Maple Walnut Ice Cream


I’ve written before about how much I love my ice cream maker. If you don’t have one yet, get ye to the store and buy one before ice cream making season arrives. For an investment of around $60 you can spend your summer (your whole year!) eating delicious homemade ice cream whenever you like. Ice cream made with organic ingredients and less sugar than the commercial stuff. You can whip up all sorts of crazy flavors like black pepper, blue cheese or bacon. Or, you could make this amazing version of Maple Walnut Ice Cream.


I’m headed to Montreal and so this recipe is in honor of our friends to the north. Bryan is a Canadian and so Canada holds a special place in my heart. Canada has given us such amazing things like Alanis Morissette, Owen Pallett and especially Maple Syrup. This ice cream is seriously good. Bryan had to remove the container of it from my hands because I simply could not stop eating it. So, while I’m away for a couple of days visiting a sugar shack and stuffing myself with poutine, enjoy this ice cream and think of me.



Forgive me if I am slow in responding to emails or comments this week, I’ll catch up quickly when I get back and will have lots of delicious stories from Montreal. Oui, oui!

Maple Walnut Ice Cream (adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Wet Walnuts (recipe follows)

Warm milk and sugar in medium saucepan. Pour cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream to cool. Add the maple syrup, salt, and vanilla, and stir over ice bath until cool. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the Wet Walnuts.

Wet Walnuts
Makes 1 1/2 cups.

  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon dark maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and very coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Heat the maple syrup in a small skillet or saucepan until it just begins to come to a full boil. Stir in the walnuts and salt, and cook until the liquid comes to a full boil once more. Stir the nuts for 10 seconds, then remove them from the heat and let cool completely before using. The nuts will still be wet and sticky when cooled.


32 comments to “Maple Walnut Ice Cream”

  1. When I was a child growing up in southern New Hampshire, this was my absolute favorite flavor of ice cream. I have yet to find it anywhere as good as they make it in New England, but with this recipe I have hope!! Thank you!

  2. I got an ice cream maker for Christmas, and have definately not used it enough. This is my Dad’s favorite flavor, so I will have to make it for him. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. What kind do you have? I am tempted to get the KitchenAid Attachment one but I am really trying to only spend money on groceries until I get a better grip on what my finances will look like for the rest of the year.

  4. This looks amazing. We’re buying maple syrup tomorrow.

    Whitney – A dedicated ice cream maker is not only cheaper, but makes MUCH better ice cream than the kitchen aid attachment. As much as I love my kitchen aid, it has too much power to make good, smooth ice cream.

  5. We make ice cream probably once every two weeks, and love our ice cream maker (and David Lebovitz). I’ve been meaning to try a Maple ice cream – this looks terrific.

  6. I love the photo of a single walnut – looks to me like a butterfly. :) And yes, I love the ice-cream! In fact, I’m sold on the idea of owning an ice-cream maker.

    Have a lovely time in Montreal!

  7. I am pretty obsessed with my ice cream maker, too! So far, the craziest flavor I’ve made is honey cardamom. This is a must try. Your photos are absolutely incredible, btw.

  8. Though I never make ice cream (have you ever had any of Dr. Bob’s chocolate flavors?), this looks like a good reason to start.

  9. Hi All: Thanks for the comments! I’m back. Montreal was great.

    Whitney: I have to agree with Pink that buying a dedicated ice cream maker is the way to go. It takes up about the same amount of room as the attachment and costs less in many cases. I think you’ll love having it.

    Kasey: Honey cardamon sounds so good.

    Unconfidential: I haven’t tried Dr. Bob’s but just looked them up and they sound great.

  10. Forget spending $60. I found a perfectly working ice cream maker at a yard sale for $3. They even let me plug it in to make sure it worked. I have since made many batches of ice cream and never had any problems from the machine.

  11. OMG. How do you know about wet walnuts?! The female half of this Duo grew up in NJ, and everytime she went to Friendly’s for ice cream, she’d get butter pecan with wet walnuts!!!!!! This is really THE BEST THING WE’VE SEEN ALL DAY.

  12. Heather J says:

    March 25th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I love maple desserts! This looks too good!!!!!!!

  13. I have an ice cream maker and have not once made what I consider a successful batch… I feel it is in the time I allow it to process. I have a Cuisinart and, if I remember correctly, it says to process for 20-25 minutes and then put in freezer. By the time I take it out to eat, it is ROCK HARD. I mean, it tastes good… ! But the consistency is never what I expect to achieve. I can’t even make a proper scoop! Any suggestions for what I might be doing wrong? Look forward to the help…

  14. This sounds great, please advise on the amount of icecream the recipe will yield… icecream makers come in many sizes, mine is 1 quart. Thanks!

  15. Shelley: Generally speaking, homemade ice cream is firmer than store bought. Commercially produced ice cream often contain various ingredients which keep it perfectly scoop-able at all times. One way of solving this at home is to add some alcohol, it usually keeps ice creams softer. Or, you could do what I do and set the ice cream on the counter about 10 minutes before I intend to eat it.

    Eileen: This makes about a quart of ice cream.

  16. Thanks Tim for a really good recipe! I made it last night for my family and it garnered thumbs and toes up all round. My Dad who has very discerning taste buds said it was the best he’d ever tasted. I cut down the maple syrup by half – the sweetness was perfect for us.

    Shelley, if I may add, 20-25 minutes may be too short if your mixture is not well chilled. I chilled mine in the freezer for a few hours and then processed it until it fluffed up to double its volume. I believe that took 40 minutes. Also the higher the fat content in the cream, the softer the ice cream.

  17. I’ve become a huge fan of Maple Walnut Cream Cheese! I’m sure an ice cream version would be just as good!

  18. Maple Walnut Cream Cheese Ice Cream sounds really good.

  19. Do you own Chez Panisse Desserts? I actually just purchased it today and I am so excited to get it. It is supposed to have AMAZING ice cream recipes – seriously people RAVE about this book. It was out of print for a while but i purchased the hardcover version used on Amazon.

  20. Yes! I really enjoy Chez Panisse Desserts, and the ice cream recipes are lovely. It is a really good source for delicious seasonal recipes.

  21. I have the Cuisinart ice-20 and my first batch was hard also Shelly, fat free every thing. So I tried again this time I used half & half and heavy cream to make Butter Pecan ice cream. It had no icy lumps like the first it was creamier and thicker. But I think what helped was the ice cream bags I got from Wegmans. I placed the ice cream in an airtight bowl and wraped it in an ice cream bag and place it in my overstuffed refrigerator freezer instead of my freezer. Hope this works for you!

  22. James McNamara says:

    September 15th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I have been craving maple walnut ice cream (I miss being able to buy Perry’s in any store like I used to in Buffalo,NY), found this and decided to make it…..oh my word it is delicious. Thank you so much. Now if you can do a recipe for Buffalo Pastry Hearts my life will be complete.

  23. kelton shaw says:

    April 16th, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I grew up in buffalo eating maple walnut ice cream and now being in north carolina we cannot find any and that is my mom’s favorite ice cream

  24. your recipe looks wonderful, but can it be made without the eggs? thanks

  25. Hi Linda, It will definitely not be the same without the eggs, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. If you want to give it a try, I would serve it immediately after churning. Without the custard base the ice cream will freeze into a hard block that won’t be so charming.

  26. Catherine says:

    June 13th, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Delicious! I made this without the eggs and just whisked in some guar gum before putting the cream/milk/syrup mixture into the ice cream maker. I don’t like the hassle of making a custard base and I’ve found just adding about 3/4 tsp. of guar gum keeps the ice cream softer and eliminates ice crystals.

  27. just made it with 1/3 almond milk. I accidentally squirted ketchup to close to the… too late, landed in the chilled custard. went with it! ha! still amazingly good! k

  28. Thanks for the recipe – it was a huge hit, and I like it even more with a sprinkling of fleur de sel (strange, maybe, but totally amazing!). I do admit that I had bad luck with the custard (2 fails) until I made the custard with all the milk and cream rather than just the milk.

  29. Beautiful!! Can you use just plain walnuts instead of the wet walnut mix?

  30. Hi Rachel- Sure, you can. It won’t be nearly as delicious though.

  31. Made it and loved it. Salted maple walnuts very yummy. Reduced maple syrup by 1/4 c and still fab. Thanks for great recipe:)

  32. I was not fancy about ice cream. But travel to Banff, Canada tested the walnut and maple ice cream, it’s the only ice cream I dream to make it. I tried the recipe and worked exactly like my expection. Thank you for your fabulous recipe.

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