Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

That Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake I made last week was so easy and delicious that I’ve made another one already! The surprising and somewhat unexpected reason why it has been such a winner around here however, is the fact that it doesn’t call for cinnamon. You see, cinnamon is not something my entire family agrees on and probably never will. Its not like we come to blows over it but my Persian in-laws just don’t think of it as the fall/winter dessert treat that we more Anglo types do. In their neck of the woods cinnamon is more commonly used as an ingredient in savory dishes such as Loubia Polo, a tomato cooked rice with beef and green beans. Without the presence of sugar (and perhaps nutmeg) cinnamon takes on a nearl completely different and exotic flavor profile. The Persian palate just doesn’t connect to cinnamon at dessert time. (Doost na daraand!) As far as we’re concerned here in Western Culture, the spice is the hallmark of so many fall desserts and apple dishes in particular that it is hard to think of any apple dessert without it. I stopped making desserts with cinnamon in the interest of family harmony and that pretty much wiped out the apple repertoire. Enter: Marie-Hélène.

Many of my fellow Dorista’s (the name I coined for those of us committed to either baking or cooking our way through her various books) resolved their cognitive dissonance over the cake’s lack of cinnamon by just, well, adding it into the recipe anyway! Some of them even added a dash cinnamon’s fall cousin, nutmeg and a crumble! I personally thought these well meaning Doristas were missing the whole point of this dessert’s simple appeal. Then I read of one Dorista’s more elegant solution: serve it with a scoop of David Lebovitz’ cinnamon ice cream! I knew immediately that I had to make not only a batch of this but also another one of Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cakes to accompany it. Everyone could have what they wanted once again! And I did witness my mother-in-law pushing the scoop off her plate to a willing receiver seeking seconds! Family harmony once again!

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

(Adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop)

This is what you will need:

  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 cup of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1.5 cups of heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks

This is how you make it:

  1. Toast the cinnamon to bring out its flavor by putting it small, dry nonstick skillet, over low heat. Keep the skillet moving just until the cinnamon becomes fragrant. Take off heat to avoid burning the cinnamon).
  2. Warm the milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon and 3/4 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan
  3. over medium heat whisking until cinnamon is incorporated the cinnamon into the liquid.
  4. While milk mixture warms set a bowl over another bowl filled with ice and place the remaining cup of cream into the now chilling bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. You will be adding the cooked custard to this later.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks then slowly pour the warm milk mixture into
  6. the egg yolks, whisking constantly to avoid the eggs scrambling. When completed, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir. The custard is done when it becomes thick and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run.
  7. Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. Stir until chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator before placing in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


The modifications I made to David’s’ recipe were to accommodate for my only having one cinnamon stick (which I needed for garnish!) but a ton of ground cinnamon on hand. Also, I’ve found that I prefer the cooked custard recipes in his book a little less yolky and creamy than his.


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. Cinnamon! Cinnamon! Cinnamon! YES! We need cinnamon in our desserts!
    It all looks so delectable!

  2. Isn’t DL’s Cinnamon ice cream just the best? The toasted ground adaption is quite intriguing – I can tell you that the cinnamon stick version is well worth trying (amazing how much flavor comes from infused cinnamon sticks)! The perfect pairing with you Marie-Helene! Here’s to the Doristas!

  3. I just started imagining how amazing a scoop of cinnamon ice cream would taste over a warm piece of apple pie…I just HAD to make it 10 times more unhealthy! I’ve never actually tried making my own ice cream before- seems so intimidating- but this recipe looks pretty simple! I think I’ll have to add it to my “to make” list 🙂

  4. I’ve had cinnamon ice cream at a fancy restaurant, and I must say it is pretty addicting. I’m sure homemade is even more fabulous.

  5. Great!! This ice cream looks delicious!!

    Greets from BFC !!!!

  6. What a brilliant idea. That picture is to die for. I love David’s site and go to it often. I happen to agree with you on his custard recipes. Thanks for the post. As usual it was fab..B

  7. I’ve made that cinnamon ice cream before and can attest to it’s deliciousness. Good thinking, you can have your cinnamon and eat it with sweets too. Looks delish!

  8. I could have enjoyed some of that today…Here it is Nov.4th and it went up to 97 here today! That looks so refreshing!

  9. That looks really beautiful. Carol, you must be near me– it was 97 where I am too, and I spent the entire day wishing I had some ice cream in the freezer!!! Such fantastic pictures too…

  10. I made cinnamon ice cream too, the same recipe. I really like your picture, how you put the cinnamon stick in the ice cream. Nice!