Maple walnut ice cream. Need I say more?
A really good maple walnut ice cream is smooth and creamy with tender maple covered walnuts. Yes, you can buy this in the store, but the cost is high for the premium quality you can have when making it yourself.
This is not a recipe for those counting calories or sugar grams. But, we are all supposed to be showing daily restraint and portion control. Right? So this is a fine treat to have occasionally.
This is a two step recipe, but both steps are very simple. It looks complicated, but it really isn’t. I just made sure that every step was illustrated.
One of the great things about making ice cream is that you can do certain steps ahead of time. For this particular recipe, feel free to make the walnuts the day before. You can even make the base the day before and allow it to chill in the fridge until your are ready.
Maple Walnut Ice Cream Recipe
You do not need to make this recipe in one sitting. The walnuts can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to prepare the ice cream.
You can easily change this up by using pecans instead of walnuts.
Ice Cream Base
500 ml (2 Cups) 3.25% Whole Milk
150 grams (3/4 Cup) White Sugar
625 ml (2 1/2 Cup) 35% Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
100 grams (3/4 Cup) Walnuts
60 ml (1/4 Cup) Maple Syrup
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Gather all of your ingredients.
Ice Cream Base
Combine milk and sugar and stir well until the sugar is dissolved. This will take about 1 minute.
Add salt, maple extract and heavy cream to the milk mixture. Give it a stir.
Chill milk mixture in the fridge for about an hour.
Toast the walnuts by heating a dry pan over medium heat. When hot, add walnuts and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes just until toasted but not burnt.
Remove walnuts from the pan and lower the heat a bit. We want the maple syrup to bubble but not spit.
Add maple syrup and salt to the pan. Stir so the salt and syrup are mixed together well.
Add the toasted walnuts to the syrup mixture. Turn the heat up a bit if the syrup stops bubbling. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until the syrup has thickened and the walnuts are well coated.
Remove just the walnuts from the pan. If you have extra syrup left in the pan, save this syrup and use it later with things like oatmeal or in smoothies. Use a utensil (the walnuts will be hot) to spread the walnuts onto a cutting board so that they are not in a big clump. Separate them as much as possible. Place the walnuts in the fridge to set the syrup onto the walnuts.
When the walnuts are chilled (they will still be a bit sticky, that’s ok), remove from fridge and chop them so they are not too big in the final ice cream.
Make the Ice Cream
Once your ice cream mixture is chilled, set up your ice cream maker and pour in the mixture. Follow your machine’s recommended timings and set a timer. My machine recommends 30-35 minutes.
When the ice cream is at the top of my machine, it is done.
To incorporate the walnuts, put a layer of walnuts on the bottom of the container you will use to store the finished ice cream. Then, put a layer of ice cream on top of the walnuts. Sprinkle another layer of walnuts. Keep layering until all of the ice cream and walnuts are transferred to the container.
Your ice cream is now at a “soft-serve” consistency. If you like it firmer, put it in the freezer to set for 3-4 hours. Enjoy!