Pretzel Ice Cream Pie! What can I say…Another winner from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook! All you pretzel lovers out there need to sit up and take notice because this decadent dessert packs quite the pretzel punch. First let me tell you about the the crust. Well it’s made of magical Pretzel Crunch which is pretzels crumbled up with butter, sugar and malt powder. Crunchy, buttery, sweet & salty bliss! I found it to be nearly as addictive as the Cornflake Crunch that I encountered when I made those Milk Bar Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies. So yeah, I probably could have just sat there and gobbled up all of the pie crust then and there, but thank goodness I was able to control myself because this glorious pie shell is filled with this unbelievably delectable Pretzel Ice Cream. Now this isn’t vanilla ice cream that has some pretzel pieces thrown into it. Oh no. This is pretzel flavoured ice cream, made with pretzel infused milk, which I had no idea was even possible. But it is! And once you’ve tasted it, you’ll be hooked! This ice cream is very rich, sweet and salty and has a deep malty pretzel flavour. It feels amazingly smooth and creamy in your mouth. Chef Tosi attributes this texture to using gelatin rather than eggs when making the ice cream base. The only thing I added was a drizzle of dark chocolate over the top of the pie. Truly the best ice cream pie I’ve ever encountered!
Now I’m not going to lie to you, making this pie was a good deal of work. I certainly wouldn’t just happen to make one on a whim. As with most Chef Tosi recipes, you actually have to make a couple of recipes for ingredients before you can make the dish you are actually trying to create. And then there are always some odd ingredients that you may need to order online before you get started. With this particular recipe I had to turn to amazon to get glucose. I know, there is a notation that you can substitute corn syrup for glucose, but I have definitely learned a couple of things while working with the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. You have to follow those recipes closely or you will be disappointed. To that end, I am leery of substituting anything. I stick with the ingredients Chef Tosi intended be used and measure all ingredients exactly using a scale. If you are rather slap dash in the kitchen, I admire you but your success will likely be somewhat fleeting. But those with an eye to detail who are happy to plan ahead, will be fully rewarded with the abundance of mouthwatering morsels to be found in this magical cookbook.
So I suppose that this Pretzel Ice Cream Pie is more of an occasion dessert. I originally made it for the husband’s birthday. Loving pretzels and sweet & salty combinations, he was very pleased.
I can definitely see serving this for a non-traditional Thanksgiving Day dessert. I’m sure a few folks out there are a bit weary of good old Pumpkin Pie. Or it would be very welcome at a big Super Bowl party. Whatever you do, find some time to make this amazing treat. It is soooo worth it!
Pretzel Ice Cream Pie
Recipe from: Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Chef Christina Tosi
- 1 recipe Pretzel Crunch (recipe to follow)
- 25 grams (2 Tablespoons) butter, melted
- 1 recipe Pretzel Ice Cream (recipe to follow)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips – for drizzle (optional)
Using your hands (or a food processor if you prefer), crumble the pretzel crunch clusters to half their size. (The smaller size will make for better distribution of the moisture and fat, creating a nice crunchy crust.)
Toss the melted butter into the crumbled pretzel crunch, mixing well. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the mixture firmly into a 10-inch pie tin, making sure the bottom and sides of the pie tin are evenly covered. Wrapped in plastic, the crust can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
Use a spatula to spread the ice cream into the pie shell. If you would like to drizzle a bit of chocolate over the top of the pie as I did, simply melt about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips of your choice. (I used dark chocolate). You can do this in a double boiler or simply melt it in the microwave in 10 -15 second bursts. Let cool slightly. Either drizzle the chocolate free hand or if you are a bit obsessive compulsive you can place it in a pastry bag and thereby do a much more controlled drizzle.
Freeze the pie for at least 3 hours, or until the ice cream is frozen hard enough so the pie is easy to cut and serve. Wrapped in plastic wrap, the pie will keep for 2 weeks in the freezer.
Yield: 2 cups
- 100 grams (about 1/4 (16-ounce) bag (2 cups)) mini pretzels
- 60 grams (1/4 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 25 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar
- 20 grams (1/4 cup) milk powder
- 10 grams (1 tablespoon) malt powder
- 100 grams ( 7 tablespoons) butter, melted
Heat the oven to 275°F.
Pour the pretzels in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, malt powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the pretzels and creating small clusters.
Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
Cool the pretzel crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.
Pretzel Ice Cream
- 300 grams (about 3/4 (16-ounce) bag, (6 cups) mini pretzels
- 440 grams (2 cups) milk
- 1 1/2 gelatin sheets
- 200 grams (1/2 cup) glucose (75 grams (1/4 cup) of corn syrup can be substituted)
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 45 grams (1 1/2 ounces) cream cheese
- 2 grams ( 1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 0.75 grams (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda
Heat the oven to 300°F
Spread the pretzels on a sheet pan and toast for 15 minutes, until the pretzels have slightly darkened in color and your kitchen smells pretzely. Cool completely.
Put the pretzels in a large bowl, pour the milk over them, and stir while steeping for 2 minutes.
Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the soggy pieces of pretzel.
Bloom the gelatin. Place the sheet gelatin in a small bowl of cold water. It has bloomed when it has become soft, after about 2 minutes. If it still has bard bits, it has not bloomed long enough. If it completely falls apart, it has overbloomed. Gently squeeze the bloomed gelatin to remove any excess water. *Powdered gelatin can be substituted for the sheet gelatin: use 3/4 teaspoon. Sprinkle it evenly over the surface of 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small cup. Allow the granules to soften entirely for 3 -5 minutes.
Warm a little bit of the pretzel milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve. Add the remaining pretzel milk, glucose, brown sugar, cream cheese, salt, and baking soda and whisk until all of the ingredients are fully dissolved and incorporated.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is best spun just before serving or using, but it will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Pretzel Ice Cream Pie brought to you by Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Pretzel Ice Cream Pie: