What’s better than delicious, apple-flavored ice cream? Homemade apple ice cream! That’s right, apple ice cream might not be the most popular flavor of ice cream in the world, but we absolutely love it.
And when you can’t find it in the store, it’s surprisingly simple to whip up apples and ice cream from scratch at home - once you have the right ingredients, of course, and time to let the ice cream freeze overnight.
This recipe is easily customized, too. The instructions below are for a cinnamon apple ice cream recipe, but you can easily make caramel apple ice cream, chocolate apple ice cream, and so much more. Keep reading, and discover the refreshing delights of apple pie ice cream!
How to make apple ice cream
Apple ice cream might not be the first ice cream you think of when you’re in the shop, but this lovely, refreshing variety is a wonderful way to make use of apples at home.
The ice cream recipe below needs to be made from scratch (it’s a great feeling making ice cream for the first time!), and it’s really divided into two major sections. The first step is preparing the apples (this gives you the flavor base you need).
You’ll need an apple peeler and sharp knife to dice the apples up; then, you essentially create thick applesauce by stewing the apples with cinnamon, butter, and sugar. You then make the ice cream itself from heavy cream, milk, egg yolks, and sugar (we explain the exact process below) and mix the ice cream with the apples after leaving it to set overnight.
After that, your apple ice cream has to be left in the freezer once again to set. Then you can enjoy the delights of your homemade apple ice cream the next day. And remember, the following recipe is really just a base from which you can get creative in the kitchen. Instead of cinnamon, you can make caramel apple ice cream, for example, by switching cinnamon for caramel!
Homemade apple ice cream recipe
Makes 1 quart of apple ice cream.
Equipment for apple ice cream
- Apple peeler/corer
- Saucepans and mixing bowls
- Food processor/blender
- Various kitchen items (knives, chopping boards, etc.)
Ingredients for apple flavoring
- 2 large apples
- ¼ c of sugar
- 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
Ingredients for the ice cream
- 1 ¾ c of heavy cream
- ¾ c of whole milk
- 5 egg yolks
- ⅓ c of sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Salt to taste
Directions for apple ice cream
- Start by preparing your apples for cooking. The apples ideally are to be peeled, cored, and then diced into small pieces. Melt the unsalted butter into a saucepan, and mix in the sugar while it’s melting. Add the diced apples, mix in cinnamon powder, then allow the mixture to simmer for at least 15 minutes. When the mixture is thick (like applesauce), turn off the heat, and allow it to cool.
- Next, it’s time to prepare the ice cream! First, separate your egg yolks from the whites (you don’t need the whites), then whisk the egg yolks together with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- In a separate saucepan, measure out whole milk and heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt to taste, pour in the rest of your sugar, and simmer the ingredients together on medium heat.
- When the cream mixture is hot, you need to whisk it together with the egg yolks. Do this slowly, pouring in a little cream at a time and constantly whisking until you’ve mixed everything together.
- Now the mixture needs time to cook on medium heat. Keep stirring, and place a thermometer into the mixture to check when it reaches the correct temperature. When it hits 175 degrees Fahrenheit, turn the heat off.
- We have to wait until the mixture cools down before we place it into the freezer overnight. The following morning, it’s time to churn the ice cream together with the applesauce.
- Mix together the apples and the ice cream in a food processor or blender, then keep blending until you have a smooth apple ice cream.
- Transfer the apple ice cream to the freezer, and wait for it to set!
What are the best apples for apple ice cream?
Apple ice cream does well with any apples you might have in the cupboard or fridge, but a few particular varieties are very popular with apple ice cream makers.
The classic choice is the Granny Smith. This large cooking apple is well built and well flavored, and it’s particularly tasty when stewed down into sauce as the ice cream recipe first requires. Granny Smith apples are quite tough and chunky, though, and the taste is tart, rather than sweet. We might suggest starting with this green apple ice cream recipe and then trying different varieties to pick your favorite.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll need to add extra sugar or go for a sweeter apple. Some of the best tasting apples that are perfect for sweet ice cream include Honeycrisps or the Red Delicious.
There are many varieties of apple to try, too, while combinations of different varieties also work really well too (a tart Granny Smith mixed with a sweet Golden Delicious, for example).
How long does apple ice cream take to freeze?
There are two freezing processes in this recipe. First, you need to freeze the ice cream base overnight before mixing it with the apples. Once you’ve blended the apples and ice cream, you’ll basically have a soft-serve consistency, and although you can enjoy the ice cream like this, most people prefer to freeze it a second time before eating.
The second freezing period can vary. It depends on how thick or frozen you want your ice cream to be. The longer you leave it in the freezer, the more solid it’s going to be!
How long does apple ice cream last?
Apple ice cream lasts for a long time - it’s frozen, after all! You need to keep your finished product stored in a suitable, resealable container for the best results.
When stored correctly, your apple ice cream can easily last 6 months, if not longer, in the freezer. It’s a great recipe to make in bulk if you have lots of freezer space, as you can get rid of all those orchard apples in the fall and have ice cream right through the year.
What other flavors can I try?
We said at the beginning that our apple ice cream recipe is really just the base for a multitude of other apple ice creams that you can try. We used cinnamon because everyone has cinnamon, and it’s easy to sprinkle into the recipe, but there are many more options too.
One of the tastiest recipes to try is caramel apple ice cream. You can even try preparing your own caramel from sugar at home. You simply mix the caramel sauce into the applesauce and make it per the instructions above.
Other ingredients worth trying include a strawberry sauce or chocolate sauce. You can add chocolate chips, melted chocolate bars, or cookie crumbs to the mix as well. Anything goes, really, and it’s down to you how many more ingredients you try out.
Of course, don’t forget that your apple ice cream can be enjoyed with extra sauce and toppings when it’s served, too (we love serving this with apple pie and a few sprinkles!).
Apple ice cream: the last scoop
Apple ice cream is a great way to prepare a homemade dessert from scratch. You’ll be proud of your achievement, and the family will love the taste!
Along with our cinnamon recipe, it’s easy to try different varieties too. Why not go for caramel apple ice cream, or add chocolate chips or cookie crumbs for a serious dessert?
If you’re looking for a refreshing dessert to make at home, then why not try our apple pie ice cream recipe?