For those who are keeping track, yes, we really are on experiment #4 now. Product development is a process, and the last few tries weren’t worthy of sharing with you. I will say I am grateful to everyone who has served as taste testers throughout this process (namely, my husband). Your taste buds and bravery are appreciated!
What made this latest version a success, in my opinion, was the further reduced cider and the introduction of brown sugar. Boiling down the cider a bit longer to a more dense, syrupy consistency provided a more pronounced cider flavor in the ice cream. The brown sugar gave it a slightly richer sweetness.
The result was a pretty pumpkin latte-hued scoop with a creamy texture and a lovely fall spice flavor somewhere between a mulled cider and a chai tea latte. Try it with a little caramel sauce drizzled over the top.
The experimenting isn’t over yet. I still want to work on the base a bit more, and maybe try some sorbet. But, I think we’re on to something!
Apple Cider Ice Cream #4
- 2 cups apple cider
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of fine salt
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
- In a medium sauce pot, combine the apple cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon stick. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook until the apple cider is reduced by roughly half. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick.
- Prepare an ice bath, placing ice and a bit of cold water in a large bowl. Set a smaller bowl within in the large bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Very slowly add about ½ cup of the hot cider mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly as you pour to temper the yolks and help prevent them from scrambling.
- Whisk in the milk and heavy cream.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot and return to medium-low heat, constantly stirring the mixture. The custard is done once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer set over smaller bowl nestled in the ice bath you prepared earlier. Whisk in the vanilla, spices, salt, and bourbon until fully blended.
- Stir mixture over ice bath to cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 4 hours to overnight.
- Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer.
Yields: 1 quart
Adapted from: Yes to Yolks