I first encountered Reeses Peanut Butter Cups when I was a student at Exeter University in the mid-1980s. An American girl on my corridor in the hall of residence where I lived in my first year had Reeses Peanut Butter Cups shipped over on a regular basis, perhaps to remind her of home, and she would generously share them with the rest of us whose rooms were close to hers. I loved the salt-sweet combination of peanut butter and chocolate. We tried to recreate that special flavour combo using peanut butter and chocolate spread (on toast) but we never quite achieved the glorious moreish sickly-sweetness of the original Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
For a long time, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups were only available in specialist retailers, usually near an American enclave. For example, Garsons Farm, near Esher, Surrey, used to sell them, along with other all-American foodstuffs. It was a bit too far to drive to Garsons Farm just to buy Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, though I would stock up if I was at the farm for fruit-picking. Imagine my delight then when my local Tesco started stocking them and I could buy them whenever I wanted to. My son soon developed a similar penchant for their salty-sweetness and is now a confirmed fan.
While on holiday in France in the summer, we spotted a Ben & Jerry's ice cream made from Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in the local supermarket, which set me thinking: would it be possible to recreate such an ice cream at home using a tried and tested and very simple method? And so last Saturday I created a monster.....
The basis for this ice cream is Nigella Lawson's absurdly easy "one-step no-churn" coffee ice cream. It makes a generous quantity which will serve six, or four greedy people, and because it is so rich, you only need small helpings anyway. And you don't need an ice cream maker either!
300 ml double cream
175 grams condensed milk
2-3 tbsp smooth peanut butter (or crunchy if you like a bit of texture)
9 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (available in packs of three), roughly chopped
Whisk the cream and condensed milk together, and when the mixture has thickened, add the peanut butter. Fold in the chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Pour into a container and freeze.
Find the original coffee ice cream recipe here