Apple Cider Ice Cream 2.09 Run Away, Little Boy
“An ice cream maker!” “A Musso Lussino 480!” “Somebody sent me a fascist ice cream maker?”
“Italian design, stainless steel body, chrome finish.” “And no card. Perfect.” “Jackson just got in his apple crop! We can make cider ice cream!” “Yes we can, using his ice cream maker, but Il Duce here is going back.”
For the apple cider: (you can absolutely use store-bought cider, but it wasn’t in season when I made this ice cream) This will make more apple cider than what’s needed in the ice cream recipe.
6-7 red apples (gala, pink lady, macintosh would all be good varieties), sliced
1 navel orange, sliced
4 cinnamon sticks (you could also use 2 tsp of ground cinnamon)
½ tsp whole cloves (you could also use 1 tsp of ground cloves)
3 star anise
2 in fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup maple syrup
8 cups of water
For the ice cream
1 ½ cups of apple cider
1 cup granulated sugar, divided into ¼ and ¾ cups
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
Optional: caramel drizzle
For the apple cider:
Instant Pot method:
Add all of the ingredients to your instant pot. Then pour the water over the ingredients.
Place the lid on the instant pot and set to manual pressure cook for 15 minutes.
Once the instant pot beeps, do a quick release for the steam.
Remove the solid pieces (apple slices, cinnamon sticks, etc.) from the pot and place in a mesh sieve over a bowl or pitcher. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, press the solids to extract all the juices.
Discard the solid pieces and pour the rest of the cider into the bowl or pitcher.
Follow step 1 to a large stockpot and place over high heat.
Allow the cider to reach a boil then reduce to medium heat. Cover and allow to simmer for 2 ½ hours.
Follow steps 4 and 5 above.
*note* If you want to drink the remaining cider (and you have a sweet tooth like me) you might want to stir in some brown sugar to the remaining cider. Make sure the sugar completely dissolves. There is plenty of sugar in the ice cream, so I didn’t want to add any to the original cider recipe.
For the ice cream:
Without an ice cream maker:
Add 1 ½ cups and ¼ cup of granulated sugar to a medium saucepan. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves and put over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat. Allow to simmer until reduced by half (about 5-10 minutes). Monitor this closely so you don’t end up with caramel like I did!
Remove the cider from heat and allow to cool completely.
In a large bowl, add the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated.
Add in the reduced cider and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
Carefully pour the ice cream mixture into a loaf tin. You can keep the mixture in the bowl, but I find the loaf tin will help your ice cream freeze better.
Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap or beeswax and then place in the freezer.
This is where patience comes into play. To prevent ice crystals from forming in your ice cream, you will need to stir your ice cream every hour. You really don’t have to start this process until it begins to solidify (about 3 hours in).
The ice cream will take about 6-7 hours to fully set, but trust me, it will be so worth it!
Optional: drizzle some caramel on top!
With an ice cream maker:
Follow steps 1-5 above.
Follow the directions of your ice cream maker using the ice cream base you just made.
Place in the freezer and allow to set for a few hours.
Optional: drizzle that caramel on top!
It was important to me to make this ice cream recipe as accessible as possible. I have an instant pot, but not an ice cream maker. Regardless of what appliances you own, I wanted it to be easy to make your own ice cream! I’m also really impatient when it comes to working with eggs to make custards, so I wanted to make this as easy as possible. Because there are no eggs in the ice cream base, you can taste as you go to check for the flavor of your ice cream (though eggs have never stopped me from testing raw cookie dough). And while you have to wait several hours before you can enjoy your ice cream, I wanted the process to at least be easy. Obviously, this dish is mentioned in this episode specifically because Lorelai is gifted an ice cream maker as a belated wedding gift, but it’s perfectly okay to make your ice cream by hand!
When I set out to plan my recipes for this season, I wasn’t intending to make my own apple cider for the cider ice cream. Even though Sookie clearly makes her own apple cider with Jackson’s fresh cider crop, I wanted to go the easy route. Well, the problem with doing this blog in chronological order means sometimes my dishes fall out of season (like trying to find peaches for my peach sauce in fall or squash blossoms in winter). So because it’s almost spring, apple cider wasn’t easily available. However, homemade apple cider is actually pretty easy to whip up, and it tastes so good! I decided to spike my leftovers with some of the rum I still had after making my Weston’s Bakery rum balls.
This is the last episode with Tristan before Chad Michael Murray leaves for One Tree Hill, and it’s his only episode for season two. While I personally don’t care for the character of Tristan, I understand his role throughout the first season. He plays a pivotal role in Rory’s first year at Chilton as she learns to deal with the private school kids. He gets Rory to finally wallow after Dean breaks up with her and creates an interesting conflict between Paris and Rory. I don’t get why he comes back for season two for just one episode. Tristan’s role in this episode doesn’t really serve a purpose other than to showcase Dean’s jealousy, which Jess does plenty of. To be honest, I do wish we could have a scene between Jess and Tristian. I would love to see how that dynamic would play out. Personally, I just don’t get why they brought Tristan back for one episode.
So let’s chat about the plot that inspired this dish- the ice cream maker. Lorelai desperately tries to figure out who gifted her and Max the ice cream maker, but to no avail. She tries donating it to the inn, but Sookie tells her it’s too small for her to use. Lorelai clearly doesn’t want any reminder of her engagement to Max (except for the chuppah, but that’s more of a reminder of Luke than of Max). I think this is perfectly reasonable. What I don’t think is reasonable is when Sookie questions her lack of dating since breaking up with Max. They broke up five episodes ago! Their wedding was supposed to take place in late summer and this episode takes place in the fall. Is Sookie really expecting Lorelai to jump back into dating just months after calling off a wedding?
Well, Lorelai does have her first post-Max date in this episode- Paul. I find it interesting that both Gilmore girls go out with a man named Paul and both scenarios are pretty disastrous. Did Amy Sherman-Palladino have a vendetta against a man named Paul? The Paul in this episode attends Hartford Community College and has a class with Lorelai. He comes across as much older in class, but Lorelai discovers he’s younger than she is. Again, this is another plot in which I don’t particularly get the point. Obviously, Luke gets jealous because Lorelai is dating other men again, but to me, this plot just seems a little far-reaching.
Back to Chilton and the Romeo and Juliet project, we get to meet the recurring character, Brad Langford. I enjoy Brad, and I wish he appeared in more episodes. His nervous energy is a great juxtaposition to Paris’s domineering energy. Speaking of Paris, we have one of my favorite scenes of her in this episode. When Tristan is not able to perform as Romeo in the play, she takes matters into her own hands and does the role herself. I love whenever Paris springs into action and doesn’t let anyone trip her up. In fact, I’m glad she won’t have Tristan in her life anymore as a distraction and she can fully focus on being her badass self.
Today officially marks one year in quarantine. When all of this started, I never thought we’d be in this position a year later. I’m not sure I really have the mental strength to process all the thoughts going on through my mind as we sit here on the anniversary of the first day that the world would never be the same. While I am grateful that I and those closest to me still have their health, I am deeply saddened by the hundreds of thousands of lives that were unnecessarily lost because we as a country failed to adequately respond to the pandemic. I hope we are nearing the end of all of this, but the light at the end of the tunnel still seems so far away.
Take care, friends, and happy cooking!
If you missed what I made last time, catch up here!