Okay folks, it’s officially fall. It’s time for blazers and coats, Halloween costumes,
(how did that get in here?), and apples. Lots and lots of apples.
Somehow, despite the cold, I want to bust out my ice cream maker. A foodie friend and I were chatting on facebook and brainstormed some ideas for ice cream flavors and we settled on a cinnamon base with apple chunks in it. I further decided that I wanted the ice cream base to also have a real apple-y taste to it, so I played around with the idea of reducing apple cider and incorporating that into the base.
I started with David Lebovitz’s cinnamon ice cream recipe but I have altered it significantly to make the base apple-cinnamon. And then caramelized apples were added to the mix. All in all, the result is a sweet, slightly tart, creamy, apple-flavored explosion.
3 honeycrisp apples (1- 1.25 lbs apples)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp Applejack
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
10 cinnamon sticks
2 cups heavy cream, divided
5 large egg yolks
1 tbsp Applejack
1 1/2 cups apple cider
The first step is to caramelize the apples. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes. Heat the 2 tbsp butter in a pan, and add the apples once the butter is all melted. As the apples are cooking, add in the cinnamon and the lemon juice.
Cook the apples until they’re a slightly golden brown around the edges and the liquid has cooked off. They should maintain their shape and not turn into mushy blobs.
Set the apples aside to cool. Because you’re going to let the ice cream base rest in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours, once the apples are at room temp, go ahead and put them in the refrigerator.
Now for the custard base for the ice cream– warm the milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, Applejack, and 1 cup cream in a saucepan. Cover the saucepan, remove it from heat, and let it steep for about an hour. While you are letting this mixture steep, put the apple cider in another saucepan and reduce it down to nearly a syrup– it usually takes about 20-30 minutes. You should have about 1/2 cup of syrup once it’s reduced. Don’t worry if it’s not exactly 1/2 cup, or a little more– that’s not crucial. Remove the reduced apple cider and let it cool to room temperature.
Once the milk mixture is finished steeping, remove the cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon, and rewarm it. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl, and set a strainer on top.
Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Pour the warm milk/ cream mixture onto the yolks, whisking it constantly. Scrape the entire mixture back into the saucepan, and stir it over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream, and then pour the apple cider reduction through the strainer as well, and stir the entire mixture in an ice bath until cool. Place the custard into the refrigerator for about 8 hours.
Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost finished mixing, add the caramelized apple chunks.
We ate this delicious concoction with another apple-tastic recipe, a French Apple Cake that is light and filled with nothing but apples.