Maple Spice Ice Cream

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time20 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the ice cream

1/2 vanilla bean
375ml milk
375ml double cream
100g maple sugar
15 whole allspice berries
6 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
Small piece nutmeg
250ml pure maple syrup, grade B
7 large egg yolks
Pinch fine sea salt
30ml bourbon or dark rum
1 tsp maple essence
500ml walnut brittle, chopped, recipe follows

For the walnut brittle

400ml sugar
120ml water
Cooking spray
150g walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

For the ice cream:
1) Split the half vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds, pod halves, milk, cream, spices and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan. Scald the mixture over low heat. Remove from heat, and let the mixture steep for 1 hour.

2) While the mixture is steeping, reduce the maple syrup by 1/3 over medium-low heat.

3) Combine the egg yolks and salt in a large bowl and whisk just to blend. Bring cream mixture back to a simmer. Dissolve the reduced syrup into the hot milk mixture.

4) While gently whisking the yolks, drizzle in the hot cream/syrup mixture so the yolks are gradually warmed. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Be sure to continuously scrape the spoon across the bottom of the pan so the custard does not scorch. The custard is done when it has thickened slightly and can evenly coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it come to a boil.

4) Strain the custard through a fine sieve. Press out all the liquid in the vanilla bean and discard bean. Stir in the bourbon and maple essence. Place the bowl with the custard into a large bowl of ice. Let it cool, stirring occasionally.

5) Transfer mixture to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Put the finished ice cream in a storage container and freeze until firm.

6) Once frozen, mix in walnut brittle and serve.

For the walnut brittle:
1) Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook until it reaches a deep amber color.

2) Meanwhile cover a baking tray with cooking spray. Remove from heat, stir in the walnuts and pour onto sprayed baking tray.

3) Let sit until hard and crack into desired pieces.

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