Happy Vanilla Ice Cream Day! I’m the webmaster for Sweatpants & Coffee, and today I’m filling in for our Creative Lifestyles director, Kathy Kitzmiller, for our Battle of the Best vanilla ice cream recipes. I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m a little out of my depth! My first clue was realizing this morning that I owned neither a springform pan, nor a rolling pin. No matter; we shall press on, making it up as we go along! I’m honored to have been allowed to be a part of this (I suspect they humored me.)
First, assemble your Avengers.
- 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
- 3 large granny smith apples
- 1 box graham crackers (I used cinnamon grahams)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1.5 sticks of butter
- caramel sauce (I bought Hershey’s)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
Leave the ice cream out to soften while you make the crust. To make the crust, crush two packages (16 crackers) of the graham crackers into fine crumbs. I used a Ziploc bag and my (freshly purchased) rolling pin, but if you’re lucky enough to have a food processor, here’s where it would come in really handy! I crushed all three packages of crackers, because I was doing it by hand. If you use a food processor, two packages will probably do it. Because some of my crumbs weren’t so fine, I sifted out the coarser bits with a slotted spoon and set them aside to serve on top of the finished product. Once you have fine crumbs, melt a stick of butter and add to the crumbs, squishing them around to make delicious buttery crumbles. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a springform pan. Mine was 10″.
Next, spread the softened ice cream on the crust as best you can. My smoothening left a bit to be desired. Then, pop into the freezer to set while we make the apple topping.
Peel, core, and slice your granny smith apples into a saucepan. Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, half a stick of butter, and a quarter cup or so of liquid – I used orange juice, but you could use apple juice or water, if you wanted. Cook down, stirring and tossing over medium heat until the apples are soft – 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken a little as you allow it to cool. Mine was maybe a tiny bit soupy – you could maybe do with a little less liquid if you want less apple syrup (are you kidding me?)
Once the apples are a little cooler, remove your ice cream pan from the freezer. Run a butter knife around the outside edge before you un-spring it (trust me on this one.)
Cut into slices, scoop some of the apple mixture over the top of each slice. My apples were still a little warm and kind of slid off, but mmm! Warm apples. Drizzle the caramel syrup over the top, and sprinkle your leftover coarse graham crumbs for a little crunch. The result is sweet, cool, creamy, tart, and, according to my husband, “soooo goooood.”