As we transition into apple season, there’s no better way to celebrate the crisp, sweet flavors of this beloved fruit than by whipping up a batch of homemade caramel apple ice cream.
With hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, swirls of luscious caramel, and the creamy goodness of apple ice cream, this is autumn in ice cream form!
This sweet and creamy treat combines the warmth of caramel with the crispness of apples, making it the perfect dessert to bridge the gap between summer and winter. Get ready to craft your own caramel apple ice cream from scratch. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to churn out a scoop of autumnal heaven!
I prefer an American style ice cream because you don’t need to worry about egg yolks and making an egg custard. I use my vanilla ice cream recipe as a base!
Apples: Choose your preferred variety, many prefer Granny Smith apples but here in London, they are just not as tart as in the USA, so I used Braeburn.
Caramel Sauce: You can use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce to swirl into the ice cream.
Lemon Juice: A little squeeze of lemon juice to keep those apple from browning.
Unsalted Butter: The first step to cooking our apples involves a bit of unsalted butter to coax out their rich flavors.
Dark Brown Sugar: This sweet ingredient caramelizes our bananas into a deep butterscotch-like note.
Heavy Cream (Double Cream): Heavy cream is another must in making vanilla ice cream. It adds richness, body, and flavor to the finished product. When selecting a heavy cream, you may also see terms like “whipping” (double cream) or “cooking” cream. These are both suitable for making ice cream. Heavy whipping cream will produce a lighter finished product, while cooking cream will result in richer ice cream.
Whole Milk: Whole milk is one of the key ingredients in making Cuisinart Vanilla ice cream. Whole milk is high in fat which gives the ice cream its rich and creamy texture. In short, it sets the base for your homemade ice cream. Using skim milk or nonfat milk will not give it the depth of flavor, but you can still use those if you can’t find whole milk.
I used all these!
- Ice Cream Maker: An ice cream maker is the most crucial piece of equipment for this recipe. It churns and freezes the ice cream mixture to achieve that creamy texture. There are various types of ice cream makers available, including traditional models with a bowl that needs pre-freezing and self-freezing models that do not require pre-freezing. Choose the one that suits your preferences.
- Saucepan: You’ll need a medium-sized saucepan to sauté the apples and create the caramelized apple mixture.
- Whisk: A whisk is essential for stirring and combining ingredients.
- Bowls: You’ll need a few bowls for various purposes. Use one for the egg yolks and sugar mixture, another for combining the milk and cream, and one more for cooling the ice cream base after cooking.
- Spatula: A spatula is handy for gently folding the caramelized apple mixture into the ice cream base.
- Loaf Pan or Ice Cream Container: You’ll need a container to freeze your ice cream. A loaf pan is a popular choice, but you can also use an airtight ice cream container or any container with a lid that can hold the volume of your ice cream.
- Knife or Skewer: These are used to create swirls of caramel sauce in your ice cream.
The Ice Cream maker to use!
You have to have an ice cream maker if you want to make ice cream or sorbet! I started making it using the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato.
There is no faffing around with bowls in the freezer. When you are ready for ice cream, it’s ready. Just turn on the Cuisinart ice cream maker and go. In about 40 minutes, you have ice cream that you can eat right then, or you can put it in the freezer to harden up a bit more. Once done in, you’ll have about 1 litre of ice cream ready to devour!
It only takes a few simple steps for this great recipe:
Prepare the Caramel Apple Mixture:
Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1-inch pieces. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. Add the diced apples and sugar to the pan and sauté until they start to soften (about 5-10 minutes). Stir until the sugar melts and creates a caramelized glaze. Drizzle the lemon juice over the apples, stir, and remove from heat. Let it cool to room temperature and then put it in the fridge until you are ready to make the ice cream.
Prepare the Ice Cream Base: In a large bowl, combine the whole milk, heavy cream, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well until sugar is dissolved. Put it in the fridge for about 4 hours.
Making the ice cream: When ready add the ice cream mix and the apples to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
Freeze (skip this step if you’re using an ice cream maker)
Transfer the milk mixture into a freezer-safe container or a shallow loaf pan (and cover tightly with plastic wrap) and place it in the freezer for about 4 hours.
After it’s completely frozen, keep the ice cream at room temperature to partially thaw it. Transfer it to the food processor for a minute or two (for a light, fluffy texture). Transfer the ice cream back into its container and refreeze for at least 3 hours.
Chill and transfer to the ice cream machine (skip this step if you’re not using an ice cream maker)
Transfer the mixture to the chilled container of your ice-cream maker and churn ice cream as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Adding the caramel
Place a third of the ice cream in a container, then swirl in caramel sauce. It’s easier to do this if the caramal is room temperature. Repeat with again with the two next layers.
You can start eating your homemade ice cream immediately or keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm it up.
When making any ice cream, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure success:
- Use high-quality ingredients: The flavor of your ice cream will only be as good as the ingredients you use. Opt for fresh, high-quality cream, milk, and eggs.
- Chill your mixture thoroughly: Before churning, make sure your ice cream mixture is thoroughly chilled. This will help it freeze more quickly and evenly, resulting in a smoother texture. Aim for a temperature of around 40°F.
- Don’t overfill your ice cream maker: It can be tempting to fill your ice cream maker to the brim, but this can actually impede the freezing process. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended capacity, and if you need to make a larger batch, do it in batches.
- Add mix-ins at the end: If you’re adding mix-ins like nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit, wait until the last few minutes of churning to add them. This will help ensure they’re evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.
- Freeze your ice cream properly: Once your ice cream is churned, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it for several hours or overnight. To prevent ice crystals from forming, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream before sealing the container.
By following these tips and tricks, you can create delicious ice cream that’s sure to impress.
Caramel apple ice cream is a delightful dessert that combines the flavors of sweet, creamy caramel and tart, crisp apples. Here are some tasty variations on caramel apple ice cream to try:
- Apple Pie Caramel Ice Cream: Add apple pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to your caramel apple ice cream base, and mix in pieces of apple pie crust or crumble for that apple pie a la mode experience.
- Caramel Apple Crisp Ice Cream: Combine caramel apple ice cream with bits of caramelized apples and a streusel topping for the taste of a warm caramel apple crisp in ice cream form.
- Salted Caramel Apple Ice Cream: Add a touch of sea salt to your caramel apple ice cream and combine it with apple chunks for a sweet and salty treat.
- Caramel Apple Pecan Ice Cream: Mix in chopped pecans with the caramel swirls for a deliciously nutty and sweet treat.
Feel free to experiment with these variations, adjusting the proportions and ingredients to suit your taste. Whether you prefer a classic combination or something more adventurous, caramel apple ice cream offers a delicious way to enjoy the beloved flavors of caramel and apples in a frozen dessert.
Frequently asked questions
Can you make lactose-free ice cream?
Absolutely! If you don’t have lactose tolerance and want to enjoy homemade ice cream, you can replace whole milk with lactose-free milk. moreover, you can also use coconut cream or lactose-free heavy cream.
Can you make dairy-free ice cream?
Yes! If you want a dairy-free ice cream without compromising its creamy and smooth consistency, use full-fat coconut milk instead of dairy milk. You can also add coconut cream instead of heavy cream for more creaminess.
Is ice cream gluten-free?
Ice cream is typically gluten-free, but it’s important to check the ingredients list to make sure there are no gluten-containing additives.
The Cherry on Top
Homemade caramel apple ice cream is a true labor of love, but the rich caramel, tender apple compote, and creamy ice cream base make it all worthwhile. Whether you’re enjoying it by a cozy fireplace or under the clear autumn sky, this seasonal treat captures the essence of fall in every bite.
List of other ice creams
Here’s the Caramel Apple Ice Cream recipe!
Caramel Apple Ice Cream
For the Ice Cream Base
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the apple
- 3 medium apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the caramel
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce
Start with the apples
- Add butter to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Cook until the apples have softened all the way through. Make sure you stir occasionally. It takes about 6 – 8 minutes.
- Don't let the sugar darken too much – so watch the heat.
- When soft, remove from heat and let cool.
Making the ice cream base
- Combine the milk and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the cream and the vanilla
- Cover and put in the fridge for at least two hours, but I would do overnight
- When the ice cream base is chilled, pour the mixture intoa food processor or high powered blender. Add the apples and then blend until the mixture is smooth and all combined.
- Make it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (I always use my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker)*
- Take the ice cream out of the machine and add about 1/3 of the caramel sauce in the ice cream, then layer in the next 1/3 and add in more ice cream, and then the final 1/3!
- Wow everyone by serving it immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Pour in the ice cream mixture, add the ice cream paddle and then turn it on
- I set the timer for 35 minutes
- You can always churn it longer if you want it harder
- Put it in the freezer to harden up some more