Who says ice cream is just for summer? To me, maple syrup is very much a warm, caramel-like autumn/winter flavour and this creamy maple ice cream with maple caramel swirl is one of my favourite ice cream flavours. Plus it makes an amazing replacement for vanilla ice cream with hot desserts such as apple pie or crumble and is perfect with pancakes or waffles for breakfast, maybe drizzled with a little extra maple caramel…
This recipe uses a standard cooked egg yolk custard base, with a little cornflour added to help stabilise the egg yolks; very little sugar is added, as most of the sweetness comes from the maple syrup. I always use a higher ratio of milk to cream in my ice cream, as I prefer the flavour and texture of less creamy ice cream, but if you like yours really creamy you can increase the quantity of cream and decrease the quantity of milk, just make sure that the overall volume of liquid you use remains the same. In order to make an intensely maple syrup flavoured ice cream, make sure that you use proper maple syrup, not the fake stuff, and preferably use the darker grade B syrup if you can get it as it will give a deeper, more pronounced maple flavour.
The maple caramel swirl is optional – the ice cream is delicious on its own, but the caramel just adds a little burst of extra maple flavour and a slightly different texture. It is simple to make – there is no melting of sugar involved, you just stir the ingredients together in a pan and simmer for a few minutes. The recipe does make a little more than needed, but it will keep for a week in the fridge and is delicious on waffles or pancakes, or take the ice cream up a notch by serving it drizzled with extra warm maple caramel.
- 300ml (1 1/4 cups) double (heavy) cream
- 450ml (scant 2 cups) full fat milk
- 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 180ml (3/4 cup) maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Maple Caramel Swirl:
- 55g (1/4 cup) butter
- 100g (packed 1/2 cup) light brown soft sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) double (heavy) cream
- 60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
To make the ice cream, pour the cream into a large bowl and place a sieve over the top. Put the milk and sugar into a saucepan and heat until just coming up to the boil; in a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornflour. Very gradually pour the hot milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly; return the mixture to the pan and place over a low heat, stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, do not let it boil. Pour the custard through the sieve into the cream and whisk to combine, whisk in the maple syrup, salt and vanilla extract, cover and refrigerate until completely cold, you can leave it in the fridge overnight if you like.
To make the maple caramel, melt the butter in a small plan and stir in the sugar then the cream, bring to the boil and simmer while stirring continuously for 2-5 minutes until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup and salt. Decant into a jar and leave to cool, store in the fridge and reheat gently before using.
When the custard is cold, freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Once it is churned, drizzle some of the maple caramel into the base of the container you are going to store your ice cream in (you may need to heat it very slightly so it becomes pourable, but don’t let it get so warm it melts the ice cream.), put half of the ice cream in the container, drizzle over some more caramel, add the rest of the ice cream then drizzle over more caramel (there will probably be a little more caramel than you need, serve the ice cream with the leftovers, warmed, or drizzle over pancakes or waffles). Freeze for a couple of hours to firm up before serving.
(recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)