we’re going to start today off with a travel tip: if you’re ever in portland, maine (or brunswick, maine), RUN, don’t walk to gelato fiasco. (and if you’re not nearby, check the freezer case at the grocery store. they do sell pints at grocery stores across the country and while it won’t be the cheapest option on the shelf, it just might be the tastiest.)
my husband and i visited the portland location last month as part of our two year anniversary date night and i had some of the best gelato i’ve ever had. seriously. please note, this is coming from someone who (on more than one occasion), had gelato twice in one day because my two favorite flavors were at two different places in melbourne. luckily, as a study abroad student, i didn’t have a car and at least had to walk to these two gelato shops to satisfy my cravings.
so when i say the apple cider gelato at gelato fiasco is good, i mean it. as i was enjoying it, i recounted to my husband how i had tried to make apple cider sorbet as a senior in college (are we noticing an ambitious failure theme here with cooking projects my senior year of college?). it was, in short, not any good. i think my ice cream making experience to date at the time was having watched my roommate make ginger ice cream, once.
i naively assumed that if i replaced all of the fat-laden heavy cream and whole milk with watery apple cider and poured it into the ice cream maker, delicious sorbet would spring forth. apparently in addition to not being familiar with how ice cream is made, i was also unacquainted with how ice is made… perhaps needless to say, this “sorbet” turned out to basically be a block of apple cider colored ice. at which point i completely abandoned the idea for the next decade or so as being totally hopeless.
this apple cider gelato though. it reinvigorated my quest to make apple cider ice cream.
armed with a bit more knowledge of how to make ice cream this time around, i did some research online before diving in, looking at recipes and reading the comments to see how the recioes held up. i ended up mashing three recipes together, making sure to stick with my trusty egg-free base from jeni’s splendid ice cream (because apple cider flavored scrambled eggs doesn’t really sound any better than thai basil flavored scrambled eggs).
i’m pleased to report that this apple pie ice cream result is the delicious result. yes, pie, not cider. this recipe ended up tasting a lot more like apple pie ice cream than the pure apple cider flavor of the gelato that kicked this whole mess off. BUT. but, the apple pie version is so good, i had to share it. and believe me, i will keep working on a true apple cider version. but for now, perhaps this apple pie ice cream can squeeze into the thanksgiving dessert buffet lineup? (just be warned that because it lacks the stabilizers common in commercial ice creams, it will melt quickly.)
and speaking of thanksgiving, i have a delicious and easy cheese dip coming up for you next week that is either make ahead or make last minute friendly, depending on how you tend to approach thanksgiving. then i have a tasty way to use up some of the leftover thanksgiving turkey and cranberry coming up later next week. so while i’m not your go-to girl for traditional thanksgiving recipes, i’m not *completely* ignoring the country’s biggest food holiday either…
- 16 oz. (2 cups / 473 ml) apple cider
- 4 ¾ oz. (135 g. / 2/3 cup) sugar
- one 4” (10 cm) cinnamon stick
- 16 oz. (2 cups / 473 ml) cold whole milk
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 10 oz. (1 1/4 cups /296 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- a tiny pinch of ground cloves
- if you are using a canister-style ice cream maker, be sure to let the empty canister chill in the freezer for at least 24 and ideally 48 hours before you put it to use making delicious treats.
- in a heavy bottomed, medium/large sauce pan (the mixture will bubble up as it boils), combine the apple cider, sugar, and cinnamon stick. over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and swirl it around in the pan occasionally. as the cider boils, it will bubble up to the top of the pot; swirl the pot to tame the bubbles. if the mixture is really threatening to boil over, turn down the heat a little bit. continue to boil the cider until it is the consistency of maple syrup and you have between ½ and 2/3 of a cup, which should take about 15 minutes. the bubbles should be large, thick, and foamy. if you have an instant read thermometer, the cider should register 240° F. once it’s ready, remove the pot from heat and carefully remove the cinnamon stick.
- put the cream cheese and a ½ cup of the milk in the blender and blend briefly until smooth. pour into a large metal bowl. add the cream, remaining milk, corn syrup, reduced cider, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the bowl and whisk until smooth. cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (until the ice cream base registers 40° F – the temperature of everything else in your refrigerator).
- if possible, set your ice cream maker up in a cool(er) room. whisk the ice cream base again to combine the spices that may have settled. pour the mixture into your frozen ice cream maker canister and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. i ran it through my machine for 30 minutes. if you have a thermometer, you want the base to reach 21° F (or colder).
- once the ice cream base is ready, transfer it to a shallow, plastic storage container with a lid (here’s why). tightly seal the ice cream and get it into the coldest (back) part of your freezer asap. freeze until desired consistency is reached. dig in!
this recipe is a mashup of apple cider ice cream with walnut pralines on the food52 site, apple cider ice cream over at serious eats, and my trusty base, jeni’s splendid ice cream base, courtesy of saveur.
please note this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking from here, i will earn a small commission from amazon at no additional charge to you. i only link to products that i use and love. thank you for supporting tasty seasons!