Alton Brown's Ingredient Swap For Perfect Homemade Ice Cream

There's not much Alton Brown can't do in the kitchen. After all, the sometimes eccentric chef, author, and TV host of the long-running Food Network hit, "Good Eats," had a vision: The show would be a combination of Julia Child, Mr. Wizard, and Monty Python (via Delish). And Brown succeeded; teaching viewers how to cook and sharing the science behind the process, all while unabashedly entertaining fans with stunts like showing — rather than just telling — what happens if you attempt to fry a frozen turkey (via YouTube).

Clearly, Brown is no staid, by-the-rules kind of chef. He's been known to thumb his nose at convention to come up with creative solutions to common cooking missteps, like his tip to skip the microwave and make popcorn in a metal bowl directly on a stovetop burner or using a potato masher for perfect guacamole.

So when we learned Brown updated his unique homemade ice cream recipe, we had to check it out.

Alton Brown's original ice cream solution

Way back in Season 1 of Good Eats, Brown took his viewers on a tour through the wonderful world of frozen desserts, with stops along the way to discuss the pros and cons of various ice cream makers and the science that makes it all possible. A little more than halfway through the episode, "Churn, Baby, Churn," he dropped a subtle hint while demonstrating how to make vanilla ice cream: "since I'd like some extra smoothness in my ice cream and a little accent flavor, and since I can interchange sugar directly for preserves, I'm going to remove three tablespoons of this sugar and replace it with three tablespoons of the preserves — peach preserves, I might add."

Yep, that's right! Alton Brown's secret to creamier homemade vanilla ice cream is as simple as substituting peach preserves for sugar. Perfect ... unless you're not a fan of peaches. That's an issue Brown addressed in a promo video for his cookbook, "Good Eats 4: The Final Years."

Brown updated the recipe for peach haters

Following a brief explanation of how and why the peach preserves he used in his original homemade ice cream recipe created a creamier end result — something about the fruit pectin holding cells together similar to the way animal-based gelatin works — Brown revealed in his video the simple fix for peach haters in a revised vanilla ice cream recipe. This substitute is just as easy as the preserves, though perhaps takes a little more planning if your local grocery store doesn't carry the ingredient: Replace the preserves with liquid pectin.

And there you have it! Two Alton Brown-approved methods for making homemade ice cream even creamier: peach preserves or liquid pectin. Now you can please any palate with ultra-creamy vanilla — or vanilla peach — ice cream at home with just one simple step.