it was pretty close to ice cream texture. I speculate that in the 1930s and 1940s it would have worked a bit differently because, I assume, freezers maybe wouldn’t have been able to get as cold as they do now (this is pure conjecture), and it’s also conceivable that the formulation of evaporated milk and peanut butter were different (I imagine that milk with higher fat content, for instance would have frozen a little less solidly).
Tastier than an aspic, and no less exciting! Next time, I will make it in my brain mold.