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

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Posted on: January 2, 2010

A New England Classic!

I live in New England (hence the title of my blog) so I couldn’t get away with not including this timeless Vermont classic. Made from good, toasted walnuts and high quality maple syrup it’s just divine. Unfortunately, at most places you order Maple Walnut Ice Cream, the flavor is not so fabulous. To save money, most commercial versions of this flavor use the dreaded cloying and sicky-sweet imposter that is artificial maple flavoring. So even if you’ve tried Maple Walnut Ice Cream in the past and haven’t flipped for it, try this version at home. You’ll think you’ve been transported to a snow dusted Vermont sugar shack!

Toasting the walnuts.

 For this recipe I call for grade B maple syrup. This might be a little bit of a trick to find because most supermarket maple syrups are Grade A dark amber. What’s the difference you ask? Grade B has a darker flavor, with richer caramel notes. This intensified taste really helps in cutting through all of that cream and milk for a more pronounced maple flavor. I found my bottle at Trader Joe’s, but any other specialty food store or gourmet shop would probably carry it. It’s worth searching for, and also tastes great on pancakes, waffles and any other place you would typically pour on the maple syrup!

Just Churned Maple Ice Cream, yum!

I also call for maple sugar in this recipe, for another boost of maple flavor. I found mine at my local grocery store, but I do live in New England. If you live in a part of country or world that doesn’t carry it, again try a specialty food store such as Whole Foods or your local gourmet shop. If all else fails and you still want to make the recipe, maple sugar is also readily available through online vendors.

Maple-Walnut, the perfect winter flavor!

This flavor was very successful, with the maple flavor really shining through the ice cream. Add a substantial portion of toasted walnuts and get ready for a delicious ice cream straight from snowy New England!

Maple Walnut Ice Cream Recipe


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup grade B maple syrup

¼ cup maple sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon maple extract

¾ cups toasted walnuts

      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 maple sugar and maple syrup. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turns a lighter 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 5-6 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and extracts and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add toasted walnuts. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

Make a Brazilian Sundae!! So good and unusual, I don’t know how this sundae got its name, but if the Brazilians did invent it they really know what they are doing! Start with a scoop of Maple Walnut Ice Cream, then add a scoop of Coffee and a scoop of Butter Pecan Ice Cream (either homemade or store bought ice cream is fine). Drizzle some caramel sauce spiked with rum and some cold chocolate sauce over it and top with fresh whipped cream and more toasted walnuts. A decadent taste sensation, and not to be missed!

The lighter side– Feel free to reduce the cream to ¼ cup and substitute all whole milk for the rest of the 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.


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