This is a classic cinnamon ice cream. Egg yolks and a mix of heavy cream and half and half make this rich and decadent. So I’m giving you the disclaimer now: if you’re the type of person that likes the “light” or “fake” ice cream stuff — go get some fro-yo. This probably isn’t for you. However, I love this ice cream recipe because you only need a little bit to feel satisfied. This stuff with a grilled peach is amazing. Just try it out and tell me you don’t like it.
Now – this cinnamon ice cream is made in the classic “creme anglaise” style.
What is Creme Angliase?
Creme Anglaise is a mother sauce made from heating heavy cream, milk (or half and half), and sugar with flavorings (usually vanilla bean), and tempering in egg yolks. Then the mixture is gently cooked over a medium low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
In other words – this is old-school-style ice cream. It’s old school because a lot of newer ice cream methods are more cream and sugar based (not always including eggs) so they aren’t quite as rich. They also don’t require the extra leg-work and time it takes to gently cook the egg yolks.
Ice Cream & Milk
Furthermore, a lot of ice creams these days use skim milk so they can claim to cut down on the fat — the thing is they have to beef up the sugar in order to maintain a creamy and soft consistency.
Ice cream (and essentially all baking) is all about proper balance and ratios of ingredients in order to maintain a proper consistency. Fat and sugar are what provide a rich, smooth, and soft ice cream – even when frozen solid right out of the freezer. Too much sugar and it won’t freeze. Not enough fat and your ice cream will have ice crystals in it (we’ve all see those before…) and it will be nearly impossible to scoop right out of the freezer.
Also – I promise, it’s easier to make than it sounds. The key is to be patient and keep stirring once you’ve added your egg yolks into the sauce pot. No. Matter. What.
Heating the heavy cream and sugar is a piece of cake.
Pour the cream in the pot. add the sugar, give the pot a little shake to spread out the sugar on the bottom, and don’t stir. Just turn on the heat to medium low. By doing so – the sugar will prevent the cream from scorching on the bottom of the pan. Why? Because sugar has a much higher burning point than dairy. Once it’s steaming and almost to a lazy bubble, go ahead and give it a whisk to make sure all the sugar has dissolved.
Now you’re ready to temper.
Tempering Ice Cream
You can use a ladle or pour with one hand and whisk with the other (this is a big batch, so unless you have wrists with the strength of Spiderman, I suggest the ladle). I like to add about 1/3 to 1/2 the mixture to the eggs, slowly. The key is to whisk the hot mixture into the room temperature eggs to bring the egg yolks up to temp. This prevents you from making scrambled eggs.
Once 1/3 – 1/2 the mixture is whisked in, your yolks are tempered. You can take the tempered yolks and bring it all back to the pot with the other half of your cream and sugar mixture. Then, place your pot back on the heat, on medium-low, and begin to slowly stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. If you are familiar with this technique and know what you’re looking for, feel free to continue with a whisk, but this is a bit harder for beginners.
Cooking To Thicken
Now – I say slowly stir because if you stir like a fanatic your mixture will take forever to get up to a temperature where the yolks will actually begin to cook and thicken. The second thing, other than the speed, of stirring, is making sure you are scraping down all over the bottom of your pot.
Some chefs do figure 8’s, some just go in a diagonal/circular back and forth motion. Do what feels natural, just keep an eye on if you’re covering all the surface area or just the outsides (or insides) of your pot circumference. You want to cover as much surface area on the bottom of your pot as you can.
The reason for wanting to scrape the bottom as you whisk (essentially, apply gentle pressure on the bottom of the pot) is to prevent the eggs from curdling. If you were to just leave it be, the mixture would stick to the bottom and then overcook.
Straining and Chilling
Once your cinnamon ice cream mixture is thick enough where there’s no more foam on top and has thickened slightly, try dipping a spoon in and gently shaking off the excess sauce. Then, take your finger and wipe a line on the backside of the spoon. The sauce shouldn’t dribble down to erase the line, it should stay where it’s at.
Strain into a bowl (that is ideally sitting over ice) and then whisk well for 2-3 minutes to cool the mixture down enough so that it won’t keep cooking. Once your mixture reaches room temperature, give it another whisk to prevent a film from developing on top and place a piece of plastic wrap on top, touching your sauce to prevent the film from developing later. Put your creme anglaise in the fridge until ready to use. You can store it in the fridge for 2 days, or freeze it for up to a month or so.Print
Cinnamon Ice Cream
This decadent Cinnamon Ice Cream only requires a few ingredients and always impresses a crowd!
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Chilling Time: 12 Hours
- Total Time: 12.5 Hours
- Yield: 1 Quart 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Dessert
- Diet: Gluten Free
1 1/2 Cups Half and Half
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Vanilla Bean or 2 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
5 Whole Egg Yolks
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- First combine your half and half, heavy cream, and roughly half of the sugar in a medium sauce pot. Shake the pot gently to ensure the sugar evenly coats the bottom of the pot. Toss in your vanilla bean/paste, and cinnamon sticks. Place over medium low heat and bring to a lazy simmer.
- Meanwhile, prepare a heatproof bowl with a strainer over top of it. If you can fit this bowl into a second bowl with some ice in it, that’s even better. Set this aside for later.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, place your egg yolks and the remaining sugar and whisk well.
- Once your dairy mixture has come to a simmer, turn off the heat and temper it into your egg yolks by slowly pouring up to half of your dairy mixture into the yolks while whisking vigorously. Once all is incorporated, pour the egg yolk/dairy mixture back into the sauce pot and combine with the remaining dairy mixture.
- Return pot to medium low heat and switch utensils to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir constantly, but slowly, making sure to scrape along the bottom and sides of the pot to prevent any curdling or scorching of the eggs. Do this until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
- Once the mixture has thickened enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon (metal or wood), remove from heat and pour through the strainer into the heatproof bowl you previously set up. Stir well for 2-3 minutes while the mixture cools down to prevent curdling.
- Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature, ideally over ice, for 20 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent a film from developing on top. Then, press some plastic wrap down on to the top of the ice cream base (again, to prevent a film), and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night until well chilled.
- Once well chilled, pour into ice cream maker and make per manufacturer instructions. Allow to freeze to proper consistency for at least 5 hours or, ideally, overnight.
** If you don’t have an ice cream maker, I suggest semi-filling Quart containers, placing them in the freezer and and stirring well every couple hours or so until ice cream consistency. It won’t be quite as smooth or aerated as traditional ice cream, but it will still taste good!
- Serving Size: 2 Scoops
- Calories: 360
- Sugar: 33.7 g
- Fat: 21.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 12.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 39.2 g
- Protein: 4.8 g
Keywords: Dessert, Ice Cream, Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean, Frozen Desserts, Easy Desserts, Frozen,