This post will split my readership into two factions: those that think this recipe is vile, and those that will think that this is the best thing ever. Allow me to explain first why I did what I did in making this ice cream. You might better understand.
A few days ago BF and I went out to one of those trendy little yogurt places. You know, the kind where you pick a soft-serve flavor and then load it up with fruit, or candy, or whatnot. Feeling the need to break away from my usual two options; pistachio with granola and strawberries, or chocolate covered with broken up Reese's; I went with a simple vanilla ice cream.
In the corner of my eye I saw prismatic flare of Fruity Pebbles cereal. The epileptic, multi-color overload seemed so whimsical and fun, and so with a jaunty little smile I took a small scoop of of cereal and tossed them in the cup. I took a whiff and recalled that sweet, sugary smell of faux-fruit flavors and the few rare days I was allowed to eat such a treat as a child.
You see, as a kid we grew up with Cheerios and oatmeal and were happy to do so. Dad would cut up bananas, sprinkle on cinnamon, or toss in a handful of raisins and make these breakfasts special. It was how my brothers and I bonded with our dad every morning. We were never left wanting for sugary cereal as we were raised knowing that a box of Lucky Charms was a treat reserved only for visits to grandma's. Still, every so often, maybe on a vacation, we were afforded the luxury of a box of Captain Crunch or, perhaps, Fruity Pebbles which would be greedily eaten in ginormous bowls as my brother and I watched Power Rangers in the morning.
It was tasting my 10 year old life in eating that ice cream when suddenly it hit me: I could make Fruity Pebbles ice cream. The most special childhood Saturday mornings frozen in time and heavy cream. I had had something similar before; the Secret Breakfast ice cream at Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco, a Corn Flake and Bourbon flavored ice cream which is stunning in its flavor and simplicity. It could be done again. I could do it.
So I did. I bought a box of Fruity Pebbles, soaked the cream and milk with it, and then churned that into a basic, Philadelphia-style ice cream (meaning no eggs). It tasted like the milk at the bottom of the bowl. And it was so good. SO good. It was toy commercials, waking up at 6 AM trying not to wake mom and dad, and not having to do homework on Saturdays.
You can do this with any cereal you want, whatever milk in the bowl you liked best, though I think the unhealthier the cereal the better. (BF wants me to try Cinnamon Toast Crunch.)
Yes, part of me should hate it. It's anti-Slow Food. Not sustainable. Certainly not healthy or responsible. But the memories are there. The recipe is fun and it makes me smile. That, sometimes, is reason enough.
Breakfast Cereal Ice Cream
2 cups of cream
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
3/4 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups of cereal (your choice)
Bring the cream, sugar, and salt to a simmer and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the cereal and milk, stir and let sit for two hours. Strain the mixture and discard the soggy cereal. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place in a bowl in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour to firm up. Serve immediately.
*Note: I made this, coincidentally, on a Saturday morning and wasn't feeling the desire to make a custard base ice cream. You very well could if you wanted. The flavoring method is simple enough.