Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cranberry Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Brandy

A little over a year ago, I tasted cranberry ice cream for the first time in a small little town called Hope, Alaska. It was like nothing I had ever tasted. Sweet, but tart, and oh so smooth. In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to recreate this wonderful treat. I paired this ice cream with ginger cookies, and I must say the combination made quite an amazing ice cream sandwich. 

Finding a good cranberry ice cream recipe that could potentially live up to my memory proved harder than I anticipated. In the end, I decided to make my own recipe. Overall, I think it went rather well. This recipe is easy to alter to your liking. You can adjust the sugar depending on how tart you would like your ice cream, and you can increase the amount of brandy added if you wish to create more of an adult taste.

Makes: 2 quarts
Time: 35 minutes plus length of ice cream maker

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 24 oz cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp brandy (to taste)

Heat 2 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup of cream and 2 tsp cinnamon. Heat slowly and do not let the milk boil. While this mixture is heating cream together, in a large bowl, the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 cup of cream. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, stirring. Transfer the combined mixture into a pot and begin to heat the custard.
Heating the custard is of upmost importance. You want to heat the custard as much as possible without cooking the eggs. Stir constantly in a figure eight motion with a wooden spoon. You will be able to feel the custard thicken against the spoon. It is done when the custard coats the back of the spoon and when you run a finger along the surface you can see the trail left behind. This should take roughly 10 minutes over medium heat. Although it sometimes takes longer if the heat is irregular. Once the custard is finished, pour through a fine mesh filter and it into a chilled bowl. Don’t forget to filter out any cooked egg within the mixture or your ice cream will taste very eggy! I usually pour the custard into a medium bowl which sits in an ice bath within a larger bowl. It is important to cool the custard immediately to stop the eggs cooking.

Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used, but fresh cranberries will enhance the flavor and aroma of the ice cream. Combine the cranberries and sugar in a medium pot over medium to high heat. Every 5 minutes add about an 1/8 of a cup of brandy. Stir and squish the cranberries until all the cranberries have burst. Pour the cranberry mixture into a food processor or blender and turn the mixture to liquid.
Stir the cranberry sauce into the custard in the ice bath. Once the two mixtures are combined you can transfer it to an ice cream maker.

There are a variety of methods to turn your cranberry custard into ice cream. I used a 2 quart Cuisinart ice cream maker which will turn the ice cream into custard within a half an hour. Follow the directions on your individual ice cream maker. This recipe yields 2 quarts of the final ice cream product, thus you want to make sure your ice cream maker can hold the final quantity, not just the custard. The custard expands as it freezes.
Place your ice cream in the freezer for several hours, if you wish to harden it. The immediate ice cream will be soft serve.

Prep time is roughly 40 minutes and includes everything prior to placing your custard mixture into the ice cream maker. Cook time will depend on your method of turning the custard into ice cream. Follow the directions for your personal ice cream making method.
The final 2 quarts of ice cream creates 8 1 cup servings or 16 1/2 cup servings.
This is an original Blueberry Octopie recipe.

Enjoy your ice cream with family and friends for the holidays.


  1. Hi Alana!

    What a great idea to combine cranberries with cinnamon and brandy - gotta try that:-)
    Ps. love the photos too!

    1. Thanks, Anders. I am so glad you commented, as it has lead me to your amazing website! The science of ice cream section is fantastic. It never occurred to me that the ice cream base could benefit from aging, but now that I think about it, it makes sense. I can't wait to try playing around with the ice cream base ratios you suggested.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...