Ice cream has super powers that make the summer heat feel less oppressive. In fact, if I made it professionally, that’s what I’d put on the label. Call me, ice cream professionals, we’ll talk licensing terms. I’ve got fair rates.
Last week I said I wasn’t firing up my oven anymore for cooking for a good long while. If I could help it. You know…maybe. There was the fact that not even five minutes after I posted last week’s blog, kidlet asked for some brownies she saw in one of my cooking magazines. Aye carumba, don’t tempt me, kid.
So far, aside from the kidlet’s obligatory chicken nugget obsession (All you who don’t have kids, you do at least know parents keep the chicken nugget in the rock star status it’s accustomed to, right?), I’m proud to say I’ve stuck with it! Trust me when I say it’s better if I remain as cool as possible. This ice cream helped matter immensely.
If you don’t try this ice cream, you’re nuts. Get it? Nuts? Hahaha…
See, it’s Bad Joke Tuesday at the office and we like making bad jokes on Tuesdays and I wrote this up on a Tuesday and…
What I meant to say is almonds are yummy!
This is a custard-based ice cream, so you’ll be cooking it a little before freezing in your ice cream maker, or using the method I’ll link below if you don’t have an ice cream maker.
When your custard is ready, it should coat the back of a spoon. Or even the front of the spoon. Heck, both sides, just go for it, you wild thing you. The point is, it won’t be all runny and slide right off. It’s a coating, like candy.
Like you in this hot summer hotness, your custard would like to cool down now. Place the bowl in an ice bath to speed this process up. This makes your plans to actually eat ice cream happen much quicker.
Meanwhile, you’ve already salted your nuts!
Wait – I – oh, never mind. No, shh, never mind.
These actually do taste so, so good. There’s a little sugar in them, too, and they get a little peanut-brittle-ish in texture, but break up easily when time to add to the churning ice cream. Heck, if you didn’t want to make the ice cream itself, just make these salted almonds and add them to plain vanilla from the store. So. Good!
If you use one of those little counter top ice cream makers that take about 30 minutes to churn, add the nuts at about twenty minutes into the churning.
When it’s all said and done, the ice cream is a soft serve consistency. Place it in the freezer, either in the same ice cream bowl from the churner, or a separate freezer-safe container, and freeze for about one to two hours.
Then you serve it up. Don’t be surprised if folks go to licking their spoons.
The salted almonds are a terrific crunchy texture and their salty sweet goodness adds a wonderful layer that works perfectly with the creaminess of the ice cream. And the nuts will stay crunchy even after a couple of days. But who can really have this stuff around for two days? It’ll probably all get eaten in one or two sittings.
It also doesn’t hurt to have some extra salted almonds to sprinkle on top. It’s a good thing, of which it’s impossible to have too much of, right?
There, one last picture. Have at it, folks! And stay cool. The long, hot summer is here and this is how we keep its hooks from sinking in. Lick!
Salted Almond Ice Cream
from The Kitchn
Prep Time: 10 minutes Churn & chill time: 30 minutes – two hours Level: Easy Makes: About one quart
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chopped almonds
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and cream until it bubbles appear around the edge. This part seemed to take forever, but remember that you added cold liquid to the pot, so yes, it does take a little while to bubble.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt until thick and pale yellow. Slowly pour about half of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour the custard into a bowl, stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, and set aside to cool. (To speed up cooling, prepare an ice bath in a slightly larger bowl and place the custard bowl in the ice. Stir the custard until cool.)
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until they just begin to show color, about 8 or so minutes. If necessary, brown longer. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until nuts caramelize to a dark brown color, about 5 minutes. They will have become very fragrant, so use your nose also to help tell when they’ve browned enough – you don’t want them burned. Spread them out on a plate to cool. When cool, break the nuts apart.
Meanwhile, begin to process the custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (or follow The Kitchn’s guide to making ice cream without an ice cream maker). When the mixture is the consistency of frozen yogurt, sprinkle in the nuts and process until it hardens further. My ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes to churn, so we added the nuts twenty minutes into the churning.
Most counter-top-churned ice cream is the consistency of soft serve. If you want it harder, more store-bought consistency, place your churning bowl in the freezer, or transfer ice cream to a different freezer-safe container if you so choose. Freeze for one to two hours, then serve when ready. Top with whatever ice cream toppings you prefer, including any extra salted almonds you might have. Hint: we made extra salted almonds.