We all know I love Fall. We all know I love apples. After five years of writing the Scoop Adventures blog, I feel like sometimes I am just repeating myself. My life just isn’t that interesting. I love food. I love my cats. I love my husband. I love nice weather and being outside. I enjoy working in my garden. I enjoy cooking with my garden spoils. Sound familiar? I apologize if I repeat myself frequently, but that is the life that I am choosing to share.
Now on to some more repetition. One of my favorite parts of Fall in the Maryland is apple picking. It was interesting how much I missed this tradition when I lived down South. The apples in Louisiana were just sad. And sparse. My first Fall season back up North, I went a little overboard with the apple picking but it was great and resulted in many apple-inspired dishes and desserts. I have yet to go apple picking this season but it is definitely on my list of to-dos. Somehow weekends have already been filled in October, so I am going to have to be creative with finding the time to go to the farm before the weather gets too cold.
One saving grace is my Fall CSA. For a couple of weeks I have been receiving a huge share of apples as well as apple cider. Apple cider is heaven. I could down a whole quart if I didn’t have to worry about my waistline. Recently I found out that apple cider can be cooked down to a syrup. Who knew? It actually makes quite a lot of sense given that apple cider is full of water and natural sugars. Just get rid of the water and you have concentrated apple cider goodness! Apple cider syrup sounded like an excellent addition to a Fall spiced ice cream, and oh how I was right. This scoop is like apple pie without the pie crust. The apple cider swirl is like a tart apple caramel. Yum! I was going to save some ice cream to share with friend, but my husband and I ate it ALL. So good. Enjoy!
Apple Cider Swirl Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
2 cups fresh apple cider
1 ½ cups whole milk, divided
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
6 three-inch cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pour apple cider into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until cider is reduce to 1/2 cup, about 20-30 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. When reduce, pour into a small container with a lid and chill in the refrigerator.
Combine 1 cup (237ml) milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a medium saucepan and place over medium high heat. Warm until mixture is hot and steam begins rise. Remove from heat, cover and let steep at room temperature for one hour.
Fill a large bowl with ice water, set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons milk with cornstarch, whisk and set aside. When steeping is complete, remove cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon. Add remaining milk and begin rewarming over medium heat. Bring milk mixture to a low boil and cook for 3 minutes.
Remove milk mixture from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in salt. Set bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Once chilled, add vanilla to ice cream base and whisk to combine. Pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon a small layer of apple cider swirl into a freezer-safe container and lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers of apple cider swirl and ice cream until the container is full, gently swirling with a spoon (careful not to muddy the ice cream). Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.