If you love both popcorn and ice cream then our recipe for popcorn ice cream is about to become your new favorite treat. You’ve got the sweet, rich, creaminess of vanilla ice cream and the corny flavor of freshly popped popcorn. Together it makes the most flavorful dessert.
Homemade ice cream can be made with either a cooked egg custard base or a no-cook, dairy only base. This particular recipe uses dairy only but, one of these days, we’ll make the other version as well. Custard ice creams have a richer mouth feel but the dairy only style is much faster to make.
The key to getting the popcorn flavor is in our recipe for popcorn milk. If you’ve tried our recipes for Pink Gin Popcorn Shots, Pumpkin Smoothie, or Caramel Panna Cotta then you’re already familiar with our method. You can infuse the milk with popcorn flavor either with a low and slow cook or, overnight, in the fridge. The latter is how we usually do it.
A traditional, dairy-only, ice cream recipe is quick and easy. Once we have our popcorn milk ready, the rest of the process is very fast.
Just add the popcorn milk, whatever other dairy you’re using, heavy cream in our case, along with sugar, vanilla and a touch of salt to an ice cream maker. When you’re making ice cream at home, you can choose how light or rich to make it by the type of dairy you use. If you opt for only milk you’ll get a lighter ice cream whereas heavy cream alone will result in a rich, super-premium style ice cream. We like a combination of cream and full fat whole milk for a great balance.
As for the home ice cream maker, you have a choice of two styles. Machines with a built-in compressor do not need to be kept in the freezer but are bulkier and more expensive. If space is a consideration, a smaller model works great but you’ll need to keep the bowl in the freezer for at least 24 hours prior to churning the ice cream. We normally just keep the bowl tucked in the back of the freezer at all times for any last minute ice cream emergency needs.
The consistency right out of the machine is like a soft serve and it’s very tempting to eat. But it will be better if you give it a couple of hours in the freezer for more of a traditional ice cream texture. Top it with chocolate sauce, crunchy popcorn and a dusting of our chocolate caramel popcorn seasoning for a hit of sweet and salty. We promise you’ll be hooked.
To make the popcorn milk, add the 2 cups of whole milk to a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the cup of popped popcorn, cook for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to cool.
When the milk has cooled, place in the fridge overnight. The next day, strain out the popcorn.
To make the ice cream, whisk together the popcorn milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Pour into an ice cream maker and blend according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Once processed, freeze for a couple of hours and then serve topped with popcorn, chocolate sauce and chocolate caramel popcorn seasoning.
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