In our house, it’s a rare baked dessert that isn’t improved by a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Apple pie, pudding cake, brownies all are enjoyed with ice cream.
And sometimes plain old ice cream needs a frill for the holidays. I love David Lebovitz’s recipe for cinnamon ice cream. I can happily eat it straight from the container, but it shines brightest with a festive dessert like French Apple Cake.
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
pinch of salt
10 cinnamon sticks broken up (try a hammer in a ziplock bag)
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
ground cinnamon: optional
Heat the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and 1 cup of the heavy cream together in a medium saucepan. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep 1 hour.
Rewarm the mixture and remove the cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon.
Nest a medium-sized bowl in a larger bowl that’s partially filled with ice water, to create an ice bath. Set a mesh strainer over the medium bowl and pour the remaining cream into the medium bowl.
Whisk together the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually add some of the warm cinnamon-infused milk to the yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens and coats the spatula.
Remove from heat and immediately pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. Stir the custard until cool, then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
Taste the mixture before churning, and add a bit of ground cinnamon, if desired, then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.