There are few things more synonymous with fall than apple cider.
The leaves are starting to change, there's a brisk edge to the breeze, and sandals are exchanged for über-cute boots. What could be more comfortable than curling up in a big fluffy blanket on the sofa with a great movie on the television and a big, steaming mug of spiced apple cider in hand?
Well, when you're in North Carolina and the temperature is routinely swinging from rainy and 55°F and sunny to 80°F, apple cider ice cream seems a bit more appropriate.
I searched and searched for a recipe that would result in a creamy, tangy ice cream reminiscent of all the spices that define fall cuisine - allspice, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, etc.
But I couldn't find one. I found baked apple pie ice cream, cinnamon ice cream, caramel apple ice cream - you name the sugar loaded flavor combination, I found it - everything except for a simple, flavorful spiced apple cider ice cream.
So I attempted to make my own. I should warn you that since I received my ice cream maker attachment for my KA mixer I've only used it a handful of times - and every single time was to make frozen Greek yoghurt. I'd never made ice cream of any sort before.
Surprisingly, this recipe came out fantastic. It's not overly sweetened, but maintains that characteristic tang that's so appealing about apple cider. There's just enough of the spices the cider is steeped in to give you those warm fuzzies Fall seems to bring about and the single cup of cream adds the perfect amount of richness without skimping on flavor.
This will be the perfect treat to reward me for the two papers I had due last week and the two I have due this week.
Usually whenever I try to create a new recipe for something it takes a little tinkering to get it right.
Not this time.
Apple Cider Ice Cream
4 cups apple cider
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
4 whole allspice berries
7 green cardamom pods
5 whole cloves
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature (preferably not ultra-pasteurized)
In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat bring the apple cider and spices to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until reduced by 1/4. Be sure to watch the cider as it's boiling, the high sugar content means it likes to foam up and boil over. There should be 3 cups of cider when finished simmering. Strain out the spices and let the cider sit at room temperature until it cools to lukewarm. Meanwhile, in the same pan (or another, if you like) whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until thoroughly combined, off the heat. Add in the lukewarm cider a tablespoon at a time, whisking to completely combine each addition before adding more. After about the first cup you should be able to pour in the remaining two. Place the pan over medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Pour mixture into a heat-proof container with an airtight lid and refrigerate at least overnight and up to 24 hours. Freeze according to the directions of your ice cream maker.
If you're unable to locate whole spices, feel free to experiment with ground. Just be sure to pour the cider through a fine mesh strainer before continuing with the recipe.
Sadly, there is no nutritional estimate for this recipe because I forgot to weigh the entire batch of ice cream before I told TA he could have some. Next time I make this I'll be sure to update the nutritional content.