Apple Pie Ice Cream

We went through a serious ice cream phase this summer. As in, we ate ice cream almost every night after dinner. Maybe “phase” is the wrong word, it may have been a problem… Either way, when fall arrived, it was like a switch flipped and almost immediately we cut way back on our ice cream consumption. It wasn’t intentional – we usually eat ice cream even through the bitter cold of the winter months here so I’m not sure how to explain it. Regardless, I’m pretty sure it won’t last long!

A few weeks ago I realized I’d also taken a break from churning my own ice cream; it’s been nearly 4 months since the last batch! I set out to remedy that almost immediately and there was no question what recipe I’d be making first. I’ve had this apple pie ice cream bookmarked since Michelle posted it back in August, and I’m not sure there’s a more perfect flavor for fall.

Apple Pie Ice Cream

While brownies still reign as my first choice, almost any apple dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top runs a close second. The genius of this ice cream is that it combines the two for you seamlessly – it really does taste like apple pie, but in ice cream form! The base is creamy vanilla ice cream, which is then combined with apples that have been cooked in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Rather than incorporate the apples as is, you puree them, which ensures all of the apple flavor minus any chunks of icy fruit. The final component in the ice cream is snickerdoodle cookies, which are folded in after churning and mimic the pie crust. It’d been ages since I made snickerdoodles and I had forgotten just how awesome they are.

It may not be the most traditional idea, but I think this apple pie ice cream would be well received at any Thanksgiving table this year :)

Apple Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones (via Brown Eyed Baker)

Apples
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Ice Cream
5 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped snickerdoodles

To cook the apple: Add the brown sugar and butter to a medium skill set over medium heat. Let the butter melt, then add the apples and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples have softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the apples to cool, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.

To make the ice cream: In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar together. Add the remaining sugar, the heavy cream, milk, and salt to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Warm until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the yolks, whisking constantly, until completely incorporated. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (it will register between 170 and 175 F on an instant read thermometer).

Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in your refrigerator (I always have the best results when I chill overnight).

The next day, add the apples, vanilla extract and half of the custard to your blender or food processor. Puree until the mixture is smooth.

Combine this puree with the remaining custard and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you transfer the ice cream to a container for storing, fold in the chopped snickerdoodles with a rubber spatula. Store in an airtight container in your freezer.

Makes about 1 quart