I have something very shameful to admit.
I bought an ice cream machine in October and only finally put it to use last week. It had been sitting in my garage, lonely and unused, all that time.
But when I finally did use it—well, it was definitely worth the wait!
About two weeks ago, I made a cute little six-inch apple pie with one of the jars of apple pie filling I canned in the run-up to Christmas. It was delicious! But it didn’t quite take an entire jar, so I had a little less than a cup of apple pie filling left over. What to do?
Well, make apple pie ice cream, of course!
While at Anthropologie’s Black Friday sale, I picked up a copy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home by Jeni Britton Bauer. I had never heard of Jeni or her ice cream, but it looked like a great book and it was such a bargain.
It. Is. FABULOUS. I absolutely love the “more than 100 addictively good artisanal recipes,” as the cover copy proclaims. It’s also my favorite sort of cookbook with lots of personality and first-person essays sprinkled in to make for very engaging reading, not to mention beautiful photos and styling. I highly recommend you check it out.
Anyway, for my first foray into ice cream-making, I chose her recipe for plain vanilla. HA!
Well, OK, there is nothing plain about this vanilla. It is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness. I also love (LOVE LOVE) that her ice cream recipes do not require making a custard (read: egg) base, as I had an unfortunate run-in with scrambled-egg-chocolate ice cream as a teenager and have never recovered.
After you make the vanilla ice cream base and it has frozen in the ice cream machine, you layer it into your storage container with the apple pie filling. Now, this particular apple pie filling is a little heavy on the thickener—it makes for excellent pie, but comes out a little chewy in the ice cream. Next time I would just sauté some apples in butter and cinnamon and nutmeg and leave it at that.
Apple Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home
For the ice cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 T plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups half and half
2/3 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out, bean reserved
For the Apple Pie Filling:
use 1 cup apple pie filling, or 1 large apple, diced, cooked until soft in butter, and seasoned to taste with cinnamon and nutmeg
Whisk 2 T of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the cream cheese with the salt until smooth and set aside.
Cook the remaining milk and other ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat to a rolling boil, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring back to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour the ice cream base into a gallon zip lock bag and cool completely in a water bath or the refrigerator.
Freeze the ice cream according to your machine’s directions.
Layer the frozen ice cream and the apple pie filling into your storage container. Press a piece of waxed paper onto the top and freeze until hard, about 4 hours.
Serve with caramel sauce, whipped cream, crushed graham crackers or sugar cookies, or granola as desired.