Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Temptation

Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain invited me to participate in a Cooking Challenge today:

The Improve Cooking Challenge

This is a blog hop where participants were asked to use two mandatory ingredients:

Caramel and Apples

Ever since Sheryl threw down the gauntlet, I have mulled over apple recipes.  Two out of the four members in my family are actually allergic to apples, so I wanted to make a recipe with a smallish yield so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat the whole thing (which might taste very good at the time but prove to be very bad in hind-sight.)
First, I investigated the different apple varieties and picked some that were conducive to cooking: tart granny smith, jonagold (a cross between jonathon and golden delicious), and gala.  I wanted apples that would hold their shape as well as a combination of tastes and textures for interest.

After peeling, coring, and cubing six medium apples (2 of each variety), I sauteed them in 2 Tbsp. butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 tsp.cinnamon until they were nicely caramelized and tender..

These are great on their own and are similar to Cracker Barrel's fried apples!  But this is supposed to be a Challenge, so I wanted to try a new recipe using the sauteed apples, something that could be savored over several days.  In theory.

Cinnamon Apple Ice Cream with Gooey Caramel Sauce
(click here to print)
1 cup sugar
1 cup half-and-half
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Stir together the sugar and half-and-half in a saucepan over medium-low heat, When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat.  Whisk half of the mixture into the eggs, working quickly so that the eggs do not cook. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the cream. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Pour cold mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.  Stir in half of the sauteed apples (recipe above) by hand at the end of the churning process.

Turn ice cream into an airtight container, place in freezer, and allow to ripen overnight.

Before serving, soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Scoop into bowls and drizzle with Gooey Caramel Sauce.

Gooey Caramel Sauce

1 cup dark
 brown sugar
6 Tbsp. butter (no substitutes)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1/2 to 1 Tbsp. Bourbon (optional)

Combine all ingredients except for Bourbon in an 8 cup pyrex measuring cup.  Make sure you use a large vessel for this so that the mixture does not overflow and burn you!  Cook on HIGH in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Remove and stir well.  Cook on HIGH for an additional 2 minutes.    Stir in Bourbon (if using).  This sauce will thicken as it cools.  Any leftovers should be refrigerated and can be reheated in the microwave later at 50% power.

The ice cream had a delicious flavor, but it wasn't as creamy as I would have liked.  I found these tips to lesson ice crystal formation in homemade ice cream and will definitely use some of the suggestions the next time I make this.  And there will be a next time!

The caramel sauce was perfectly decadent and delicious and mingled beautifully with the apple cinnamon flavors.

I made another recipe with the rest of the apples that I'll share in a future post.


The Café Sucré Farine said...

This is making me quite hungry! Looks delicious and so fallish!

BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} said...

YUM!! What a fabulous idea!! I definitely need to try some making some ice cream with apples!! Sounds like a perfect flavor! What a great recipe for this month's challenge!!

Mimi said...

Yum! Caramel Apple ice cream sounds so delicious. We usually cheat and buy vanilla ice cream and top it with baked apples slices and caramel sauce, but your recipe looks so good I need to get the ice cream make out.

Pup Fan said...

That sauce... I must have it.

Lisa~~ said...

Extremely tempting and I'd love some right now.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge recipe: Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies.

Cook Lisa Cook

rebekahdawn said...

My family adores ice cream so this looks fabulous!
Super creative too!

Gluten Free & Loving It said...

I love homemade ice cream!

hediye said...

Caramel Apple ice cream sounds so yummy. Yesterday I bought vanilla ice cream, and top it with baked apples slices and caramel sauce, but your recipe looks so good I need to get the ice cream make out.

Desi said...

Oh my! That caramel sauce poured on top is really what's gettin me!!! Can I just drink it? :)

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