November 2, 2012

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

When my husband and I went to Vermont on vacation, we went to a sugar shack and sampled warm maple syrup. It wasn't my first time in a sugar shack, but it was for my husband. We left with fancy grade maple syrup, maple sugar and maple cream. Oh, and a determination to make homemade maple ice cream. And then serendipitously Brown-Eyed Baker posted this recipe.

I used our good ol' fashioned Wisconsin maple syrup for this ice cream. Mmmm, the perfect fall ice cream. (I also have pumpkin ice cream on my to-do list, and Maine sea salt ice cream. Good thing I like ice cream any day of the year because I have to churn quite a bit before my heavy cream spoils.)

Maple Walnut Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla Pinch kosher salt
Maple-Glazed Walnuts
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Pinch salt

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk and sugar, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan occasionally. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the mesh strainer, and stir it into the cream. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (you can speed up the process by placing the bowl in an ice bath), then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

To glaze the walnuts, heat the maple syrup in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat until it just begins to come to a full boil. Add the walnuts, stir to coat them, then allow the mixture to cook until it again comes to a full boil. Once it reaches a full boil, stir for 10 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely. (The walnuts will still feel wet and sticky when cool.)

Freeze the custard mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Add the maple-glazed walnuts during the last few minutes of churning. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, and store in the freezer. Makes 1 quart.

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