Homemade Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream
“Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause
between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.”
– Carol Bishop Hipps
I am so enjoying this perfect pause. A calm and quiet has settled in. The whir of the air conditioning, running constantly, faithfully, is hushed. The flannel sheets have been dug out from the back of the guest closet, along with sweaters and boots and light scarves. The mornings are darker, crisper, making it ever harder to escape the draw of cozy covers as rosy sunlight peeks in.
October is a beautiful time of year in the South, and I’ve been soaking up our little slice of countryside. The palette, turning dark and dusky as vibrant greens begin fading in to amber, coral and crimson, only encourages my urge to nest. Our kitchen has been a blur of baking and braising and slow simmering dishes, with aromatic spices lighting up the whole house. Autumn is in full swing.
I almost called this recipe Apple Pie Ice Cream because the flavors are so similar; it really does taste like a creamy bite of frozen apple pie. I hesitated only because there is no “crust” element per se, although if you indulge with a big scoop atop a waffle cone, you get pretty close. Either way, this ice cream combines the sweet and spicy combination of apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, in my mind, the quintessential flavors of Fall.
I also thought I’d suggest a few things to keep in mind when making homemade ice cream. Understanding that every fridge/freezer/ice cream machine is different, it’s generally good practice to ensure the following:
- Be sure that the bowl for the ice cream machine is completely frozen. For me, that means turning the freezer down to the coldest setting, freezing the bowl at least 24 hours before I plan to make ice cream, and placing the bowl in the very back of the freezer. If you make ice cream often, and have space, I find it convenient to simply store the bowl in the freezer, so that it’s always ready to go.
- Be sure to thoroughly chill the ice cream base and any mix-ins. I generally make sure to chill any ingredients in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and often overnight. You want the mixture(s) to be really, really cold when you begin churning.
- Take the canister out of the freezer at the last minute, and begin churning as quickly as possible. This will ensure that the container doesn’t defrost, which could lead to issues with the ice cream setting up.
- Add mix-in ingredients in the last couple of minutes of churning. I generally wait until the ice cream is basically set up before adding any caramels, nuts, chocolate etc., usually about 3-5 minutes before turning off the machine.
- Don’t over-churn. Most ice cream machines take about 20-25 minutes to churn a batch of ice cream. Continuing to churn beyond the recommended time generally won’t make the ice cream any colder or firmer in texture, as the frozen canister will begin to thaw.
- Freeze your ice cream after churning for a firmer texture. When your ice cream comes straight out of the machine, it will be soft – similar to the texture and consistency of soft-serve. Freezing the ice cream for an hour or two will create a firmer, more scoop-able texture.
Homemade Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 Servings 1x
Ice Cream Base
- 2–1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Cinnamon Apple Swirl
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small, bit-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until thoroughly chilled.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Toss the apples with the brown sugar and spices and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, about 2-3 mins. Remove from the heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate along with the cream base.
- Prior to making the ice cream, whisk the cream base a few times, and pour into an 1-1/2 quart capacity ice cream machine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and churn until the ice cream is frozen and fluffy, about the consistency of soft-serve (generally 20-25 minutes). About three to five minutes before the ice cream is ready, or when the ice cream looks like it is mostly set up, carefully pour in the cinnamon-apple mixture, and continue churning.
- Spoon the ice cream into freezer-safe containers, and for a firmer texture, cover and freeze for an hour or two.
I just made this recipe. It turned out well, but I think I would cut back on the cinnamon next time. I think 2 tsps (plus a bit more) is too much. I don’t care for other spice in my desserts, so I omitted those and put a bit more cinnamon instead. That was a mistake. I also decided I didn’t want big chunks of apple, so I used a potato masher a couple of times on my already small pieces after cooking.
It was also a bit too much for my ice cream maker. It was overflowing when I tried to add the apple swirl, so I had to take it out before it had time to mix well and refreeze. It seems fine after sitting in the freezer though.
Thanks for your feedback, Brenda!
This ice cream was really tasty, we also made a little twist and added a cup of pecans. We made this as a class project and the teachers all thought it was the best out of all and said it was better than most store-bought ice creams. Thank you for the delicious recipe. 🙂
Jonah and Mason
In step #1 is that whisked in the bowl of an electric mixer? If so is it whisked until just combined or to a different consistency like whipped cream with soft or stiff peaks?
I also think that crushing up some plain graham crackers an adding them with the chopped apples would simulate the crust of the apple pie.
Thanks, Joe Todaro
Pretty tasty icecream. One problem is the texture the cream leaves behind in your mouth, do you think cooking it might remove this residue?
Otherwise a great recipe.
Just a thought, maybe you just cant make ice cream, good sir!!!!
Pingback: Tired of Pumpkin? 6 Unique Fall Ice Cream Flavors | Roaming Hunger
Pingback: $60 Weekly grocery Budget: Meal Plan & Recap 10/11/15 | Midwest Darling
Pingback: Bourbon Apple Crisp Ice Cream | bojongourmet.com
Personally I don’t like the chalky taste of powdered sugar. I typically run a new bag of sugar through the food processor to make it superfine and therefore very easily dissolved for baking, ice cream, coffee, iced tea, etc. I save a cup or so of the unprocessed sugar in a Mason jar in case it is needed for sugar crunchy topping like on muffins
Pingback: Spiced Apple Caramel Swirl Ice Cream | Your Kind of Salad
So good, thanks for the recipe. I used 1/2 cup sucanat in the base and 1/4 cup sucanat in the swirl and then drizzled molasses to make up for the brown sugar. Came out scrumptious!
Instead of powered sugar, can I use regular sugar? Is it 3/4 cup of regular sugar or is it a different measurement?
Hi Donna! I find that using powdered sugar makes for a smoother texture in the final ice cream because it dissolves more completely. Regular white sugar will have a grainier texture, but the flavors will still be the same. The 3/4 cup measurement should work. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂
I will let you know how it turns out.
So glad I found the link to this site on my twitter feed. Gorgeous site- pictures, text and of course, this recipe, which is further confirmation that I need an ice cream maker!
Thank you so much, Melissa! I’m so glad you found Swoon too! Let me know if you end up getting an ice cream maker… 🙂
When I saw the title of this post it sounded so good I had to click through to see how you were going to get the apple flavor. Adding bits of apples that were sauteed in butter, sugar, and spices? Yeah, that would work! I loved your creativity in putting the ice cream into a clear glass to photograph it. I thought those were vanilla bean specks looking so enticing in the ice cream, but reading the recipe I see that it must be specks of nutmeg or cinnamon. Yum!
Thank you, Mary! If you used a vanilla pod instead of vanilla extract you could get those lovely vanilla specks like in traditional vanilla bean ice cream, but I went the quick route! In this case you’re right, it’s simply little specks of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves… 🙂
Pingback: Swoon Life Lately // Weekend Links - Fork Knife Swoon
Your blog truly is swoon-worthy. From the photographs, to the recipes, to the words. I’m so glad I found you tonight. What a breath of fresh air.
Thank you so much, Monet. You are too sweet, and thank you for stopping by!
Cannot wait to try this! I love ice cream and apples, so this is a win/win! Thanks for the recipe : )
Thanks, Allie! Let me know how you like it! 🙂
This looks absolutely incredible, what with those sauteed apples and flecks of cinnamon. Yum! That Carol Bishop Hipps quote is perfect, and I love your ice cream tips – spot on!
Thank you, Alanna! Isn’t that quote great? It definitely sums up the weather here in the South! 🙂
Thanks, Dina! I LOVE the combination of apples and cinnamon… 🙂
Amazing pictures, what camera do you use?
I’m gonna test that flavour. Would be great septemberish ice cream.
Thank you so much, Mikko! I use a Nikon D3100 camera and (almost always) a 35mm f/1.8 lens.
I hope you try the recipe… And please let me know if you like it!
I sure I do. I’ve got DeLonghi ice cream machine at home, so weekend might taste apple cinnamon 🙂 check out few of my ice creams from my blog…