Caramelized Maple Walnut Ice Cream (Dairy Free & Paleo)
As we transition from summer into fall, there’s this confusion on what is seasonally appropriate to make and bake during this time. I mean I typically eat out of season fruits and veggies all year (hello $8 a pint strawberries), but I love to follow seasonal flavors as well. Living in California we don’t really feel the seasons so I just want to eat summer fruits all year, but this year I am quarantining in Massachusetts. And honestly, I feel the seasons coming. I can smell the cinnamon and pumpkin already. I was never a fan of the seasons growing up, but I haven't experienced them in years so I can say I’m looking forward to fall this year! (insert shocked face emoji).
With it being hot outside and wanting to incorporate fall into my baking, what better way than to make a fall flavored-not ready for pumpkin yet- ice cream!!? One of my favorites as a kid was maple walnut. Does that make me an old soul?
Well, I wanted to recreate that in a paleo-dairy free-version, and up the game per usual. So I toasted the walnuts on a pan with some maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt and they are so good. I ate most of them before I added them to the ice cream mixture. Tip of the day: Make extra walnuts!!!
I made this in my Cuisinart, I highly recommend churning as it aerates the cream and allows it to develop a nice thick and creamy, melty texture. Without churning, the mixture may be a bit icy and less creamy. However if you don’t have a churner, you can try to whip or blend your mixture and just freeze. I think it’ll still taste delicious.
What is in this Maple Walnut Ice Cream?
Coconut Milk: This is the base of your ice cream. Make sure it’s full fat and in the can
Unsweetened Gelatin: This is what makes your ice cream creamy and less icy when frozen
Maple Syrup: This is what makes your maple ice cream maple-y!
Vanilla Extract: This adds a little vanilla note to your ice cream
Sea Salt: Balances out the sweet in the ice cream. Also used with your walnuts to give them a sweet salty toasty flavor
Walnuts: Your hero of the ice cream! But would also be great with pecans, or even almonds
Cinnamon: I toasted the walnuts in a sprinkle of cinnamon to add even more of a fall flavor
This Maple Walnut Ice Cream is made with caramelized walnuts and fresh, pure maple syrup. The walnuts are lightly toasted on the stove with a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon. They add a sweet crunch to the maple ice cream!
2 cans of coconut milk or coconut cream
2 tsp of unsweetened gelatin powder
2/3 cup of pure maple syrup
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp of almond butter (can omit if intolerant to nuts)
sprinkle of sea salt
1/3 cup of crushed walnuts
2 tsp of maple syrup
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
sprinkle of sea salt
In a medium saucepan, pour in the cans of coconut milk and sprinkle the gelatin on top until a skin forms, about 2-3 minutes
Turn on heat and whisk in the gelatin well
Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, almond butter and sprinkle of sea salt. Let heat up until a slow boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes until well mixed and a bit thicker
Take off stove and let cool. Then store in an airtight container in the fridge until COMPLETELY cold, overnight is best.
Toast your walnuts. In a small stovetop pan, add walnuts and turn on heat to medium. Move around with a spatula until they get hot. Now add in the maple syrup.
Frequently stir and mix so they don’t burn. You want the walnuts to be a nice toasty brown color and the maple syrup should be sticky. Not runny. This should take about 5-8 minutes on a medium-low heat
Now add in the cinnamon and sea salt, mix well, and turn off heat.
Transfer walnuts to a bowl to cool. Take off heat immediately or they will burn!
Once ice cream mixture is cold, transfer your mix to your ice cream maker and churn for about 25 minutes, or recommended time on your machine. I highly recommend churning as it aerates the cream and allows it to develop a nice thick and creamy, melty texture. Without churning, the mixture may be a bit icy and less creamy. However if you don’t have a churner, you can try to whip with a hand mixer or blend in a blender and freeze from there. I think it’ll still taste delicious.
Once your ice cream is ready, add in your toasted walnuts and mix in well. I do this right before I turn off my ice cream maker. Transfer your ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until a hard serve texture, about 1-2 hours. You may need to let your ice cream soften up to a scoop-able texture after fully frozen solid, about 20 minutes on the counter.
Scoop and enjoy! Option to drizzle more maple syrup on top.
- Your coconut milk must be the full fat canned kind. You can also try this with full fat oat milk but I haven’t tried it myself yet
- I highly recommend churning as it aerates the cream and allows it to develop a nice thick and creamy, melty texture. Without churning, the mixture may be a bit icy and less creamy. However if you don’t have a churner, you can try to whip or blend your mixture and freeze. I think it’ll still taste delicious.
- You can omit the almond butter if you have an intolerance. I don’t recommend subbing with any other nut butter as it’ll ruin the flavor of the maple.
- You may need to let your ice cream soften up to a scoop-able texture after fully frozen solid, about 20 minutes on the counter.
- You cannot omit the gelatin as it is what makes it creamy and less icy after frozen
- You can substitute the walnuts for pecans or almonds if you choose to do so!
As always, tag me in your recipes and leave any comments or questions below!