Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Roasted Apple and Calvados Ice Cream

Posted on: October 6, 2009

A Perfect Fall Flavor.

A Perfect Fall Flavor.


This recipe came about from me asking why you never see apple flavored ice cream. Sure Apple Crisp Ice Cream is pretty common (and coming up soon on this blog) but I’ve never seen an ice cream with pureed apples right in the base, like the more common strawberry or raspberry ice creams. I was a little bit nervous to try this ice cream because sometimes when you never see something in a recipe it is simply because others have tried it and it doesn’t work. In this case, I am happy to report that my reservations were completely unfounded. This ice cream is delicious, with a remarkably smooth texture. When you taste it you get the sweet flavor of the calvados, which is an apple brandy, followed by undertones of oven roasted apple. It turned to be a very sophisticated flavor. I could definitely see this ice cream served alone or on top of some extravagant cake or torte at the end of a fancy meal.


Silky smooth.

Silky smooth.


The key to this ice cream is the roasted apples. I found a great recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook that’s super easy. Just core and slice the apples into fairly large chunks and roast them in an oven over high heat. Then, remove the skins and deglaze the pan with a little bit of apple juice or cider to scrape up every bit of roasty autumn goodness. Then you mash them up a bit and add them to your custard base along with the calvados.


Scooped right out the machine.

Scooped right out the machine.


I honestly thought this ice cream would have a chunkier texture considering that I didn’t even puree the roasted apples, but it turned out silky smooth. I think that when it churned the apples dissolved into the base. This turned out to be a happy surprise though, because the apples really incorporated and melded with the cream in a way that was seamless.


My own personal serving.

My own personal serving, right from the machine!


I wouldn’t omit the calvados in this recipe, it really adds something. I know it’s expensive, so if you’re on a budget, applejack brandy makes a fine thrifty substitute.


My real serving size, sadly.

My real serving size, sadly.


All in all, this ice cream was a smashing success. This just goes to show that you shouldn’t be afraid to be experimental and inventive when it comes to new flavors. I’m reminded of a quote from Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Cookbook, who said that “There’s no such thing as an irredeemably bad batch of ice cream”. And it’s really true. Unlike other facets of life, when it comes to ice cream it’s really pretty hard to screw up. Errr… well almost. One time I took a trip up to Maine and encountered something called “lobster ice cream” which was, in fact, exactly what it sounds like. Sweet, luscious cream studded by large chunks of cold dead crustacean.




Roasted Apple and Calvados Ice Cream Recipe


Prepared Roasted Apples(recipe follows)

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup white sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons Calvados or apple brandy


 1.)    Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

 2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

 3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

 4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, apples and calvados and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Enjoy!

 Make it a sundae!

 Caramel or butterscotch would be a perfect pairing with this ice cream. Like a delicious and very grown up caramel apple. Don’t forget the whipped cream of course!

 The lighter side– Feel free to substitute whole milk or half and half for heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.


 Roasted Apples Recipe

 Core, but do not peel 4 medium to large apples of your choice. I used a mixture of apples for a greater depth of flavor, but any apples will do here. Slice them into largish chunks and place them on a pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 until roasted and slightly brown and caramelized around the edges, around 30-40 minutes. When apples are ready, remove skins and then add a few tablespoons of apple juice or apple cider to the pan scrape it down to deglaze the pan. Then loosely mash the apples with a fork of potato masher.


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