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Chez Panisse Desserts: Cinnamon Apple Ice Cream

"Tastes like apple pie!"

That's what everyone at my house thought about this tasty ice cream from Chez Panisse Desserts . It's a nice dessert all by itself, and would also make an excellent partner to an apple pie or tart.

Lindsey Shere, never one to give a lot of detailed instructions, tells the reader to cook the apples until soft and then "whisk into a slightly chunky apple purée." I gave this a try, but the whisk is really not the best tool for the job. I got a fairly smooth mixture by using a potato masher, but ultimately I decided that I'd probably prefer the ice cream to be smooth, so I put the apples in a blender until they were completely smooth. If you'd like discrete apple chunks in your ice cream, use a mashing tool. But if you're like me and prefer your ice cream to be smooth, process the fruit into a uniform purée.

Shere recommends Gravenstein or McIntosh apples; I used Golden Delicious with excellent results. They're not my favorite apples for eating out of hand, but when cooked, they've got a concentrated, pure apple flavor.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus about 2 hours to chill
Cook Time: about 30 minutes
Yield: 1 generous quart

1 1/2 pounds apples
3 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1 2/3 cups whipping cream (not heavy cream)
3 egg yolks
Vanilla extract and calvados (optional), to taste

Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Slice thin into a nonreactive saucepan and add the water and cinnamon. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 15 minutes. Mash with a potato masher or purée in a blender or food processor, then measure out 1 2/3 cups and stir the sugar into it (if you've got extra apple purée, reserve it for another use).

Heat the cream over medium heat until very warm. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl, then slowly add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the spoon, about 3 minutes. Strain into a container and stir in the apple purée. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Taste the mixture and flavor with a few drops of vanilla extract, and a few drops of calvados, if using. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.



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