Brown Sugar & Toasted Almond Ice Cream

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine July/August 2010

In a world of designer ice creams, sometimes the simplest can be the best. The full-bodied flavors of brown sugar combined with nutty toasted almonds are all it takes to give this easy-to-make frozen treat a sophisticated distinction. The alcohol in the base mixture acts like an “anti-freeze,” reducing the icy texture sometimes associated with lower-fat ice cream. For a little extra indulgence, try topping a scoop with some crumbled gingersnaps.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 12-ounce can nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or rum
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted (see Tip) and cooled


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  1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan. Whisk in brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and evaporated milk in a medium bowl until combined. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.
  3. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl (preferably stainless-steel). Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup milk and vodka (or rum). Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, add almonds. If desired, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3 up to 1 day ahead. After freezing, store ice cream in an airtight container for up to 1 week. For the best texture, let soften slightly before serving.
  • Equipment: Ice cream maker
  • Tip: To toast chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup
  • Per serving: 209 calories; 6 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 31 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 20 mcg folate; 75 mg cholesterol; 29 g sugars; 410 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 264 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 92 mg sodium; 340 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1/2 fat-free milk, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Reviews 5

February 19, 2011
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By: goindadistance8
Nice light flavor After reading the reviews, I made this ice cream. True it tastes like cinnamon but it's not really heavy. I've tried 2 types of evaporated milk: whole and fat-free. You can really notice the difference as the whole milk produces a creamier texture than the fat-free milk. Still good either way. Also good with pecans. And even though the ice cream hardens quite a bit after freezing, it only takes a few minutes to soften at room temperature.
July 06, 2010
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By: cathlinberreth01
I thought this ice cream's main flavor was more cinnamon than brown sugar. You don't need an ice cream freezer either. Put the chilled custard into a ziploc bag and put that bag into another ziploc bag of ice and salt. Wear oven mitts and shake! Take turns because you get tired. Very tasty right out of the bag. We would have given it a four but when we ate it the next day right out of the freezer, it had frozen much harder than other ice cream and was very difficult to soop. But much better than store bought.
July 06, 2010
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By: cathlinberreth01
This ice cream would be more appropriately named "Cinnamon-Almond Ice Cream" because our family thought the cinnamon stood out more than the brown sugar. You don't need an ice cream freezer. I just poured the chilled custard into a ziploc bag and then put that ziploc bag inside another ziploc bag of ice and salt. You have to shake it around for quite awhile and wear oven mitts to protect your hands. But it was fun and delicious right out of the bag. I would give it a four but when we ate it the next day right out of the freezer, it had frozen quite a bit firmer than higher-fat ice cream and was very difficult to scoop. But VERY tasty and much better than store bought.
July 06, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
My family found this ice cream very "cinnamon-y", so we would have named it cinnamon-almond ice cream. But very good. You don't need an ice cream freezer. I just put the chilled custard inside a ziploc bag inside a ziploc bag of ice and salt and wearing oven mitts shook it around for quite awhile while watching TV. It was so good right out of the bag! Upon freezing the rest of the way, it was a little harder than higher fat ice cream and I found it hard to scoop. Do watch the custard and don't let it boil!
July 01, 2010
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By: amyincolorado
I am not judging based upon full-fat ice cream but a lighter dessert. My family really liked this. We used toasted walnuts instead of almonds and they really made it yummy for flavor and texture. Like all homemade ice cream I've made it doesn't keep well in the freezer. I will make this again for sure.