cinnamon sour cream ice cream

A follow up to the Apple Tarte Tatin recipe I posted earlier this week, I thought you all might need another project this weekend…once you’ve finished making homemade puff pastry and caramelizing apples that is.  You know, just to keep things light. 

In all seriousness, you must make this ice cream sometime between now and Thanksgiving.  It is everything your fall desserts are missing, and absolutely killer on that Tarte Tatin.  Where last year found me obsessed with honey-vanilla bean ice cream on top of my apples, pumpkins, and pecans, this year’s ice cream obsession is officially cinnamon sour cream.

The inspiration here comes from a delicious slice of apple pie I had last fall at NYC’s Gramercy Tavern topped with, you guessed it, cinnamon sour cream ice cream – sweet, creamy, tangy, and spicy-warm, it was heavenly. 

To make my own version at home, I reached for David Lebovitz’s ice cream bible, The Perfect Scoop.  (If you find yourself looking for an ice cream book, look no further: this is the only one you’ll even need.  My copy is so stained and ragged now, I often have to pry apart the pages to read recipes.)  Mr. Lebovitz suggests flavoring your cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon sticks instead of ground cinnamon, which gives the ice cream a more pure and intense cinnamon flavor.  For a quart of ice cream, you need a full 10 sticks of cinnamon, which may seem like overkill, but the results are fantastic, so don’t be tempted to skimp here. 

The sour cream in the recipe is my addition which adds a wonderful roundness and slight tartness, making this ice cream a perfect foil to sweet fall desserts.  You could easily replace the sour cream with crème fraiche if that’s what you have on hand. 

Makes about 1 quart of ice cream.   

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Cinnamon Sour Cream Ice Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 10 whole cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sour cream (full fat)

Steep the milk:

Place the milk, cream, cinnamon sticks, and sugar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and set out another clean mixing bowl with a strainer on top.

Make the anglaise:

Once the milk mixture has steeped, remove the cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon, and heat the mixture again until it is almost boiling.  Add half the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and beat well.  Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining hot milk.  Reduce the heat to low-medium and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon – this should only take 1 to 2 minutes. 

Pour the cooked anglaise through the prepared strainer to remove any remaining pieces of cinnamon stick and/or cooked egg.  Cover and chill until very cold.

Freeze the ice cream:

Once the anglaise is chilled, whisk in the sour cream.  Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions – this should take about 10-15 minutes.  Once frozen, place the ice cream in a covered container and store in the freezer.  Let the ice cream sit out at room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving.