Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream is our favourite frozen dessert to scoop when a craving for nuts hits.
Our quick & easy recipe is made using an Ice Cream & Gelato Maker.
This decadent gourmet dessert features a vanilla and maple syrup ice cream base with chopped black walnuts.
Enjoy as a cool scoop on a hot day or serve as a special dessert like an ice cream sundae with fresh fruit, nuts and dark chocolate.
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My Family Loves Black Walnut Ice Cream
What family doesn’t love ice cream?
I spent months researching Toronto’s best ice cream & gelato. In search of the city’s most drool-worthy frozen desserts, I found endless inspiring flavour combinations.
As a kid my parents used to take me to local ice cream parlours all the time in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka.
Over the years each family member has developed a penchant for a particular flavour. I love Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dad hearts Jamoca Almond Fudge, Mom adores Mint Chocolate Chip and my sister raves for Pralines & Cream.
Since our family is Canadian there is no wonder we’re huge fans of maple flavoured ice cream. We love traveling to Quebec, especially during maple season in the Spring to taste freshly tapped syrup on local farms from Charlevoix to Mont Tremblant.
Many Canadian ice cream shops sell maple ice cream mixed with roasted nuts. The most common pairing is Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream. Here’s our delicious homemade recipe, which we know you’ll love scooping with a smile at home.
What Is Ice Cream?
Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream and is flavoured with sweetener such as sugar, and flavourings such as cocoa or vanilla.
The mixture is stirred to incorporate air and is cooled below the freezing point of water to prevent undesirable ice crystals from forming. The result is a smooth, semi-solid foam that is stored at very low temperatures.
The meaning of the name “ice cream” varies from one country to another. Terms such as frozen custard, frozen yogurt, sorbet and gelato are used to distinguish different varieties and styles.
Ice cream may also be served in dishes, for eating with a spoon, or licked from edible cones. Ice cream may be served with other desserts, such as pie, or as an ingredient in ice cream floats, sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream cakes and eye-popping Baked Alaska.
History Of Ice Cream
The origins of frozen desserts are unknown, though there are several often repeated legends dated as early as the 3rd millenium in ancient China. According to one legendary origin myth, the Roman Emperor Nero had ice collected from the Apennine Mountains to produce the first sorbet mixed with honey and wine. Other legends say ice cream originated in the Mongolian empire and first spread to China during its expansion.
Its spread throughout Europe is sometimes attributed to Arab traders, but more often to Marco Polo. Though it’s not mentioned in any of his writings, Polo is often credited with introducing sorbet-style desserts to Italy after learning of it during his travels to China.
The Italian duchess Catherine de’ Medici is said to have introduced flavoured sorbet ices to France when she brought some Italian chefs with her to France upon marrying the Duke of Orléans in 1533. One hundred years later, Charles I of England was reportedly so impressed by the “frozen snow” that he offered his own ice cream maker a lifetime pension in return for keeping the formula secret, so that ice cream could be a royals only treat.
Snow was used to cool drinks in Greece around 500 BC and Hippocrates is known to have criticized chilled drinks for causing “fluxes of the stomach”. Snow collected from the lower slopes of mountains was unsanitary and iced drinks were believed to cause convulsions, colic and a host of other ailments. Seneca criticized the extravagant costs associated with iced desserts in an era without refrigeration.
Ice cream was made possible only by the discovery of the endothermic effect. Prior to this, cream could only be chilled but not frozen. It was the addition of salt, that lowered the melting point of ice, which had the effect of drawing heat from the cream and allowing it to freeze. The first known record of this comes from the Indian poem Pancatantra, dating to the 4th century AD.
Best Ice Cream Maker
Looking for the best ice cream maker to make homemade gelato, granita, sorbet and sherbet?
My family uses the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, an automatic ice cream maker that makes homemade gelato a quick, easy and fun process.
The affordable ice cream maker typically sells for under $100 dollars and includes a main base with on/off switch, frozen bowl, paddle attachment and lid. The box also includes instructions on how to use the ice cream maker and a few easy recipes to get you started.
Walnut & Maple Flavouring Options
This easy homemade ice cream recipe features two special and unique flavours: maple and walnuts.
We suggest using maple syrup in the ice cream base but you could also get creative and use maple butter or even slice in chunks of maple fudge.
We have used roasted walnuts in this recipe but you could also add candied walnuts or swirls of walnut butter.
Maple Walnut Ice Cream Tips
If it’s your first time making homemade Maple Walnut Ice Cream we suggest reading our step by step recipe from top to bottom. Familiarize yourself with each step before you start cooking in the kitchen.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks for first time ice cream makers:
- Use organic whole milk and whipping cream if you can find it.
- Source high quality black walnuts and maple syrup.
- Use a Cuisiniart Ice Cream Maker for great results!
- Serve your homemade ice cream immediately out of the machine for soft serve texture, or store in the freezer and scoop for a harder more authentic ice cream parlour experience.
- Serve ice cream simply on a cone or as a fun sundae with your favourite candied nuts, muffins, cookies or Fall fruit like pear and apple.
What To Serve With Black Walnut Ice Cream
If you’re an ice cream traditionalist you’ll likely want to lick our Black Walnut Ice Cream off a cone or scoop out of a bowl all on its own.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or simply live your life with the mantra YOLO, dress up your homemade ice cream by serving it as a sundae or between two homemade cookies as a gourmet ice cream sandwich.
We love serving this ice cream recipe smushed between Oat Flour Cookies, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Toffee Walnut Cookies.
You can also scoop homemade ice cream over muffins, cupcakes, pancakes and more! Try pairing a scoop or two with Banana Muffins, Sticky Toffee Banana and Date Muffins, Banana Carrot Muffins, Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Oat Flour Pancakes, Apple Fritter Muffins or Baileys French Toast.
Storing Ice Cream
Once you’ve mixed the freshly churned soft ice cream base with maple syrup and chopped walnuts store it in the freezer overnight to harden so you can scoop it easily.
If you’re making ice cream sandwiches, form them when the ice cream is soft then immediately store them upright in the freezer in a container or freezer bag.
Our homemade Black Walnut Ice Cream can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. But, I really doubt it will last much longer than a few days!
How To Make Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream Recipe
Black Walnut Ice Cream
- Ice cream maker
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Ice Cream Scoop
- 2 cups Whipping Cream
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup White Sugar
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Black Walnuts chopped
- In a small pot, simmer cream, milk, sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup and salt, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk yolks and vanilla extract. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk 1/3 of the hot cream into the yolks, then, whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Cool mixture at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Churn cooled base in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.
- Scoop finished ice cream into a freezer-safe bowl and garnish with chopped walnuts and drizzle 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
- Serve Black Walnut Ice Cream directly from the bowl as soft serve, or store in the freezer until ready to eat.
- Make a delicious Black Walnut Ice Cream Sundae by serving scoops with Banana Walnut Muffins and caramel sauce.
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