Maple Walnut Ice Cream

When we traveled to the Lake District last week I couldn’t help but be reminded of my childhood vacations. Living in New England, we had a great supply of getaways. Northern Maine, Long Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, Loon Mountain, Mt. Washington were a few spots we visited.

One of the other frequent visits for the family were Sugar Houses. A Sugar House is a cabin where maple sap is boiled down until it becomes syrup. They are all over New England. They are a popular attraction during the winter months when sap is in season. Most Sugar Houses have a restaurant or store with lots of goodies. One of my favorite things is maple butter or cream. It is best served on a saltine cracker. Yum!

Anyway, the funny thing about this born and bread New Englander is I actually prefer the fake stuff. I know. To some it is sacrilege. However, my husband does prefer the real deal. Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate it. I just prefer the maple flavored corn syrup on my pancakes and sausage. (Sausage is always served with syrup for this girl.)

So, this week’s ice cream was inspired by our trip and my memories. Maple Walnut Ice Cream. This is another flavor preferred by my father. (Note to him: If I ever get my hands on this allusive banana cake with maple icing recipe. My ice cream would make a great accompaniment!)
Maple Walnut Ice Cream

2 cups single cream
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup REAL Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Candied walnuts (recipe following)

1. Add cream and milk into a saucepan and heat slowly. DO NOT BOIL.
2. Whisk together yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale yellow.
3. Slowly whisk the warm cream/milk into the egg/sugar mixture. This is called tempering. You do not want scrambled eggs.
4. When the eggs are warmed with the milk add it into the saucepan.
5. Continue to heat slowly and always stirring. Keep stirring. You will know it is thick enough when the back of the spoon is coated. It may take a few minutes but it will be a sudden change.
6. Turn off heat. Add maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Stir well.
7. Pass it through a fine sieve. Cool completely.
8. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Churn according to the ice cream maker’s instructions. Stir in candied walnuts, freeze, and enjoy!

Candied Walnuts
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
4 tbsp Real Maple Syrup
pinch salt

1. Bring syrup to a boil in a small skillet. Toss in walnuts and salt. Stir together.
2. Bring back to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. They will be done when the syrup has adhered to the nuts and is no longer pooling in the pan.
3. Cool on some parchment paper.

So, which do you prefer, fake or real?


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