|Caramel Apple Ice Cream|
Caramel apples are one of those things I refuse to make in my own kitchen. Of course I like the idea of it, who doesn't like a crisp apple coated in caramel and rolled in nuts or chocolate or sprinkles?! However, dipping things isn't my favorite, and dipping in sticky caramel sounds like a disaster waiting to happen (for the record--love dipped foods, see: chocolate covered s'mores on a stick, chocolate covered pretzel cheesecake bites, and gingerbread truffles,--just don't love the process!). This time of year, then, when caramel apple cravings strike, I'm either buying the prepackaged ones or finding a more unique way to enjoy one of my favorite flavor combinations.
Enter: caramel apple ice cream. This recipe is particularly awesome because you don't need an ice cream maker! I'm all for making homemade ice cream, but I know an ice cream maker is a novelty kitchen item that many don't have. No worries, for this recipe you saute some apples in a skillet with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, then mix in some caramel sauce. Once the mixture is cooled, you stir it into softened vanilla ice cream and BAM--'homemade' caramel apple ice cream! I thought it was best when eaten a little softened, so when you're ready to serve, let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 10 or 15 minutes before scooping into dishes and topping with a gingersnap or spice cookie (my new favorites are the Spekulatius Spice Cookies from Aldi!). This ice cream would also be a great accompaniment to a fall-themed pie or crisp dessert!
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-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
-1 tbsp sugar
-1/8 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
-1 quart vanilla ice cream
-gingersnaps or similar spice cookie, for serving
1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the apples, stirring and cooking over moderated heat for 5 minutes, or until softened and browned. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of water. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the caramel topping, coating the apples. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
2. Allow vanilla ice cream to soften slightly before folding the cooled apple mixture into it. Freeze ice cream until firm, about 4 hours. Scoop ice cream into bowls and garnish with gingersnaps.
Slightly adapted from Food & Wine October 2012