This is my I’m-in-Denial-that-Summer-is-Really-Gone Ode to Fall. Of course, ice cream is fantastic year-round and homemade is the best. I thought about making caramel apples, but then I decided I’d rather just eat ice cream and pretend it’s warm outside, so I invented this deconstructed version. It is seriously hard to stop eating!
Normally I favor egg-based custards because they produce a richer, creamier ice cream, but this one is egg free and has a billowy texture. It’s also easier to make since it doesn’t have to cook, and it lets the milk flavor shine through. You can steep a whole vanilla bean in the warmed cream instead, and scrape out the seeds, but I like to use jarred vanilla bean paste.
And you can always take the easy route and use store-bought ice cream and sauces (canned wax, as my brother calls it), but you’ll miss out on 92% of the flavor (ok I made that number up, but seriously, you must try the caramel sauce!!). Don’t forget the chopped apples and peanuts. Enjoy! 🙂
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 3 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
Pour 1 cup of cream and sugar into medium saucepan. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; add vanilla and remaining cream. Chill mixture thoroughly, preferably at least 8 hours. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Yield: 1 quart
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Add sugar and stir occasionally until the sugar begins to caramelize and turn mahogany. Remove from heat before it burns and add the cream. The mixture will bubble up a lot. Stir until smooth, then add vanilla and salt. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: about 2 cups
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- 2 oz good quality semisweet chocolate
In a medium saucepan whisk together all ingredients except the chocolate. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Sauce is thin but will thicken upon cooling. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: about 2 cups
Sauces adapted from Ready for Dessert, by David Lebovitz