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

Posts Tagged ‘buttermilk custard

Fall is in the air!

Fall is in the air!


I live in New England, and Autumn is just the most glorious time you can imagine here. As much as I love Summer and warm weather, there is just something about the arrival of that crisp, cool air that puts a little extra spring in my step. Maybe its just me, but I always feel like the Fall is a beautiful and exciting time. An all too short period of vibrant colors and bursting harvest life that occurs before the steely, gray touch of Winter. 

Another added benefit of Fall are the crisp, delicious, and gorgeous apples that arrive every year. This recipe was inspired by an amazing Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie I’ve made for years from Cooking Light. If you’re interested in making it, you can find the recipe here-

I’m a huge fan of buttermilk in practically any recipe, and when mixed into an ice cream base it is absolutely delicious. The pairing of cinnamon flecked apples in a tangy, sweet buttermilk custard base captures all the best qualities of the pie recipe, and then some.


Pouring in the Buttermilk.


You start with the standard base of warm milk and cream gently whisked into egg yolks and sugar. To that you add a good portion of tangy buttermilk, as high quality as you can find it. Use full fat or low-fat buttermilk here, but not fat free, which lacks flavor and gives the ice cream an icy texture. As a side note, plain Buttermilk Ice Cream pairs beautifully with a wide variety of desserts. It’s an unexpectant and refreshing change from vanilla and is compatible with just about any cake or pie that you’d want to make a la mode. I especially like to serve it with homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake- Yum!


A jumbled mess of Deliciousness.

A jumbled mess of Deliciousness.


Making the Cinnamon-Apples.

Making the Cinnamon-Apples.


Making the cinnamon apples are easy-peasy. Just peel them, slice them and saute them in a hot pan with a dab of butter and a touch of sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon and let cool and then add it to your base when it’s done churning. And what kind of apples should you use? After some purely empirical taste tasting I found that more tart varieties, such as Macintosh, Macoun or Granny Smith taste the best when cooked. Roasting or sauteing apples bring out their natural sweetness, so naturally sweeter varieties such as Gala or Fuji might taste too sweet. But don’t fret over this, really, use whatever you have on hand. Trust me, it will still taste amazing!


The sweet tang of Buttermilk Ice Cream.

Behold- The Sweet Tang of Buttermilk Ice Cream.


Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of the finished product. Just as I was about to snap some great shots, my camera pooped out on me and decided it needed its batteries recharged. It’s a shame too because this turned out to be a pretty ice cream. The base was a creamy, pale yellow from the egg yolks and buttermilk and the cinnamon apples looked lovely against it as a lush backdrop. You’ll just have to use your imagination, but don’t take my word for it- make it yourself!  You could even make the pie, which is served warm, with the matching cold ice cream for an exciting contrast in temperature and texture. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate fall and the inception of apple season.


Buttermilk Custard and Apple Ice Cream





¾ cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

1 ½ cups buttermilk

2 apples

cinnamon to taste


 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 minutes.


4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Pour in buttermilk and chill completely, 4 hours to overnight.


5.)    To make Cinnamon-Apples, slice, peel and core the 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.


6.)    Churn ice cream base according to manufacturers instructions and when finished add the cooled cinnamon apples. Enjoy!


Make it a Sundae!– This ice cream tastes great on its own, but if you want to put it over the top, homemade butterscotch sauce tastes fantastic on this. On top of the sauce add toasted pecans and homemade whipped cream. Being that the inspiration for this ice cream is a pie, naturally pie crust pieces or bits of streusel topping make a welcome addition as well.


Lighten Up!– You can reduce the heavy cream in this recipe to ¼ cup and fill the rest in with whole milk with no ill effects in texture or flavor.