Maple Walnut Ice Cream has to be one of the great flavors of all time. This New England classic recipe is sweetened with pure maple syrup, and loaded with crunchy toasted walnuts for a memorable, fall themed frozen treat.
Any of you who follow me probably know that I tend to be ‘enthusiastic’ about food, and I’ll often tell you that this or that recipe is amazing, my favorite, the best, etc., etc. So maybe you’ve gotten jaded and won’t believe me when I tell you this is the ice cream to end all ice creams. It’s always been one of my favorite flavors but the problem is you rarely see it outside of New England. It’s one of those flavors that is sadly losing the battle against time, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this recipe with you today. I know you’re going to flip over it.
This ice cream has such a lovely, distinctive flavor that I really think the best way to enjoy it is just as is, maybe with a dusting of chopped walnuts on top. It’s got the flavor and texture to rival the most premium ice cream you’ve ever had, and IMO it’s the perfect fall dessert. But I can imagine some of you might want to go a step further and scoop in on top of a piece of apple or pumpkin (maybe even pecan?) pie. Go right ahead, I won’t stop you 😉
This recipe is a tad more involved than some of the super easy ice cream recipes I post. You will need to toast the walnuts so they develop that deep flavor, and boil down maple syrup to concentrate it. Then there’s an egg custard which forms the the base before you pour it into your ice cream machine. But honestly, it’s straightforward and SO worth it. I made the base the day before and then churned it the next morning. It only takes about 15-20 minutes in my ice cream machine, and then the hard part comes…waiting for it to harden in the freezer.
Hungry yet? This maple walnut ice cream is just phenomenal, I hope you make it. The recipe is just slightly adapted from New England Today Food.
Which ice cream machine do I recommend?
I get asked all the time about what machine I use. I use and recommend Cuisinart. I’ve had my machine for years without any issues, I think because there are no fussy electronic parts to break down ~ it’s a simple motor that turns the freezer bowl for churning the ice cream and it works quickly and perfectly every time.
- The machine I use, and it’s the base model. It works great for ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets, and makes all of them in about 2o minutes. Click HERE or click on the image for more info.
Maple Walnut Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups walnut halves
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks beaten
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Put the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast them while stirring almost constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until they are fragrant and turning golden. Watch them carefully because once the oils in the nuts heat up they can burn very fast. Set aside to cool, and then chop.
- Put the maple syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. let simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8-10 minutes. The syrup will boil up initially, so stay by the pan.
- Add the cream, milk, and salt to the pan, and stir.
- Drizzle a cup of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, while whisking constantly. Add another cup, and then return it all to the saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens. Do not let it boil.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and cover with plastic. Refrigerate until completely chilled, or over overnight.
- Process the chilled mixture according to your ice cream machine's instructions. Add the walnuts in during the last few minutes of processing.
- Spread the soft ice cream in a loaf pan or container, cover tightly, and put in the freezer until firm, 6-8 hours, or overnight.
notes and variations
- DO NOT skip toasting the walnuts, it makes all the difference.
- It should go without saying, but use pure maple syrup, not an imitation syrup like Aunt Jemima, etc.
don’t forget to pin it!
my favorite ice cream maker (the photo is clickable)