Walnut ice cream with Padre Peppe
July 14th, 2007

After almost a complete week of excessive ice cream production and consumption, I can happily report that there are no downsides to our recent acquisition – quite the contrary she does what she does and she does it great! No negative side-effects? Hello waistline? Not the slightest grumble came from the Gaggia despite the fact that we made her work seven days in a row without a single day off. Good girl. Ahead of us lies what is promised to be a wonderful hot and sunny summer weekend and I’m still not tired of creating new ice cream flavors. Not a single one we made so far was a let down.

Walnut ice cream with Padre Peppe

Complying with Oliver’s wish, the first one had to be “…something with walnuts”. Skimming across my cookbooks and the net made me realize, that most recipes for walnut ice cream looked like clones of each other, so I started thinking of ways and means to add a little twist. Sitting on our liqueur shelf, Mr. Padre Peppe lent a hand!

We had discovered Padre Peppe during our trip to Puglia last year, where we enjoyed one of the most memorable feasts at Masseria Barbera or, as Heidi had put it, “one of the most jaw-dropping lunches of my life”. Since we all suffered from a serious case of food-overdosing, we gladly accepted the walnut liqueur we were offered. They surely aren’t kidding about “elixir di noce”, which is printed on the label. The auburn liqueur with a pronounced walnut note and subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg let’s you almost forget, that you are consuming 42% spirit. This was great stuff! So good in fact, that we carved out some extra time to track down a store that sold them and sure enough we didn’t leave empty handed. Ever since, I’m keeping a jealous watch over our Padre Peppe inventory, which miraculously shrinks steadily. The liqueur isn’t available in Germany, but the Italian company informed me via email, that they gladly ship internationally…

Walnut ice cream with Padre Peppe

So naturally I was a tad hesitant enriching the custard with the precious liqueur, nevertheless I was creaming in tablespoon after tablespoon and re-tasted several times (yeah right, twist my arm…), carefully, because I was looking for a delicious ZING more than an overpowering BANG effect. The ice cream was spot on, the Demarara sugar added a different kind of sweetness which went very well together with the slightly salted nuts, the maple syrup and the liqueur.

The next of our top 3 flavors? It will be a very colorful one, that much I’m already willing to share with you ;) For the time being, you have to check out the making of probably the meanest ice cream flavor ever. Thanks to bitegeist for sharing!

PS: You may have noticed, there is a print this recipe button now available under every recipe post. This produces a PDF for download that includes both steps as well as ingredients for better handling – while the layout has been optimized for letter, it should print just fine on A4.
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For the custard: Combine milk, heavy cream and half of a vanilla bean as well as the scraped out seeds and heat up in a small pot. Meanwhile mix together egg yolks and Demarara sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove the vanilla bean, then pour the warm milk/cream over the egg and sugar concoction while constantly stirring (not too fast, otherwise you will end up with foam). Reheat the custard mix slowly, again continue to stir and scrape the bottom of the pot until it has noticeably thickened and coats the back of your heatproof rubber spatula (thanks for the tip, David!), do not let it boil. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl, let cool down and spice up the custard with some Padre Peppe/nut liqueur (3-4 tbsp) and maple syrup (1-2 tbsp). Chill covered custard in the fridge for at least an hour (a few more hours won’t do any harm though).

The walnuts: Coarsely chop the walnuts and roast in a dry pan until they gain a little color. Add a pinch or two of coarse sea salt and about 4 tablespoons of maple syrup until the liquid starts to bubble and foam, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Setup your ice cream machine according to the instructions and freeze your ice cream. When it’s almost done, add the prepared walnuts and – if desired – another dash of maple syrup and get ready to fight for the very last spoon of this walnut ice cream – we did.

Walnut ice cream with Padre Peppe

Recipe source: own creation

Prep time: 20min. plus chilling & freezing

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Ingredients (~4 scoops):

200ml milk

200g heavy cream

half a vanilla bean, slit length and seeds scraped out

4 medium-sized egg yolks

50g Demarara sugar

50g walnuts, coarsely chopped

4 tbsp maple syrup

1-2 pinches of coarse sea salt

3-4 tbsp Padre Peppe (or other nut liqueur)

more maple syrup (1-2 tbsp) for the finishing touch

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2007

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2007

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2007

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