The air is turning cooler, the leaves are changing color, pumpkin spice is on every coffee shop menu, and the apple orchards are in full swing.
Not here in Mexico, of course, but for the majority of you readers, these words ring true.
I miss autumn. A few years ago I went home to visit a friend who was going through a rough time. We spent a week together supporting each other and doing what good friends do when times are tough: talk, laugh, cry, and perhaps drink a little wine. Perhaps. A little.
My only request that week where we had a lot to accomplish was that we go somewhere so that I could see some gorgeous leaves in all their glory. It had been yeeeeears since I had seen any in person and it just so happened that I went back at the perfect time of year for autumn leaves viewing. So, in the midst of all our tasks, we took some time out and found a place to enjoy autumn in all its glory.
The day we went was a gorgeous day, bright blue sky, leaves in that perfect shade of yellow that I love so much, some on trees, some on the ground. We took a walk together and enjoyed everything that the day had to offer: beauty, friendship, life.
Food is so interwoven into our memories and relationships. When I think of strawberry and apple picking, I think of my young children, seeing food in their natural state, working to get it, and then bringing it home and helping to prepare how we get to enjoy it. When I think of pies, I remember having bushels of apples and being frightened to make pie crust, and a wonderful lady in my life giving me tips and pointers that put me on the path to making 20 apple pies in a day that were frozen and then enjoyed all winter long.
I could go on and on. I’m sure you all have your own memories and stories, ones that make you smile.
For me, memories of autumn bring on memories of apples more than anything. And considering I’m always looking for new ice-cream ideas, the obvious choices for these next few months are apple and pumpkin. I started with apple.
I did a poll on Instagram and asked the people if they thought I should add pie crust or cookies for a crunch. It was a very close call, cookies won only by 2 votes. I’m not sure why I did a poll, actually. I didn’t really want to do cookies; after all, it’s ‘apple pie ice-cream’, and apple pie has a beautiful, flaky crust, not cookies. But I wanted to hear what people thought. The clincher wasn’t just my preference, it was also the fact that I got a few direct messages from people saying ‘ignore the cookie people, they’re wrong’. I laughed, and inwardly agreed.
I don’t really like making pie crust, so when I do, I always make extra and keep it frozen. You can find my no-fail pie crust recipe here. I defrosted it, rolled it out, added some cinnamon and sugar, baked it, cooled it, and then crumbled it in. I love it, it’s perfect. If you want cookies, go ahead. Or of course you can omit the pie crust completely if you want, but we almost always put some sort of crunch into our ice-cream.
If any ice-cream screams autumn, it’s this one. Okay, and maybe the Pumpkin one I’ll be testing next.
Guess you’ll just have to make them both and let me know which you prefer.
- 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 apples, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 pie crust (recipe found here).
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 TAB cinnamon
In a medium saucepan, warm cream, milk, and sugar until warm and sugar is melted. In a separate bowl, whisk 5 egg yolks together. When milk mixture is warm and steamy, pour a little into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so as to not cook eggs. Pour egg yolk mixture back into saucepan and whisk to combine. Stir continuously with a flat bottom wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that it leaves a line when you run your finger through it, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve. Add bourbon and combine. Let cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Peel and dice apples. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add apples and cinnamon and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Refrigerate until ice-cream is churned.
For pie crust addition. Take half a disc of pie crust. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 TAB cinnamon. Sprinkle on both sides of pie crust. Bake in 350° oven for 12-15 minutes or until baked and flaky. Remove from oven. Cool. Crumble into small pieces. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Churn ice cream according to manufacturers directions. In the last five minutes, add apples and pie crust. Transfer into freezable container.
Makes about 2 pints.