Maple Walnut Ice Cream Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Steeping chopped walnuts directly in ice cream base makes for a nuttier flavor.
  • Dark maple syrup brings bittersweet complexity to the ice cream.

The scoop shop classic gets an upgrade with rich, dark maple syrup and an ice cream that actually tastes like walnuts.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 6 hrs
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 8 ounces unsalted walnuts, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup darkest grade maple syrup
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste


  1. Toast 4 ounces walnuts in a microwave or a dry saucepan over high heat until they darken slightly and begin to smell nutty, about 1 minute, then finely chop and set aside. While walnuts toast, bring cream and milk to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in walnuts, cover, and steep for 1 to 2 hours.

  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and maple syrup until well combined. Strain cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into pot with eggs and maple syrup; discard soaked walnuts. Whisk until fully combined, then set over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until a custard forms on a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a clean line, or until custard temperature reaches 170°F. Add salt to taste.

  3. Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container and chill in an ice bath or refrigerator until temperature drops to 40°F, about 4 hours for ice bath, up to overnight for refrigerator.

  4. Churn ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions. While ice cream churns, toast and roughly chop remaining 4 ounces of walnuts, then chill in freezer. Add walnuts to ice cream during final minute of churning. Transfer churned ice cream to an airtight container and harden in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Special equipment

Ice cream maker

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