Maple Ice Cream

The raspberries weren’t just pretty – they provided a really nice tart contrast to the sweet, luscious maple flavour.

It’s been hot lately in Southern Ontario.  Like 45C with the humidity hot (that’s roughly 113 degrees American). I took a bit of the first hot pepper from the garden the other night and discovered that they they do an amazing job of storing the heat of the day within their walls.  Yeowch!

In an effort to beat the heat, I decided to make ice cream. If you ask my husband, our ice cream machine is an appliance that is not used enough.  I like ice cream, but not as much as he does.

What flavour to make?  I picked a lot of raspberries last night, but not enough to sacrifice for a quart of dessert.  Vanilla?  Um, maybe.  Maple?  We like maple.  Well, real maple.  I hate store-bought maple ice cream and its artificial flavour.  But I had a bottle of dark (DARK!)  syrup  from White Meadows Farms (they ship btw) in the fridge.  It is rich and full of flavour.

Googling brought me recipes for frozen custards, which I love.  But they need 4-6 egg yolks, and I don’t have very many eggs right now.  Broadening my search I found something that called itself a maple gelato.  I don’t know what gives it that distinction, but it is very much like a cooked eggless pudding, thickened with cornstarch.  The only thing is that none of the recipes I found called for salt (I suspect they were all from the same source).  And they just used milk.  I had heavy cream in the fridge just asking to be used.  I also wanted to temper the sweetness of the syrup, so I used whisky in place of the vodka that many recipes called for to keep the mixture from freezing too hard.  I found the whisky flavour was just enough to make it not so cloying, without altering the taste of the ice cream.

Maple Ice Cream

  • 1 1/4 C milk (whole or reduced fat)
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 C pure maple syrup (the darker the better)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 T whisky (or unflavoured vodka)

Set a heatproof bowl into a larger bowl of ice water.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of milk with the cornstarch and salt and whisk into a slurry.  Set aside.

Bring the remaining milk and cream just to a boil.  Quickly whisk the cornstarch slurry and stir it into the hot milk.  Return to a boil.  Once it’s thickened (this happens very quickly), remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in the maple syrup until it’s all blended.

Pour the mixture into the bowl set over the ice water and stir occasionally until it reaches room temperature.  Add the whisky (or vodka) and refrigerate until well chilled.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Transfer to a container and freeze thoroughly.  It’s best eaten in a day or two.

Makes 3/4 quart.

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