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

Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

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

Ingredients:

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.

Cinnamon Scoops!

I ended up making this ice cream the day I caught a flight to Orlando for Christmas vacation. I had intended to showcase it as a Christmas flavor, but didn’t have the time unfortunately. Not that Cinnamon Ice Cream is exclusively for the holidays, but this ice cream tastes great on top of all sorts of seasonal desserts! From chocolate cake to apple pie, Cinnamon Ice Cream is a genial sort of fellow who seems to be compatible with just about everyone. And even if you have nothing to accompany it, don’t write off Cinnamon Ice Cream as boring or bland. It is really, surprisingly delicious and satisfying. It is a classic and simple favorite!

Little sticks of flavor!

Part of the simple genius of this recipe lies in the use of real cinnamon sticks to flavor the base. You coarsely crush up about five 3 inch cinnamon sticks and add them to a warm milk/cream mixture. Then you just take the mixture off the heat, put the lid on, and let the whole thing sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to marry and ripen. The result is a cinnamon flavor thats sweet with just the mildest touch of heat.

Cinnamon au naturel.

I also add about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon after I finish cooking the ice cream base. It boosts the cinnamon flavor, and adds a nice speckly color not unlike the look of vanilla bean ice cream. I also think it gives the ice cream a slightly grainy “mouthfeel” that I enjoy. It’s not dissimilar to the textural feel that cocoa powder gives to ice cream, but if you prefer a smoother ice cream feel free to omit it. Just add more cinnamon sticks in the beginning half of the recipe.

Cinnamon swirly!

This ice cream is a no brainer because it tastes like the classic combination of cinnamon/sugar. I think that sometimes in our quest for new flavors we overlook how truly great time honored flavors can be. Cinnamon Ice Cream is one such flavor, and can be adapted in many different ways. So try it this winter, either alone or atop one of the season’s many pies, cakes or crisps. Either way it’s a foolproof winner, and a recipe I think you’ll find useful and versatile for years to come.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ingredients:

 1 ½ cups whole milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

5 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

5 cinnamon sticks, coarsely crushed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.)    Place milk, cream and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the barest simmer for a few minutes and then cover the mixture, take it off the heat, and let it steep for 1-3 hours.

 2.)    After steeping, strain out cinnamon sticks. Heat the cinnamon milk mixture 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.

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

 4.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add cinnamon 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.

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

Make it a sundae!

With Cinnamon Ice Cream, the sky’s the limit on sundae combinations! One of my favorites would have to be Cinnamon Ice Cream, drizzled with a whisky caramel pecan sauce (Perfect Scoop author David Lebovitz has a great recipe!), caramelized apples and whipped cream. If you’re a fan of Mexican chocolate, try it with hot fudge or as a part of a brownie sundae!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

I thought up this recipe one day while I was shopping for calvados at my local liquor store. They had a little bin of liquor nips to choose from for only $1 each. I ended up picking up a tiny bottle of honey flavored Wild Turkey liquor on a whim. I’d never really heard of this brand before, but I loved the fun name! One day when I was brainstorming for possible Thanksgiving flavored ice creams, my mind suddenly wandered back to the little unopened bottle of Wild Turkey in my cabinet. Eureka! The perfect flavor for Thanksgiving and a playful homage to the big roast bird. I added pecans because not only do they complement the Wild Turkey, but they remind me of good ol’ American pecan pie, another Thanksgiving staple.

 

I tamed the Wild Turkey!

 

I actually live in area that has lots of real wild turkeys roaming around. The first time I saw them I was intrigued and  foolishly tried to call them over to me. Big mistake. As I soon discovered, wild turkeys are very aggressive and territorial. They tried to attack me and had I not found a stick to defend myself with, I surely would have been turkey-chow. Whenever I see a turkey now, I can’t help but chuckle to myself in revenge and think of cranberry sauce and gravy.

 

Toasted pecans

 

As always, I recommend toasting and cooling the pecans before adding them to the ice cream. Toasting nuts and spices is an incredible flavor booster. It somehow makes them taste more buttery and definitely adds a succulent roasty flavor.

 

Churn it up!

 

The Wild Turkey, a type of bourbon, tasted wonderful in the vanilla scented ice cream. The use of honey flavored Wild Turkey paired particularly well with the sweetness of the ice cream and the buttery crunch of the toasted pecans. It ended up tasting like a very adult, frozen reimagined pecan pie. As you may have noticed, I tend to use a lot of liquors in my recipes (I’m not a boozer, I swear!). My reason for this is that liquors are simply one of the greatest flavor enhancers you can use in ice cream. And let me tell you, this fun and delicious Thanksgiving recipe proves it. Needless to say, at my house we all “gobbled” it up! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and have a happy Wild Turkey Day!

 

Wild Turkey and Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup white sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans

 

      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, vanilla extract and bourbon and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add chopped pecans. Enjoy!

 

Make it a sundae!

 

You could bring out the pecan-pie flavors in this ice cream even more by creating a pecan pie sundae! Drizzle this ice cream with homemade butterscotch sauce or dulce de leche flavored with a few pinches of ground cinnamon and cloves. Top with more toasted pecans and whipped cream. Garnish with a few pie crust pieces, baked until golden brown and cooled. Enjoy!

 

The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the 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.

In its natural state.

In its natural state.

Just in time for Halloween! I love themes, so of course as Halloween approaches I have to feature some ice creams appropriate to the season. And  regardless, pumpkin ice cream is just plain delicious. It’s like a cold, crustless pumpkin pie and how could that be bad? So put down your carving knife and back away from that jack-o-lantern and make this spooktacular ice cream!

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Pumpkin and spice and everything nice!

I wanted an ice cream that resembled the filling of a pumpkin pie as closely as possible. So taking inspiration from the recipe on the can of pumpkin, I added some evaporated milk, swapped white sugar for brown, and added plenty of egg yolks for that pumpkin custard flavor. When it comes to something as classic as pumpkin pie, I have to say that I’m pretty traditional kinda gal, so I tried to make ice cream as close to the original as possible.

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Freshly churned!

When making this ice cream, you can use canned pumpkin or, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, roast your own. Just make sure you get a sugar pumpkin, other types of pumpkin can be stringy and flavorless when roasted. Either way, you just want to make sure you have 3/4 cup pumpkin puree.  Also, when comes to adding spices, my measurements are approximations, so feel free to add more or less spices as you see fit.

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Fresh Pumpkin Ice Cream!

This ice cream came out beautifully, creamy and comforting with just enough spice. This is one of those happy occasions where what I had imagined really did come to life. It was an ice cream version of pumpkin pie filling, to the T. And if you really wanted to kick it up notch, you could add pie crust pieces or even pour it into a baked, cooled pie crust for a frozen twist on the original. Either way, this ice cream would be perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or just as a celebration of fall!

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups half and half

¼ cup heavy cream

¾ cup evaporated milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

6  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

¾ cup pumpkin puree

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

  1.) Combine half and half, heavy cream and evaporated milk 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 5-6 minutes.

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

Make it a sundae!

 This might sound strange, but I actually really like chocolate and pumpkin together. This ice cream would taste great with hot fudge drizzled over it and whipped cream. Pumpkin ice cream would also make an amazing sundae with applesauce, toasted pecans and freshly whipped cream layered on top. Trust me, this combination really works.

Lighten up!– To lighten this recipe you could easily convert this recipe into a gelato by swapping the half and half for whole milk.

The marriage of two awesome desserts!

The marriage of two awesome desserts!

 

I know, I know, another apple ice cream.  After the postings about the Buttermilk Custard Apple Ice Cream and the Roasted Apple Calvados Ice Cream, do you really need another ice cream with apples in it? Well, the answer is a most emphatic yes!  And for supporting evidence I submit to you this photo:

 

The appeal should be obvious.

The appeal should be obvious.

 

While I do love to keep things seasonal with my ice cream, this combination is a no brainer and is delicious really at any time of year. It’s the combination of two of my favorite desserts and a natural extension of apple crisp a la mode. And depending on what kind of fruit is in season, you can make all kinds of delicious substititions for the apples. The middle of July? Substitute peaches. Spring has sprung? Rhubarb would be a scrumptious alternative. No matter how you whip it up, this adaptable ice cream is really the best of both worlds.

 

The importance of crust pieces.

On the importance of crust pieces.

 

Apple Crisp Ice Cream is hardly a new flavor, but what I think sets my flavor apart is the insertion of crumbly, buttery homemade crisp crust streusel pieces. Every time I see this flavor at ice cream stands I’m filled with wild hope that perhaps, this time, the advertised apple crisp ice cream will be dotted with large chunks of crust pieces. But alas, my heart is so often broken. In my mind, to not include crust or streusel topping pieces is just plain false advertising. How can it possibly be apple crisp without the “crisp”? I guess it’s true that when you want something done right you have to do it yourself and ice cream is no exception.

 

Crumbly good!

Crumbly good!

 I know that everyone has a favorite apple crisp recipe, so you can insert any crisp topping you want for this recipe. Just make the topping of the crisp, and pop it in the oven sans apple filling. If you are looking for a good recipe, I would definitely point you in the direction of the Barefoot Contessa/Ina Garten. Her crisp recipes, like pretty much everything else she makes, are delicious and foolproof.

 

Tasty!

Tasty!

 

This flavor is really a classic that you have to try. As delicious as homemade ice cream and apple crisp are separately, together they somehow become more than the sum of their parts. You get the cool, sweet cream flavor and then the oaty, buttery crunch of the streusel and then a burst of fresh fruit flavor from the cinnamon apples. Basically it’s the very best apple crisp a la mode you’ve ever tasted. And another fantastic flavor for fall!

Apple Crisp Ice Cream

 

Ingredients:

 2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups whole milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream, preferably unhomogenized

Streusel/Crisp Topping (recipe follows)

Cinnamon Apples (recipe follows

 

1.)    Whisk eggs together in a large bowl for a few minutes. Then, gradually add the sugar to the eggs, all the while whisking. Add the milk and cream and whisk until well mixed. Pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is finished churning, fold in the crumbled streusel topping and cinnamon apples.

 

Crisp/Streusel Pieces

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Peach and Raspberry Crisp Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups flour

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoons Salt

½ lb. cold unsalted butter, diced

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Bake for until the top is browned and crisp and golden. Let cool and then crumble and refrigerate.  

 

To make Cinnamon-Apples, large dice, peel and core 2 apples, then add them to a medium skillet over medium heat with a pat of butter. Sautee until fully cooked and starting to brown, then take off the heat and add a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon to taste. Cool completely.

 

Make it a Sundae! – This ice cream would taste unbelievably good with a caramel or butterscotch sauce drizzled over it. You could even add some cinnamon and toasted walnuts to the sauce to really compliment the flavors of the ice cream. Reduced maple syrup and toasted walnuts, aka wet walnut sauce would be an equally delicious option. Just remember, it’s not a sundae without the whipped cream!