Cook the Books: Maple Ice Cream Recipe

I’m a bit of connoisseur, maybe even an expert, of eating ice cream. Imagine my excitement at last month’s Cook the Books when someone showed up with a quart of homemade maple ice cream that knocked my socks off. That might sound like an exaggeration, my socks falling off, but they almost did.     

Even though it feels a bit too cold to be talking about ice cream I thought I’d share the recipe as we are in the thick of maple season—it’s too good not to be eating right now. And, while I have you, if you are interested in food please join us for the next Cook the Books, Wednesday, April 12 at 7pm, where we will be exploring cheese. It’s a fun group of people and a lot of really great food. I hope to see you there!

Maple Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Nuts

Reproduced from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (Karo syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup (recipe calls for Grade B or C, Grade A will work as well)
  • Salty buttered nuts (walnut, pecans, or hickory nuts)

Preparation steps:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry.
  2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth
  3. Mix the cream and corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Cooking steps:

  1. Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue boiling for 8 minutes, or until it has reduced by one-half and has begun to darken around the edges.
  2. Remove maple syrup from the heat, and stirring constantly, slowly add the cream and corn syrup mixture.
  3. Add the remaining milk.
  4. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and cook for 4 minutes. (The mixture may appear curdled from the acidic maple, but it will come back together in the finished ice cream.)
  5. Remove from the head and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
  6. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about one minute.  Remove from heat.

Chilling steps:

  1. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Submerge the bag into the ice bath.  Let stand until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freezing steps:

  1. Cut off a corner of the Ziploc bag and pour into spinning frozen canister.
  2. Spin until thick and creamy (25-30 minutes.  The ice cream should pull away from the side of the canister when done.)
  3. Pack the ice cream into a container, folding in the nuts as you go.
  4. Press a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper against the surface of the ice cream and seal with an airtight lid. (Do not use plastic wrap as it will stick to the ice cream.)
  5. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Salty Buttered Nuts

  • 3/4 cup nuts halves or quarters
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the nuts with the butter and salt in a bowl, tossing to coat.
  3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and back for 10-15 minutes, turning once.
  4. Let cool.



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