Frozen Flavor Explosions


Since ice cream knows no season, this is a good time to enjoy some of autumn’s fruits and nuts in frozen form. Pecans, persimmons and apples, three fall favorites, can be turned into delicious ice creams.

There are an infinite number of ice cream flavors, but only two basic types of ice cream — Philadelphia-style and custard. Philadelphia-style ice cream is made with cream and milk. Custard ice cream is made with egg yolks, as well as cream and milk. All three recipes this month are Philadelphia-style and are a snap to make.

The pecan ice cream recipe yields an assertively flavored ice cream. It is delicious on its own, but it’s even better as a  sundae, with the addition of chocolate sauce and some softly whipped cream. The recipe for the chocolate sauce comes from Michel Guérard, the French chef who was one of the principal founders of the nouvelle cuisine movement. I’m so fond of the sauce that I always have a container in the fridge. There’s no cream in the recipe, so it keeps well and is delicious served either hot or cold. The whipped cream is sweetened with powdered sugar, which contains some cornstarch that helps to stabilize the cream.

The persimmon ice cream is too delicate to be used in a sundae, but it pairs nicely with almond cookies or a plain pound cake. Persimmons have a short season, so if you’re as fond of them as I am, buy or harvest a bunch and freeze the pulp in one- or two-cup containers. You can also freeze whole persimmons and eat them frozen for a special treat reminiscent of a sorbet.

The baked apple ice cream is, perhaps, a bit unusual, but I’m including it because I love baked apples, which always remind me of autumn. Calvados, the French apple brandy called for in the recipe, isn’t absolutely necessary, so if you don’t have any, omit it or substitute another brandy. This ice cream also goes nicely with almond cookies or a pound cake.


Kitchengourmet Appleicecream

Baked Apple Ice Cream

2 red apples, such as Fuji (about 1 pound)
¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Calvados

Preheat oven to 350 F. Core apples and cut each into eight slices. In a baking dish, combine apples, apple juice and sugar. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven until apples are softened, about 30 minutes. Cool.

Add apples with their liquid, milk and cream to blender and purée until smooth. Press through a fine mesh strainer. Add Calvados and refrigerate until cold. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a container and freeze until firm. Makes about 1 quart.


Persimmon Ice Cream

2 cups persimmon pulp
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream

Combine persimmon pulp and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Add milk and cream and process until well blended. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until cold. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a container and freeze until firm. Makes about 1 quart.


Kitchengourmet Pecancookies

These cookies are wonderfully chewy. For a crisp version, flatten each ball of dough with the tines of a fork and bake until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes. Bake some of each type and see which you prefer.

Almond Cookies

¼ pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
Grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup blanched, finely-ground almond flour
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add egg, lemon zest and almond extract and mix well. Add salt, baking powder and almond flour and mix to combine. Fold in all-purpose flour.

Take a piece of dough about the size of a walnut, form into a ball and place on baking sheet. Repeat, leaving adequate space between each. (A half-sheet pan will accommodate 12 balls of dough.)

Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat until all the dough is baked. Makes about 40 cookies.


Pecan Ice Cream

1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon melted butter
¼ teaspoon salt

Place light brown sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, while stirring. Mixture will foam and bubble. Cook, stirring, until foam subsides and the spoon,when pulled across the bottom of the pan, leaves a track, about 7-8 minutes. Off the heat, slowly pour in the cream. Step back because the mixture will foam up and splatter. Add milk and bourbon and stir. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Combine pecans, melted butter and salt and toss to coat pecans. Transfer pecans to a rimmed baking sheet and toast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir pecans and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. When pecans have cooled, chop them, place in a covered container and refrigerate.

When ice cream mixture is cold, process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add pecans at the end when the mixture has thickened. Transfer to a covered container and freeze until solid. Makes about 1 quart.

To make an ice cream sundae, scoop pecan ice cream into a bowl, cover with Michel Guérard’s chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream. More recipes at


Categories: Food+Drink, Recipes