In my opinion, nothing beats custard-based ice cream. It’s rich, smooth and oh-so-flavourful, and you only need a small serving to feel satisfied. While I’ve never met an ice cream I didn’t like (oh, wait, there was that one time I tried garlic ice cream – yuck!), maple walnut is one of my all-time favourites. While I love maple mousse, the kid in me will always prefer ice cream. It’s a delicious way to celebrate spring! Hand-cranked ice cream makers are inexpensive and very effective, although you can also finish this in a shallow metal baking pan; just be sure to stir it often as it freezes.
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup maple syrup
1½ cups milk
1½ cups whipping (35%) cream
6 egg yolks
- In a small frying pan, toast walnuts until just beginning to brown and smell fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour nuts into a bowl and let cool.
- In a large heavy saucepan, bring maple syrup to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 3 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Reduce heat to medium and add milk and cream; heat until almost boiling, stirring occasionally.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Slowly add ½ cup of hot milk and maple syrup mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly.
- Add egg mixture back to the saucepan, whisking vigorously.
- Cook the egg, milk and maple sugar mixture for about 5 minutes, whisking almost constantly, until it is thickened and smooth.
- Pour the custard into a clean 4 cup container and cover with lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely cold (should take about 2 hours).
- Freeze chilled custard in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- When ice cream is frozen, spoon it into an airtight container, sprinkling walnut pieces as you do so.
- Freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
Note: homemade ice cream is best eaten within one week of making.