A super creamy ice cream that combines the sweetness of caramel and the tart taste of apple cider. Muscovado sugar lends deeper caramel notes. Caramelized white chocolate bits make this the only ice cream you’ll want all autumn.
Homemade Apple Cider Caramels & Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
My approach to sweets and baked good is always – if you can make it at home, then do so. Usually this works, but trying to make hard caramels for the first time to giveaway for Halloween, proved a little more challenging than I expected. The first recipe I used, no matter how strictly I adhered to all instructions, refused to be a candy. I turned to a more reliable source, smittenkitchen who has a recipe for apple cider caramels which sounded just perfect.
But, full of anxiety to make sure this one worked, I hastily took it off the heat too quickly and it refused to set. I waited a day to see if it would harden but once it was clear it wasn’t going to happen, I poured it into a mason jar and stuck it in the fridge. For the next couple of days, every time I opened the fridge there it stared at me, reminding me of my failure but churning (see what I did there? lol) out ideas for how I could put it to use. It occurred to me that in its sauce-like consistency it could turn into a fab ice cream.
It worked. Not only did it work but this is the ONLY ice cream I want from September through January. Everyone who has tried this (I give it out as Christmas gifts sometimes!) has fallen deeply in love.
Caramelized White Chocolate Chips
So, you can stop here and you’ll have something truly wonderful. But I, as I am wont to do, took it a step further. I love varied texture in ice cream so I added caramelized white chocolate chips for some crunch. The cider and cwc turn out to be a match made in heaven – the tartness of the apple marries perfectly with the sweetness of the deep white chocolate.
To make caramelized white chocolate: Heat the oven to 250. Take a white chocolate bar, chop it up and place it on a cookie sheet (unlined). Bake it for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until it reaches a caramel color and is liquid. Process in a food processor. You can store it at this point or if it’s ready on time, add it to the ice cream:
Once your ice cream is done freezing in the machine, and as you add it to your container, drizzle over it some of the white chocolate. Layer ice cream on top and repeat.
Notes on making Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream
It seems kind of annoying to do this in so many steps when everything ultimately cooks together but I’ve found (after many tries to remove step) that they are all necessary. You need to make the caramel before you turn it into ice cream to get the right texture.
You may use brown sugar instead of muscovado. Muscovado can be a bit expensive and hard to find, but it is absolutely perfect here so I encourage it.
Recipe for Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream
Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream
- Apple cider caramel:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- ½ cup sugar, granulated
- ¼ cup muscovado sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Ice Cream Base:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup muscovado sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- Step 1 First reduce the cider: in a small pot boil the cider on high for 30-45 minutes until it has been reduced to about ¼ of a cup.
- Step 2 While it is boiling, prepare the rest of the caramel by putting all the caramel ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, add all the ice cream ingredients except the egg yolks. Add the egg yolks to a third bowl.
- Step 3 Once the caramel has reduced, add the rest of the caramel ingredients and stir as the butter melts then stop stirring for a few minutes while it caramelizes.
- Step 4 Once the temperature reaches 245-247 you have your apple cider caramel sauce.
- Step 5 To the pot add the milk, cream, and second addition of muscovado sugar. Some of the caramel might harden and float to the top, just whisk it as it warms and it will melt into the milk.
- Step 6 Whisk the egg yolks. Add a ladleful of the mix to the eggs and whisk again, do this twice more to temper the eggs and then pour the egg mixture into the pot.
- Step 7 Cook on medium until temperature registers 170 F, is thick and covers the back of a spoon. Sieve it into a bowl to remove any egg bits, cover and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This is a necessary step to cool the base.
- Step 8 The next day, stick the container you plan to store it in in the freezer to chill so it is cold before you add the ice cream. Whisk your base together (it tends to set a bit at the top) and freeze according to your machine’s instructions. Store in the freezer in an airtight container.