An almond-flavored ice cream chock full of nutty pieces of chopped, toasted almonds, there is nothing quite like a scoop of toasted almond ice cream topped with dripping homemade caramel sauce and sprinkled with extra chopped almonds!
Toasted Almond Ice Cream is the perfect ice cream for anyone who is nuts about nuts!
You know in the movie “Up” when Russell, the Wilderness Explorer who befriends his curmudgeonly old neighbor Carl, talks about getting ice cream at Fenton’s with his dad? Well if you are from the California Bay Area, you are probably familiar with Fenton’s which is an institution. We LOVE going there for huge, amazing sundaes dripping with homemade caramel or hot fudge sauce and topped with extra cherries. Everything is amazing there – the black & tan sundae, the banana splits, the hot fudge brownie sundae. But my most favorite thing to get at Fenton’s is a simple little bowl of toasted almond ice cream topped with caramel and extra chopped toasted almonds.
But we can’t always trek over to Oakland to get our ice cream fix, and I love making ice cream at home anyway. Enter this wonderful recipe for toasted almond ice cream that you can make in your own kitchen. Yes, please! I love the process of making the ice cream custard – mixing the cream and milk and sugar and heating it to temper the egg yolks for a perfectly creamy base. It smells amazing, especially when you have the scent of almonds toasting in the oven at the same time. The hardest part about making toasted almond ice cream at home is waiting for the custard base to cool completely before churning (it takes at least 4 hours in the fridge to get it really cold before pouring the base into your ice cream maker).
But oh is it worth the wait.
This is cold and sweet and full of almond flavor from almond extract and chopped toasted almonds. The mouthfeel of the ice cream is superb – it’s smooth, not grainy or icy, and studded with chopped nuts. Golly, I’m geeking out over here but for reals, this ice cream is the best! And eating it while everything else around you (not just the ice cream) is melting from the July heat is practically a transcendent experience.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/3 cup crushed roasted almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast 10-15 minutes, until fragrant and toasted, but be careful not to burn them. Let cool, then chop into small pieces and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, mix the sugar, milk, half of the cream and pinch of salt and heat over medium heat just until the edges start to bubble and steam. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins steaming and bubbling around the edges. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and set aside.
When milk mixture is steaming and bubbling around the edges, remove 1 cup of it and slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the beaten yolks while whisking continuously, to temper the eggs. Make sure not to scramble the eggs by adding all the hot liquid too fast. Add remaining milk mixture and stir to combine into a thin custard. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan and continue cooking until it starts to coats the back of a wooden spoon (between 170 and 175 on a candy thermometer) - typically only 1-2 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a medium bowl, then add the warm custard by first pouring through a clean mesh strainer into remaining heavy cream and stirring to combine. Add vanilla and almond extract, then cover and cool completely in the refrigerator (4-6 hours or overnight) before churning.
Once the custard base is thoroughly chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is about halfway churned, add in the chopped roasted almonds and allow the ice cream to continue to churn until it is done. My ice cream maker only takes about 20 minutes to reach a soft serve stage. Pour churned soft-serve ice cream into a freezer-safe container, cover and place in a freezer to cure for at least 4-6 hours so the ice cream can harden all the way through.
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