Creamy Maple Ice Cream with Salted Buttery Walnuts
I realized this weekend that it’s been almost five weeks (maybe more) since I’ve cooked something proper. I’ve been roasting things, but that’s really nothing more than wash-chop-bake and I don’t think really counts. Before vacation and since I’ve returned, I’ve been existing, I think, on toast, smoothies, salads, eggs and yogurt, I think. The mind does funny things when not properly fed.
So a few days ago I sat myself down and talked myself out of vacation mindset and back into adulthood, and set myself up to make some honest to goodness, chop-saute-brown-simmer, and cream-whisk-bake food, completely with a fresh herb and/or grated cheese garnish. The way my life should be going down especially since the smoothie-life is not sustainable in sub-70 degree temperatures.
What is sustainable despite falling temperatures is my ice cream habit (i.e. addiction) and therefore my vacation favorite recreation for this trip is maple walnut ice cream, also moving this blog one step closer to being an ice-cream only blog (kidding, but seriously, self). If you’ve been following me on instagram, you’ve realized that i made it my goal to eat all things maple while in Canada, bonus if it’s ice cream, and I succeeded. I think I had it three times in two days, and for that I bear no shame, only pride.
Since I’ve had a hard time kicking the laziness, I almost, almost made this no churn but then I figured that really be doing this ice cream a disservice and so full-churn it is. I had originally planned on using Jeni’s recipe for maple with salted buttery nuts, but somehow in my brain foggy late night prep of the ice cream base, I realized that I had not enough maple syrup, and accidentally added almost a cup of extra cream. Whoops. Plus, I used maple extract for extra maple flavor. In the end it came out deliciously creamy, and with the addition of salted buttery nuts, is something that I think would gladly be acceptable above the border.
My Canadian half heartily approves.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 TB cream cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 TB corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp maple extract
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 TB unsalted butter
- Make the nuts first. In a dry skillet, toast the walnuts until toasted and fragrant. Add the butter and salt, letting it melt. Toss it all until well coated and set aside to cool complete. Chop once cool.
- Mix the cornstarch with about 2 TB of milk to create a slurry. Set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a deep saucepan, add the maple syrup. Keeping an eye on it, let it come to a boil and reduce for 8 minutes. Add the sugar and cornstarch and let them both dissolve. Slowly add the remaining milk and heavy cream stirring constantly until well combined.
- Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in cornstarch slurry.
- Return the mixture to a boil and cook about 1 minute until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk the milk mixture into the cream cheese. Add the maple extract. Refrigerate overnight or until completely cool.
- Place the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the chopped walnuts during the last minute or so of churning, or fold them by hand when it has finished. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze.
Written while muting and un-muting the debate.