This past Christmas, my parents gifted me an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer. I’ve been coveting this for quite some time; but ever since becoming gluten free, I’ve wanted one even more. Many commercially produced ice creams contain gluten as fillers. Granted, the tastiest (and typically the most expensive) ice creams only contain cream, eggs, sugar, and flavourings; but I still wanted the ice cream maker so that I could experiment with flavours that I can’t find at the grocery store.
Naturally, I had to test the new kitchen gadget by making a simple, creamy chocolate ice cream. What better way to ensure the ice cream maker works than by making this classic? I used a recipe by Alton Brown if you’re interested in trying it out. I shared the large batch with my family on New Years Day, and it was a hit. Thank you Alton.
After savouring the creaminess of home made ice cream (I assure you, there is nothing like it), I was hooked. Like an addict, I was itching to try more. However, it’s been a ridiculously cold winter up here in Canada’s North. I know that one would expect cold in the North; but this one has been exceptionally frigid. Which means that while I’ve been craving the process of making hundreds of different ice creams; the thought of putting something frozen in my mouth is not desirable. Then one night, a friend was talking about apple pie, and I began dreaming about this tasty dessert and how much I’ve missed it since going gluten free. I had an “A-Ha” moment, and decided I would attempt to bring the flavours I love from apple pie – buttery, cooked apples; cinnamon; brown sugar – together into a vanilla-based ice cream. And even though it was cold out, this ice cream was a perfect dessert to be savoured in winter.
Apple Pie Ice Cream
When I was testing this recipe, I had originally planned on making a small amount of gluten free pie crust to crumble up into the ice cream mixture. However, I was impatient, and didn’t allow my halved crust recipe to cool in the fridge – resulting in a melted, burnt mass of flours and butter. But, when Kyle & I tried the ice cream without the crusty addition, we both felt it wasn’t missing. I used brown sugar, cinnamon, and a good vanilla in the base of ice cream, which gave enough depth of flavour to the ice cream that it felt like the perfect “crust” for the apple mixture. Heaven.
1 Tbsp butter
3 cups apples, chopped & peeled (about 2-3 apples)
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 cup + 1 Tbsp brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
3 cups half & half cream
1 cup heavy cream (also called whipping cream)
8 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla paste (or you can use a high quality vanilla extract)
Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the apples, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar. Lightly saute for 1 minute, letting the sugar dissolve into the apple mixture. Pour over the 1/4 cup of water, and allow the mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples become soft. Pour the apple mixture into a food processor or blender, and process until the mixture resembles a chunky apple sauce. Cover and refrigerate the mixture.
Pour the half & half and heavy cream into a medium saucepan. Heat the creams over medium-high heat until they come to a simmer, but not boiling – stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow the cream mix to cool slightly. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and 1 cup of brown sugar into the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat together the eggs and sugar until the sugar has dissolved into the eggs and the mixture begins to look frothy – about 1-2 minutes.
Slowly add about 1/3 of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture – you want to temper the eggs, not scramble them, so be sure to stir in a small amount at a time. Once you have added about a 1/3 of the cream mixture to the eggs, pour in the egg and cream mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream, stirring to ensure everything is mixed thoroughly. Return the pan to the stove, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cream comes to 170-175ºF; remove from the heat. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can judge when the ice cream base is ready to pull from the stove when small bubbles start to form around the edge of the mixture and when the cream coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour the cream base into a large bowl. Stir together 2 tsp of vanilla paste and 1/2 a tsp of cinnamon. Add this mixture the the cream base, stirring thoroughly so it’s incorporated into the entire mix. Cover and chill the ice cream base for at least 8 hours – I prefer overnight.
Once your ice cream base and apple mix is thoroughly chilled, pour the ice cream base into the ice cream maker and process according the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes 30-35 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of processing time, add the apple mixture to the ice cream base. Remove the mixture to a freezer save container, and allow to freeze for another 3-4 hours to harden.
Serve in a bowl or with your favourite gluten free cones.