As promised, I’m sharing the best homemade ice cream I’ve made to date. And it came at just the perfect time. This past week I came upon one of life’s unexpected speed bumps. You know when things are moving along smoothly, and you’re truly loving life. I often wonder during those cruising through life moments, what’s up ahead. When things are going according to plan and everyone is happy, it can’t last forever because part of who we become depends on how we navigate the bumps in the road. I’ve gotten through a few big roadblocks over the past few years, so I know that a speedbump, though not a pleasant experience, is survivable.
It is during these speed bump moments in life that I crave comfort. It’s how I hang on and push through. I’m really not an emotional eater, so this weekend I’m not sure if it had to do more with my situation, or with this amazing dessert that I indulged… a whole batch of this apple pie ice cream. I have no guilt and no regrets! In fact, the only mistake I made with this recipe was that I didn’t make a double batch.
If you haven’t entered the ice cream give-away from yesterday, make sure you post a comment on the previous post. I can’t wait to see who wins the Cuisinart ice cream maker and ice cream essentials package. I was able to get a copy of a brand new cookbook that was just released yesterday called Spice Dreams. I even got an extra one to add to the give-away. It’s written by Sara Engram & Katie Luber. I have dubbed them the “Real Spice Girls” because they are experts in selecting spices and herbs to enhance whatever you’re dishing up. I’m now dreaming of their raspberry cheesecake with cinnamon ice cream, and the brown sugar spice banana ice cream they’ve created. Their ice cream recipes use all kinds of herbs and spices including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, basil, cumin, fennel, and the list goes on.
The first recipe to catch my eye was their “Apple Spice Ice Cream”. I adapted their recipe slightly, and am toying with the name… Ice Cream a la Pie or Apple Pie Ice Cream. Let me know if you come up with a better name. The recipe is a little involved (which means it uses more than one bowl). Trust me, it is worth every minute you invest in preparing it. In addition to making the ice cream base, you bake spiced apples to put in at the end of churning process. The ice cream is literally a dream all by itself, but I took it a step further because I wanted that apple pie crust-like crunch. That’s where the oatmeal cookies from Lottie and Doof came in. Yes, I ate those too!
These ice cream sandwiches are heavenly. I got lucky and I found the perfect oatmeal cookie for an ice cream sandwich. I’ve discovered through trial and error that the type of cookie matters when making ice cream sandwiches. It needs to be sturdy to hold the ice cream, but not hard, or when you freeze it, you risk breaking your teeth. These cookies were buttery, with not too much oatmeal. They were crispy, yet chewy in the middle, a perfect ice cream sandwich cookie!
In my kitchen this weekend, the smell of the cinnamon apples, the taste of the ice cream, and those amazing oatmeal cookies brought me home. Dorothy got it right. There really is no place on earth like home. For me, home is with my mom, dad, and sister, my boy, and his naughty pup. Home is what holds all of the family memories we’ve made over the years. I couldn’t help but reflect on how blessed my life has been. In the end, I enjoyed an out of this world dessert, and realized that there’s no speed bump too big to get through, especially when those I love are along for the ride.
Recipes after the jump…
Apple Pie Ice Cream (slightly adapted from Spice Dreams)
Makes about one quart (Double this… it’s that good!)
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup plus ¼ cup sugar
½ tsp.lemon zest
Pinch of salt
2 large egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
¾ tsp. vanilla.
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced, and cut into quarters
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch of nutmeg
½ tsp. lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
To make the ice cream combine the milk, ¼ cup sugar, lemon zest and salt in a medium saucepan. Scald the milk mixture over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
While milk is scalding, whisk egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. Whisking constantly, add a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Gradually whisk in the remaining hot milk.
Return the custard mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often. The custard needs to get thick enough to cover the back of a spoon (approx. 5 minutes). Remove pan from heat and place into a glass bowl of ice. Let the custard cool, stirring often for five minutes
While the custard is cooling, combine the cream and vanilla in a separate bowl. Stir into the custard mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until completely chilled (minimum 4 hours, overnight works too). The custard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To make the spiced apples, combine the apples, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, lemon zest and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples are tender, and most of the liquid is gone (approx. 10 minutes). Let the apples cool and place them in the refrigerator to chill.
Freeze the chilled custard in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add the spiced apples during the last minute of churning, until just mixed. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for a few hours to firm it up before you serve it.
Oatmeal Cookies (slightly adapted from Lottie and Doof)
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
7 tablespoons shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
Heat oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt , and cinnamon in medium bowl.In standing mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated. Give dough final stir with spatula.
Use 1 tablespoon to measure cookie dough. Roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press ball to 3/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle the tops with a few flakes of sea salt.
Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, and centers yield to slight pressure when touched, 13 to 16.Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely on sheet.