Cinnamon, cranberries, and walnuts. What do those ingredients bring to mind? Fall. I had several inspirations for my scoop this week. The first inspiration was my parents. They were coming to town and I asked what flavor ice cream they would like. As usual, they provided no specific requests but listed a few ingredients they like, namely fruits and nuts. Then I remembered a scoop I once tried at Bloom's Broom Dairy back home - Cranberry Walnut. I remembered that the scoop reminded me of Fall, my third inspiration.
Putting all of my inspirations together, I conjured up a scoop that explodes with flavor. The flavors of sweet cream, tart cranberries, spicy cinnamon and earthy walnuts meld together to form a flavor that satisfies each taste bud with every bite. This flavor is one of my favorites so far. My mom has been waiting patiently for me to post this recipe so she can make more at home. Enjoy!
2 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ oz. cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup cane sugar
1/8 cup light corn syrup
10 three-inch cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup soaked cranberries (see below)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Warm 1 cup milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Once warm (do not boil) remove from heat, cover and let steep at room temperature for one hour. When steeping is almost complete, fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth.
After steeping is complete, remove cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon. Add remaining milk and begin rewarming. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and off heat gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a gallon bag, seal tightly, and set baggie in the ice water bath, cover with some ice, and let stand until cold, about 20 minutes or longer.
Once ice cream base is chilled, pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sprinkle a layer of cranberries and walnuts into a plastic container (or other container for ice cream) and lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers of fruit and nuts and ice cream until the container is full.
Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and close with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Cranberries can be prepared up to a day in advance
1/8 cup (30 ml) water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1 teaspoon whiskey
Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan. Add the cranberries and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until all but about 1 Tablespoon of the syrup has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the whisky. Cool completely before adding to ice cream.