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Black Walnut Ice Cream

Black Walnut Ice Cream

You might be thinking that I weigh 400 lb and all I eat are baked goods and desserts, because let’s be honest, that’s all I’ve been posting recently.  This recipe is no exception.  Can I explain without sounding like I’m making excuses?  I’ll give it a shot.

Lately, we’ve been eating staple Pennies on a Platter recipes that are either easy, freezable, or make a lot to last a while… such as the Pasta Fagioli, Chicken Pockets, Enchilada Lasagna, Italian Meatloaf, Cornflake Chicken Strips, and Chicken Taquitos.  Then other nights we’ll order in pizza and watch American Idol with friends.  Why?  Because I’ve been so busy at work lately that by the time I get home, I just do not have the motivation to prepare a new recipe, let alone take a photo and write about it.  I’ve been dying to take new photos of some of the recipes above, but couldn’t even find the time to do that!

Black Walnut Ice Cream

Ben has been begging me to make him this ice cream flavor for a long time (it’s his favorite) and I finally just got around to doing it the other day.  Poor guy.  A baby shows up and suddenly his favorite foods are on the back-burner.  🙂

Can I tell you how sad I am that I didn’t make this ice cream sooner?  Ben grew up eating this ice cream while I never heard of it.  I had no way to tell if this recipe was a good comparison to other Black Walnut ice cream recipes until Ben took a bite and said “This is perfect!”  What relief, considering I had a tough time finding a good recipe to use, so instead used David LebovitzCoffee Ice Cream recipe as a base and played from there.  I faintly remember Ben saying it was even better than the ice cream he grew up with.  Recipe…success!

Black Walnut Ice Cream

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup chopped black walnuts
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
5 large eggs yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Line all of the walnuts in a single layer on a small baking sheet.  Toast in the oven for 5 minutes and then let cool.

Using a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, half of the black walnuts, salt and 1/2 cup of the cream until warm. Cover, remove from heat and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pour the remaining 1 cup of the cream into a large bowl; set aside. Whisk together the egg yolks in a separate medium bowl; set aside.

Rewarm the mixture then slowly pour into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape back into the saucepan.

Heat over medium heat while stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens (about 5-7 minutes). Pour the custard into the 1 cup cream through a mesh strainer and stir. Press on the walnuts to extract as much of the walnut flavor as possible, then discard them.  Mix in the vanilla and stir over an ice bath until cool.

Chill the mixture overnight in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.  After transferring the ice cream from the maker to the container, stir in the remaining black walnuts.  Freeze until ready to consume.

Source: Pennies on a Platter original, using techniques from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz

*Updated 2/8/11


9 Responses

  1. I love walnut ice cream – yum! And you can’t go wrong with David Lebovitz 🙂

  2. I’ve never had this flavor either. It ounds really good. Other than the color (hee-hee) what’s the difference between black walnuts and regular?

    • Hi Ingrid! Honestly, I have no idea. I never even heard of black walnuts until I married Ben and he kept talking about this ice cream. We both have said that we think black walnuts have a “richer” taste than regular walnuts, but other than that I’m really not too informed on their differences. 🙂

  3. I live in Victorville,CA and I can,t find Black Walnut Ice Cream in any of the stores so far. If you should know of any please let me know,Thankyou.

  4. it is so awesome!! 🙂

  5. Just reading this post. first thank you for the attempt as I LOVE black walnut ice cream. Recently moved to the south from the midwest where I could find it readily but not so much down here. There is a big difference between the two nuts. I actually would substitute the vanilla for black walnut flavoring. And if you are luck you can find black walnuts in the supermarket. I can find them in small quantities in Walmart but I’m sure places like Whole Foods and the like would carry them. It’s hard to describe the flavor but there is a distinct difference. BW also don’t appear as dry as the regular counterpart. They are also darker. Google black walnuts for more concrete info.

    I will definitely try your version but again will substitute the black walnut flavoring (that I did purchase on-line as I could not find it in stores) for the vanilla.

    Thanks again and happy eating!

  6. When we visit you in May, will you make this for us???

  7. I’ll bring the black walnuts.

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