I have a confession to make.
I don’t really like apple pie.
I know, I know. How very…un-American of me.
But never fear, dear reader: I don’t discriminate. In fact, I harbor negative feelings against most types of pie, not just apple. Lemon meringue, banana cream…take your pick. I find them all to be quite underwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ll eat pie. And if it’s really good, I’ll even enjoy it (Disclaimer: I’ll eat pretty much any dessert with a huge smile on my face).
But as far as personal preference, pie would never be my first choice. I’d rather have cake, or brownies, or…ice cream.
I think my issue with pie might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never had really great pie crust, and as most pie lovers will tell you, crust can easily make or break the pie eating experience.
Also, I’m not a huge fan of fruit in my desserts in general. Growing up, we had a “chocolate or bust” mentality; as in, we always had chocolate-centric desserts.
So, there’s two strikes already.
I’ve always had the impression that pie is a huge pain to make. Did I mention that I’m downright terrified of making homemade pie crust? Because I am.
When it comes to pie dough, I have a distinct psychological block that prevents me from even attempting to move forward with a recipe. There is something about the phrase “cut in butter” that makes my brain and body respond with a resounding NOPE, NOT DOING IT. EVER.
But… pie ice cream? That’s another story.
I have an obsession with pie ice creams.
Plain old apple pie? Maybe, if I’m desperate.
Apple pie ice cream, with chunks of soft sugar cookies dredged in cinnamon and the delectable flavor of caramelized apples? Now, that’s my kind of pie.
This recipe uses cooked apples that are pureed and then combined with a vanilla ice cream base to mimic the flavor of apple pie. The addition of cookies really puts things over the top. You can even customize with graham crackers, tea biscuits, or snickerdoodles. Only advice? Skip the urge to throw actual pie crust pieces in the place of cookies – they get a little hard and crumbly when frozen.
Also, you might be tempted to throw in the chunks of apple straight into the ice cream rather than first pureeing them with the ice cream base. I tried this the first time around, and it didn’t turn out so great – the apple pieces froze kinda hard and were overly tart.
I hope you like it!
Have you ever had pie ice cream? What’s your favorite?
P.S. Happy first day of fall!
Delectable Apple Pie Ice Cream
Motivated by my general disdain for pie, but inspired by my love of baked apples, ice cream, and the geniuses behind Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones.
Yield: 1 Quart
For the ice cream base:
6 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped soft sugar cookies (I like these!)
For the Apples:
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon of butter
2 Granny Smith apples (or other tart cooking apple), peeled and cut into small chunks
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Make the ice cream base:
1. In a medium bowl, slightly whisk the egg yolks just to break them up. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, add 1 cup of the cream, and place a mesh strainer or sieve on top of the bowl (you will need this later).
3. Create an ice bath in a large bowl or the bottom of your sink (you’ll need this later, too!)
4. Combine the remaining cup of heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, until warmed thoroughly. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks (a little at the time), stirring constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated to the egg yolks, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook the mixture for about ten to fifteen minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. You will feel the mixture thicken, and it will coat the back of the spoon. (To check for doneness, run your finger on the back of the spoon – it should leave a clear path). If you want to get scientific, the mixture should be done when it reaches 170°(health experts recommend that you cook eggs to160°).
5. Once the custard is done cooking, pour through the sieve into the bowl of cream that you set up in Step 2. Add the vanilla extract, then stir to combine, and immediately submerge into the ice path. Stir occasionally, until the mixture cools. Refridgerate the mixture for at least 2 hours before you make the ice cream (but preferably overnight).
Make the apples:
1. Melt the butter and sugar in a medium skillet until the butter gets bubbly. Add the apples and cinnamon (but not the vanilla extract – we’re saving that for later), then cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the apples become soft.
2. Once the apples are done cooking, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Make the ice cream:
1. Remove the custard from the fridge. Combine half of the custard base with the cooked apples in a blender and puree until smooth. Then, add the apple-y mixture back into the non apple-y mixture, place into your ice cream maker, and freeze per the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. During the last few minutes of freezing, add a cup (or so) of soft sugar cookies (I dusted mine with cinnamon sugar beforehand, but the ice cream itself was so rich and flavorful that it didn’t make a noticeable difference).
3. Enjoy ice cream as-is for that soft serve feeling, or freeze for two hours if you prefer a firmer consistency.