This recipe was one of those where one of us exclaimed “THIS IS SO GOOD” immediately following the first bite, whereas the other less emotive one of us simply nodded approval and kept eating (you can guess who is who).
Either way, this is a tremendous way to use apple cider that we hadn’t tried before. Alex originally devised this idea as a fall take on our Peppermint Ice Cream and Hot Cocoa Affogato, where hot cocoa is poured over peppermint ice cream similar to a root beer float. We tried a hot cider float, which as you could guess ended up being a white, watery mess (and yes, we served to guests…thankfully the taste made up for it!). With the remaining cider, we decided to reduce it down just a bit, and ended up with a caramely, sticky sauce that could only be described as “apple cider essence”. This is some good stuff.
Ironic how we just talked about eating in moderation (thanks for your kind comments, by the way), and we’re now sharing a decadent dessert. All things in moderation, right? This dessert actually is made of all whole and natural foods, so its not quite the decadence that it seems. Though unfortunately natural foods in mass quantities don’t necessarily qualify as “healthy” either, so we just try to keep the portion size reasonable!
Ice cream: Coconut milk base, sweetened with honey
Cider reduction: Apple cider only
Overall: Works for whole foods, gluten-free, dairy-free diets
We store coconut milk in the refrigerator so that it is ready to make ice cream when we need it.
- 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerate before using)
- 14-ounce can light coconut milk (refrigerate before using)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cans coconut milk and ½ cup honey.
- With a sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a knife, then add them to the bowl with the coconut milk and honey.
- Add 2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker (make sure the mixture is cold before freezing). Or, make it without the machine.
- Eat the ice cream right away for a soft serve texture, or freeze it for about 2 hours for a harder texture.
- 3 cups apple cider
- In a saucepan, heat 3 cups cider over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil and boil for 30 to 35 minutes until starts to thickens and becomes caramel in color, but before burning or solidifying. Watch carefully in the last 10 minutes to ensure the proper timing.
- Pour into a separate container and allow to cool (it will thicken as it cools). Re-heat prior to serving if necessary.
- Cinnamon ice cream
- Apple cider reduction
- 1/2 cup pecans
- Make the ice cream. If you’d like a hard ice cream texture, make it 3 to 4 hours in advance (or the night before) to ensure a hard texture.
- Make the apple cider reduction.
- Chop the pecans.
- When ready to serve, spoon ice cream into dishes; top with apple cider reduction and chopped pecans.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.