This ice cream is very much inspired by a recipe from The Bojon Gourmet, a blog I discovered via Pinterest. It caught my eye when I was looking for ideas on new ways to put some of our enormous apple harvest to good use. I replaced Alanna’s cream base with a rich and very sweet custard base and roasted my apples until the sugars not only caramelised, but the edges caught and blackened to add texture and a touch of bitterness. I didn’t include a crumble as it tends not to stay crisp for long and our ice creams usually last at least a few weeks in the freezer. That said, this one’s disappearing fast!
Serendipity struck when making the custard ice cream base: I decided to use up 75 grams of sugar mix leftover from a recent apple pie making session. The leftover sugar had a little cinnamon and plain flour mixed into it (for thickening the pie filling) and I topped it up with an additional 25 grams of plain sugar. I blended and cooked my custard using my wonderful Froothie Optimum 9400 power blender, and found that the inclusion of the flour resulted in a beautifully smooth and thick custard.
Burnt Apple & Bourbon Ice Cream
For the roasted apple
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
100 grams light brown sugar (I use Billington’s sugars)
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
For the ice cream base
250 ml double cream
150 ml full fat milk
100 grams sugar
1 pinch salt
3 large egg yolks
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: 1 tablespoon plain white flour
To make the ice cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
Roasted apple mixture
For the roasted apple:
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Toss all the ingredients together to combine and transfer to a small roasting dish. Roast for about 45 minutes, checking on progress once or twice during the cooking time. If the apples are not yet caramelised, with a little charring on some edges, roast for longer until they’re ready.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. These can be made the day before churning the ice cream and stored in the fridge until needed.
For the ice cream base:
- I combined all the ingredients and used my power blender to both mix and cook the custard for several minutes. The speed of the powerful blades generates enough heat to cook the custard while continuing to mix it so that nothing catches. No burnt bits, no lumps and very quick.
- Alternatively, you can make your custard the traditional way by gently heating cream, milk and half the sugar in a pan until it reaches boiling, then removing from the heat. Meanwhile beat the remaining sugar and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Slowly pour the hot cream and milk over the eggs, whisking continuously, and then pour the combined mixture back into the pan and cook until it thickens. Make sure you stir continuously so that the custard doesn’t catch and burn.
- Once cooked, set aside to cool. The custard can be made the day before churning the ice cream and stored in the fridge until needed.
To make the ice cream:
- Add two tablespoons of bourbon to the custard base and mix well.
- Add the roasted apple mixture. Alanna puréed some of hers and adds the rest whole, but I decided to leave all of it whole. I added only three quarters of the mixture as I thought it would be too much but in retrospect I could certainly have all of it.
- Churn in an ice cream machine until ready.
With the fruit, bourbon and spices this ice cream is very reminiscent of mince pies and Christmas pudding.
The Smart Scoop: Sage by Heston Blumenthal
For the last couple of years I’ve been using a Gaggia ice cream machine. I’ve been happy enough with the results, but have sometimes wished it would churn the ice cream till it was just a little more solid. I have worked around this by transferring the finished ice cream to a freezer container and popping into the freezer to solidify further.
When I heard that the Sage by Heston Blumenthal range of appliances included an ice cream machine, called the Smart Scoop, I was intrigued by some of the extra features it offers over my Gaggia. It’s also a good looking machine with its handsome brushed stainless steel surface.
Instead of just having a timer function that switches off when the time is up, the Smart Scoop offers a range of settings from sorbet through frozen yogurt and gelato to ice cream. Once you’ve chosen the texture you’re aiming for the ice cream maker starts freezing and churning. It automatically senses how hard the mixture is so it can alert you when it’s ready. Alterrnatively, you can use manual mode to freeze and churn for a set time according to your own recipes.
There’s an alarm to alert me when the ice cream is ready. I can adjust the volume (or set it to mute) and I can choose between a regular beeper and an ice cream van-style musical tune.
The Smart Scoop also has a function to keep the finished ice cream (or sorbet) at your chosen consistency for up to three hours so I don’t need to come running the moment the alarm goes off.
With our Gaggia, I always have to stay close, especially as the machine comes to the end of it’s timer run. Sometimes the ice cream isn’t finished and I have to turn the dial again to give it more time. Sometimes the motor starts to strain as the ice cream becomes too solid for the machine to churn any further and the paddle stops rotating; then it’s a case of having to switch the machine off quickly and transfer the ice cream into another container to pop into the freezer. The Smart Scoop solves both of these problems.
I wish the Smart Scoop ice cream bowl was dishwasher safe; this seems to me to be an oversight for the modern kitchen.
And of course, like most ice cream machines with integrated freezing unit, it’s large and very heavy. This, of course, is the same for all the models that I’ve come across.
I’m really happy with it and shall be sharing many more sorbet, froyo and ice cream recipes to come.
Other ideas to make the most of apple season:
- Classic Apple Pie and a guide on How to Can (bottle) Apple Pie Filling
- Ren Behan’s Toffee Apple Tarts
- Nazima’s Cinnamon Apple Meringue Tartlets
- The Higgidy Pork and Apple Stroganoff Pie with Cheddar Crust
- My Apple, Date & Ginger Chutney
And if you’re interested in the history of apples, read my post about a Visit to the National Fruit Collections at Brogdale.
This ice cream is my entry into the September / October #BSFIC challenge, Anything Goes.
Kavey Eats received a review machine from Sage by Heston Blumenthal and an Optimum 9400 blender from Froothie. All opinions are my own. Please see the right side bar for a special offer on buying the Froothie Optimum 9400 with an extended warranty via my affiliate link.