I came up with this recipe in my desperation to use up all the apples I was getting from my winter CSA. It’s fortunate that my daughter loves raw apples so much, but I really prefer mine cooked. I thought I’d see if I could replicate the taste of apple pie a la mode by cooking a pie filling on the stove top, then using that as a mix-in for the ice cream. It worked!
I considered making some pie crust and crumbling that in as well. Two problems occurred to me. One is that I’d have to decrease the amount of apple filling or risk overflowing my ice cream maker. That wasn’t a solution, since the apples really needed to shine through. The other issue is that I wasn’t sure the crust wouldn’t turn into a soggy mess as it sat in the ice cream. In the end I decided that the “crust” could come in the form of a cone.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prepare ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. This varies widely, but you’ll likely need to freeze part of it for at least 24 hours.
- Combine the milk, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add in the pod as well. Place over medium heat until small bubbles just begin to appear around the edges. The mixture will be between 170ºF and 180ºF. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.
- While mixture is heating, pour remaining cup of cream in a large bowl set in an ice water bath. Place a mesh strainer in the bowl.
- Whisk egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring some of the heated mixture into the yolks while constantly whisking. Return the mixture and heated yolks back to the saucepan.
- Place the saucepan back over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The mixture should be between 170ºF and 175ºF. Don’t go over 180ºF or you’ll overcook the eggs.
- Pour the mixture through the strainer set in the bowl of cream, discarding the vanilla bean pod. Add the vanilla extract and continue stirring until the mixture is cool.
- Place mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile prepare the apple pie mix-in. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the apples, stirring to coat. Then add the remaining ingredients.
- Continue cooking and stirring until apples just begin to soften. Be careful not to let it become applesauce.
- Transfer mixture to a covered container and refrigerate along with the ice cream mixture.
- Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions. Mine has an opening at the top, so I can start the motor before pouring. This reduces the amount that gets stuck to the sides before it’s churned.
- Let the mixture churn until nearly at the desired consistency. Again, this will vary by machine, but mine takes about 20 to 25 minutes to reach this stage.
- Add the apple mixture and continue churning just until incorporated.
- Enjoy the ice cream straight from the machine (it will be a bit soft), or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for several hours for a firmer ice cream.
The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for approximately one month.
This is essentially a modified vanilla ice cream recipe. Even if you leave out the apple mixture, you’re still left with an incredible dessert.
For a delicious variation you can make Blueberry Pie Ice Cream.
Replace the Apple Mixture ingredients with the following:
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 squirt lemon juice
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- Dash salt
Cook all ingredients over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce gets dark and some of the berries burst open. Cool in a covered container along with the ice cream mixture. Add at the very end of the churning process, about a minute before you shut off the mixture.