Maple-Walnut Ice Cream
When I think of maple, the first thing to come to mind is maple fudge, which is immediately followed by the episode of Friends when Ross ends up at a hotel in Vermont, eats his weight in maple candy and then goes bonkers on a sugar high. There are so many fabulous ways to infuse maple into both savory and sweet foods, and one of the things that has been on the top of my list for a long time is maple-walnut ice cream. I’ll be honest, though. When I first checked out this recipe, I had visions of Buddy the Elf pouring maple syrup all over his spaghetti. It seemed like a lot of syrup, and I worried that the ice cream would be sickeningly sweet. I was pleasantly surprised when the ice cream finished churning and I took my first spoonful. The flavors were completely balanced; the maple definitely came through, but wasn’t overpowering or too sweet. I breathed a sigh of relief then proceeded to take way more than my fair share of taste tests.
I love the subtle, sweet flavor of the ice cream paired with the crunchy, maple-glazed pecans. The flavor of the ice cream is very similar to that of butter pecan, so if you like sweetened ice cream with a bit of a caramel-nutty undertone, you will do back flips for this one. It might be getting chilly outside, but it’s never too cold for a bowl of ice cream. Ross would have devoured it in Vermont, and Buddy the Elf would certainly eat it while building snowmen on the North Pole! :)
Two years ago: Garlic Knots
Three years ago: Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars
Four years ago: Lavash Crackers[/donotprint]
Maple-Walnut Ice Cream
For the Ice Cream Custard:
- 1½ cups (366 ml) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ cups (357 ml) heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- ¾ cup (0.05 ml) maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
For the Maple-Glazed Walnuts:
- ½ cup (0.03 ml) maple syrup
- 1½ cups (175.5 g) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Pinch salt
- Make the Ice Cream Custard: 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 (if you're using an instant-read digital thermometer, the mixture should be between 170 and 175 degrees F). 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.
- Make the Maple-Glazed 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).
- Churn the Ice Cream: 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.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This was amazing. I am a transplanted Texan originally from upstate NY, and we had walnut everything growing up. It’s hard to find good maple things here (everything is pecans!), and this was exactly what I needed. I made this recipe along with the Butter Pecan recipe for an ice cream social recently, and they were both gobbled up. Long before the Bluebell or the Blue Bunny were gone, my two homemade containers were empty. Thank you for an awesome recipe!
Just made this ice cream and it is delicious, best ice cream I ever made, well actually only ice cream I’ve ever made but there’s no stopping me now!! Had homemade caramel in the fridge so used that instead with the roasted walnuts and swirled it in!
I have been searching for a long time for a copycat recipe from Islay’s- Maricopa ice cream, some people from PA remember, but can’t work out a recipe for that flavor. Do you remember that flavor and have you tried to duplicate it?It had a salty sweet flavor, but it had a ripple of salty caramel or butterscotch through a vanilla based ice cream, giving it a flavor reminiscent of Heath ice cream.
Have you been challenged at all to try to reproduce it? Would love to sample that flavor again!
I’ve actually never heard of that ice cream or tried it! I’ll have to do some research :)
Made this a couple days ago and just finished my ice cream cone. WOW. This one is up there as a favorite. The maple syrup, like corn syrup or some kind of alcohol, keeps the mixture from freezing rock hard like most ice creams. This is one of my favorites! We used pecans because we already had some (I love that walnuts and pecans are interchangeable). Because of you, Michelle, we bought The Perfect Scoop. The two recipes we’ve used from there so far that are not on your blog are mint (with stracciatella) and olive oil (sounds crazy, but it’s delicious, be sure to use something fruity for that one. Arbequina works great!).
You’re the best!
Do you use a particular grade of maple syrup? I typically use grade B for baking and was wondering if that would be fine for ice cream too?
Hi Sandra, I use Grade A dark amber, if that helps. That’s pretty close to Grade B, so I think you should be fine!
Your website is amazing. I just made this maple-walnut ice cream for my grandma’s 93rd birthday (it’s her favourite), and it was a huge hit. I curdled the custard the first time, but I was more careful the second time around. For others– I recommend buying pure maple syrup. Aunt Jemima’s would be too sweet. THANKS!!!
I grew up in the north country (what we call northern NY close to Canada) and it just so happens I visited home last week and picked up a half gallon of maple syrup. Maple walnut reminds me of childhood and I’ll be making this on Saturday!
I’m sure it’s something with your Web site revamp (like it!), but the recipe for this ice cream isn’t visible any more. I checked in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, so I’m thinking it’s not just an error on my end. Hoping you can repost it or e-mail me the recipe, so I can make this deliciousness!!! Thanks!
Hi Kerry, That was a glitch, my apologies! The recipe should now appear above. Enjoy!
Thanks so much!! I’m making this today!!
Looks fantastic! I need to clear some room in my freezer so I can make this. Thank you SO much!!
I have been on a total maple kick recently and can’t get enough of it. I made some maple gelato last week. Love maple in ice cream!!
Sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy… delicious!
Love the FRIENDS reference. Never gets’ old :)
And this dessert?!? Oh my. I would only say this:
Want. Need. Love.
I need to get myself an Ice cream machine asap. This looks mouth watering, its like pancakes in liquid form. yum!
Haha, I love the random Friends reference. Best show ever.
This ice cream looks delicious – I love maple flavored foods!
Mmm, this looks and sounds fantastic!
Swoon. I LOOOOOVE maple walnut ice cream, but have never made it at home. I can’t wait to try this. <3
I had some maple ice cream when I was in Vermont – Amazing! I can’t wait to make some at home!
My mouth is watering at the thought of this. Such a great combo of flavors. I love maple syrup but have never had it in ice cream before.
This is my favorite ice cream flavor! I’ll definitely make it this weekend!
It looks so nice but it is too late for ice cream and me! I’ve jut survived 38 degrees temperature and I don’t want to risk anymore!But great recipe for the next summer :)/
I loooove pralines, I know they’re usually made with pecans but my parents have a walnut tree, so all our sweets had walnuts instead of pecans when I was growing up :) Soo, this to me sounds so delightful!
This sounds fabulous! Big bowl of these ice cream, this episode of Friends and I’m set :)
HA! I love that Friends episode!! I would go crazy over this ice cream- my extended family is all from upstate NY, and we’re obsessed with real maple syrup. I’m also obsessed with making my own ice cream, so I think it’s a match made in heaven :)
Butter Pecan is my favorite ice cream so this sounds right up my alley. I think I need to buy an ice cream maker.
Oh boy…one of my fav’s!!
I was just saying the other day that I need to make a new batch of ice cream soon! This is one of my husband’s favourite kinds too! Yum!
This looks great! I would die for a waffle smothered in this!!!! Such a nice flavour combo!
This is the epitome of an Autumn ice cream. We used to make this gelato flavor at our ice cream stand, haven’t had it in years. And the glazed walnuts we used to call “wet walnuts,” but I think glazed sounds way better, LOL.
I need an ice cream maker so I can enjoy this deliciousness! My favorite store-bought ice cream (well, one of them) is maple pecan so I know I’d love this :)