Tuesday, September 25, 2012

apples and honey ice cream


I'm not sure I'll ever get the hang this holiday blogging thing. In theory, I understand that I'm supposed to post the recipes before the holiday in question so that you can all benefit from the wisdom of my experience when planning your festive feasts.  


In reality? It goes a little more like this: realize it's the morning of Rosh Hashanah and I still have no idea what I'm making, down coffee while paging through cookbooks like a madwoman, dash out to the store in yoga pants so ugly and unflattering that they all but guarantee I'll run into everyone I've ever dated on my way there, load up on apples and honey, make a total mess of my kitchen and, if I'm lucky, get dessert on the table sometime before everyone's ready to go home.


Maybe someday I'll get my act together and do the baking and blogging ahead of time. Until then, it's a good thing that this ice cream isn't just for Rosh Hashanah. Oh no. This ice cream is way too delicious to be a mere once a year food. Cool, crisp, and packed with apples, it embodies everything you love about fall. What more could you ask of a September dessert? Here's to a sweet new year.



Apples and Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and Chozen

I used the Jeni's ice cream base here, both because I'm usually not a fan of super eggy custards and because I've been dying to try the Jeni's method. This ice cream base is all the rage for good reason.  It was easy to make, impossibly creamy, and stays firm but scoopable in the freezer. My new go-to recipe.

For the Jeni's Ice Cream Base

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese softened/at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of milk and whisk well to blend. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, sugar, corn syrup and remaining milk to a boil. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, set a timer for 4 minutes. After exactly 4 minutes, turn off the heat and add the milk and cornstarch mixture to the pan. Gradually add the hot cream mixture to the cream cheese a little at a time, whisking as you go to prevent any lumps from forming. Pour the hot ice cream base into a large ziplock bag and submerge in a bowl of ice water (I skipped this step and instead just put my ice cream base into the freezer to cool). The ice cream base should be very cold (but not frozen) before you proceed to the final step. (Make the apples and honey while you're waiting).

For the Chozen Apples and Honey

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup fine granulated sugar
3 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract


Combine the first four ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes, until apples are soft but maintain their shape. Increase the heat to high, and, stirring constantly, cook until the liquid evaporates and the apples caramelize. (This will happen quickly--be careful not to let the apples burn). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Let the apple mixture cool before proceeding to the final step.

 
To Assemble and Freeze the Ice Cream

Measure out 3/4 cup of the cooled apple mixture and set aside. Puree the rest (I used an immersion blender, but you could do this in a regular blender or food processor as well). Stir the pureed apples into the cooled custard base. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions until frozen. Your ice cream is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the canisterFold in the reserved apples. Transfer your ice cream to a container, cover with a lid or with parchment or wax paper to seal out air, and freeze for at least 4 hours so that the flavors have time to develop and the ice cream firms up.

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