Canadians have an affinity for anything maple. Our flag bears the maple leaf. The province of Quebec produces the largest amount of maple syrup in the world. And apparently Canadian baby boomers are the biggest eaters of maple walnut ice cream. According to an Angus Reid study, Canucks over the age of 55 prefer nuttier ice creams like maple walnut and praline pecan, while the younger generation prefer chunkier and more textured ones like chocolate chip cookie dough. Well, call me Gen X and a Canadian who really enjoyed making and devouring this simple but hard-to-find-in-America deliciousness.
I used a recipe found in "A Perfect Scoop", one of the best ice cream books out there by David Lebovitz. Using all organic products plus Grade A maple syrup made in Canada, natch, I churned out 3 pints that I think rivaled the quality of Haagen-Daz. For some reason, this batch had the perfect texture and consistency. Usually I need to let the ice cream soften for 20-30 minutes at room temperature before eating it but this time I could dig my spoon in right away. I think this was a result of not cooking the milk, egg and cream together to form the custard base. Instead I just heated the milk and egg then strained the mixture into a bowl of cream. How creamy and luscious it turned out with an understated maple flavour. The best part of the ice cream came from the genius of David Lebovitz. He suggested to use "wet" walnuts where you glaze the nuts with maple syrup -- such a subtle detail, which created tiny bursts of crunchy pleasure every time I bit into one.
I've a friend and co-worker who loves to joke with me about making ice cream and this blog. He's so hilarious that I brought him a container of my maple walnut to the office, which he shared in a meeting. My taste buds knew this was one of my best ice creams. But it was extremely flattering when a work bud, who's never emailed me before wrote, "OMFG, your ice cream was so good!" YAY! It makes me happy knowing I could make someone add the "F" to "OMG" with my ice cream. Now that's oh, maple goodness!