Thursday, 5 November 2009

Toffee Apple Ice Cream

This is an over-the-top ice cream in all the right ways! It's the kind of ice cream children (and adults with a sweet tooth) will love and it's absolutely lovely. Although I used my new ice cream maker, its custard base and high sugar content would make it a perfect contender for still-freezing. If you haven't made ice cream before don't be scared-it's far easier than cake making and the recipes usually take well to adaptations. An ice cream maker does produce a smoother texture but you don't need one unless you really get into doing it; I was making ice cream without one for 12 months and the results were still great.


125g butter
125g caster sugar
500-600g apples (weight before peeling, coring and quartering-about 4 medium eating apples)

4 medium egg yolks
150g caster sugar
3tsp vanilla extract
350ml whole (full-fat) milk
150-200ml double (or heavy) cream


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the sugar and apples.

2. Place over a moderate heat and caramelise, stirring until the apples are golden and soft.

3. Place the mixture in a bowl and mash gently with a fork or potato masher. Allow to cool.

4. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and 2tsp of the vanilla extract (or the scraped out insides of a vanilla pod if you have them available) together in a separate bowl.

5. Pour the milk into a clean saucepan with 1tsp of the vanilla extract (or the split pod) and place on a moderate heat and slowly bring to just below the boil.

6. Pour the milk into the egg mixture whilst whisking continuously.

7. Pour this custard into a clean wide-based pan and stir gently yet continuously over the lowest heat possible. This will take 5-10 minutes and requires patience as increasing the heat will make the custard curdle (if this happens, place in a blender then return to the pan and start again). The custard is ready when it is thick enough to just coat the back of a wooden spoon, and when you trace your finger along the spoon the path remains clear and does not run.

8. As soon as the custard is done, remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl so that it does not continue to cook as it would in the pan. Allow to cool.

9. Whisk the double cream and add to the cooled custard, then whisk the apple mixture into the custard.

10. Add to your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Or, if still-freezing, pour into a large container (like a reused ice cream tub!) and place in the freezer. After an hour, take it out and beat the frozen edges into the unfrozen middle with a fork. Place in the freezer again, and repeat after two hours. Once it has fully frozen you will need to remove the ice cream from the freezer 20-30 minutes before eating in order to allow it to soften.

For further advice on making ice cream without a machine read these invaluable posts by ice cream king David Lebovitz:

How to make ice cream without a machine

Tips for making homemade ice cream softer

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