Apple Pie Ice Cream
Tomorrow begins the Labor Day weekend. What?! I am still in complete shock that the summer has now come and gone, and all I have to show for it is a racer-back tan line on my upper back and the feeling that I haven’t eaten nearly enough ice cream cones as I should have. At the bank last week, an older gentleman whose skin was golden, likely from spending hours in his garden, asked me why I was so pale and that I should get outside more. If only he knew how quickly I burn and that I spray on 100 SPF if I’m going to be in the sun for more than 15 minutes. I can’t do much about my pale skin tone, but I sure as heck can do something about my lack of ice cream cones this summer. We may be on the cusp of September, but that doesn’t mean I’m slowing down my ice cream churning one bit! I’m just shifting gears to include more fall-inspired flavors. Apple pie in an ice cream cone? Yes, please!
I’m always a little suspicious of recipes that take a classic flavor and deliver it via a completely different vehicle. As it turns out, in this instance, ice cream can taste exactly like apple pie. Especially since apple pie is almost always served with vanilla ice cream! To make this ice cream, apples are cooked down with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and then pureed with half of the ice cream custard base. You get teeny tiny specs of apple in each and every bite, along with a little punch of cinnamon and creamy vanilla ice cream. The kicker is folding in chopped up snickerdoodle cookies, which adds more cinnamon flavor and the texture of a “crust”. I think you could also substitute graham crackers here, or your favorite sugar cookie.
Summer may be coming to a close, but I’m still playing catch up on ice cream cones. This apple pie ice cream is the perfect bridge from warm, summer days to the crisp fall air. Grab a spoon and dig in!
Apple Pie Ice Cream
For the Apples:
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Ice Cream:
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1¾ cups heavy cream
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped snickerdoodles
1. Cook the Apples: Combine the brown sugar and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted and bubbly, add the apples and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Make the Ice Cream Base: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then whisk in 2½ tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt and remaining sugar over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
4. Ladle some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat once more. Using a rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
5. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Strain the base through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Set the bowl in an ice water bath and stir occasionally until cool. Cover and refrigerator overnight.
6. Churn the Ice Cream: When you're ready to puree the ice cream, combine the cooked apples with the vanilla extract and half of the chilled custard base in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
7. Combine the pureed mixture and the remaining custard base in the bowl of your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the chopped cookies during the last minute or so of churning, or fold them by hand when it has finished. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze.