Love almond-flavored stuff? This ice cream will be right up your alley.
It seriously tastes like frozen marzipan to me.
This recipe is a riff on the Toasted Amaretto Ice Cream from my cookbook, Slushed!
This ice cream is the perfect late-night treat.
It would be AMAZING in ice cream float, as a ridiculously indulgent part of a waffle ice cream sundae—or as the filling for ice cream sandwiches made with homemade shortbread cookies. (Here’s my fav shortbread recipe.)
This ice cream is smooth and creamy, studded with crunchy, slivered almonds, and loaded with nutty flavor.
Want to booze it up a little?
Toss in a shot or two of amaretto or other almond-flavored liquor when you process it in your ice cream machine.
While you might be tempted, don’t add more than that. Ice cream with too much alcohol in it won’t freeze solid.
(If you like, make this ice cream, THEN use it to make a frozen cocktail or ice cream float…with as much booze as you like. 😉 )
My favorite part of making homemade ice cream? Licking the bowl of the ice cream maker clean. 🙂
How to make ice cream without an ice cream machine
Prepare the ice cream mixture up to the point where you process it in the machine.
Then, pour the ice cream mixture into a large, freezer-safe bowl and pop it into the freezer.
Every 30 minutes, whisk it briskly until firm. This will whip some air into it (effectively sort of “churning” it).
This will take a few hours depending on your freezer and the size of your bowl, etc., etc.
Your ice cream will be a little denser in consistency, but still super delish.
Alright! Let’s get churning!
Toasted Almond Ice Cream
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbls. almond extract
2 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur (optional)
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
Toast the almonds
Toast the sliced almonds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned.
This brings out their flavor and adds a toasted note to your ice cream.
When they’re done, remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
They should look about like this (brown but not too, too dark).
That’s pure flavor!
Set aside while you do a little prep and then make the ice cream base.
Make your ice bath
Grab a large bowl and a smaller bowl that will nest comfortably inside.
Put some ice in the bottom of the larger bowl. Set the smaller bowl on top.
Stash this setup in the fridge while you make the ice cream base.
Make the ice cream base
Put the egg yolks, sugar, and milk in a large, heatproof bowl. Whisk until well combined.
How to make a double boiler (aka, a bain marie)
“Bain marie” is fancy French culinary speak for “water bath” or “double boiler.” You use a double boiler when you want to cook something with relatively high, relatively indirect heat.
If you have a double boiler pot, use that. You already know what I’m talking about, so skip ahead if you like.
If you don’t have a double boiler setup (or don’t know what I’m talking about), here’s how to improvise one.
So, a double boiler has two pieces to it: the pot on the bottom (which holds a few inches of water) and the bowl on the top (which holds the mixture that you want to cook gently, over water).
The pot should be large enough to hold the heatproof bowl in it WITHOUT the bowl touching the bottom of the pot.
The goal is to let the boiling water in the pot touch the bottom of the bowl, so it gently cooks whatever’s inside.
(As opposed to having that mixture exposed to direct heat from a burner, where it would likely scorch. This technique is used a lot with caramels and custards.)
Put a few inches of water in the bottom of your pot. Bring that to a boil. Once it’s bubbling, knock the heat down so it just holds a simmer.
Then, set the bowl with your ice cream base on top. It should rest comfortably and securely on the pot, like this:
Cook the ice cream mixture in your double boiler
Cook the mixture in your water bath over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it reaches 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer—and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon well.
When the mixture is done, strain it into the top bowl of the ice bath that you set up earlier.
This will remove any small bits of cooked egg, if you have them.
Whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, almond extract, and (optional) Ameretto liquor until the mixture is uniform.
Give it a taste, add a little more almond or vanilla extracts if you like. This is basically what your ice cream will taste like, so now is your chance to adjust the flavors if you want to.
Chill the mixture until completely cold, about 4-6 hours.
If you need to, you can fudge this a little by putting it in a shallow pan (like a lasagna pan) and sticking it in the freezer.
Just keep a good eye on it, and don’t let it remotely freeze solid.
Process your ice cream in your ice cream maker
Once it’s chilled, process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Every machine is a little different.)
Once it starts to firm up in the machine, add your toasted, slivered almonds to the ice cream machine.
If you added Amaretto or another almond liquor, your ice cream will still be a little loose when it’s done (because of the alcohol).
That’s just fine. It will set up in the freezer over night.
Freeze your homemade ice cream overnight
When it’s done, transfer it into a freezer-safe container. I like to use 1-lb. bread pans. They hold a rough quart of ice cream perfectly.
Cover with plastic wrap (press it down onto the surface of your ice cream).
Pop your pan into the freezer. Freeze overnight, or until solid.
If you’re trying to rush it, you’ll need at least 4-6 hours in the freezer to start to get the right consistency.
Serve your homemade almond ice cream!
Once your homemade almond ice cream is frozen solid, have at it!