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Coffee and Toasted Cinnamon Ice Cream

IMG_1606Living in Texas for the last 23 years has not really prepared me for seasons that are not Summer and January. This late-summer season is lovely–I can feel fall and cinnamon everything on the horizon, but it’s still hot enough out that I want to put all that in ice cream.


No matter the recipe, ice cream has a predictable pattern (albeit a more complicated one if you’re following the egg-inclusive French style, rather than the cream-heavy Philadelphia one): heat the dairy, temper the eggs (temper your patience too, because you don’t want to rush this step), chill for hours, churn for minutes, enjoy for weeks.

Coffee and Toasted Cinnamon Ice Cream--Laughing Over Spilled Milk

NOTE: When toasting cinnamon, supervise closely–there should be no smoking, and it should be just about done by 3 minutes on medium heat. This step is optional, but recommended.


Coffee and Toasted Cinnamon Ice Cream
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee
  • ⅔ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks (more may be desired, for garnish)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Beat egg yolks together in a small bowl until they lighten in color (approximately 1 minute), set aside.
  2. In a small, dry, nonstick frying pan, toast 1 tablespoon cinnamon over medium-low heat for 1-3 minutes, stirring or shaking pan to prevent burning. When the cinnamon smells fragrant and spicy, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, instant coffee, salt, and cinnamon sticks. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming and hot but not simmering (boiling your custard will give you scrambled-egg ice cream). Remove from heat.
  4. Add ¼ cup of the milk/cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until combined. Repeat 2-3 times before returning the liquid and egg yolks back to the saucepan.
  5. Continue to cook the custard for 3-4 more minute over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon or spatula).
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool--an ice bath may be used to cool the custard quickly.
  7. Once mixture has cooled, add vanilla extract.
  8. Chill custard in the fridge for 2-10 hours. Remove cinnamon sticks after chilling.
  9. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.

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