Apple, walnut and vanilla ice cream recipe

By Trish O'Rourke
Published March 8, 2011 1:30AM (EST)


  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • Salt and sugar to taste for brine
  • Maple syrup
  • Flaky sea salt (I like Maldon)
  • A few pinches of nutmeg
  • 1-2 teaspoons of walnut or canola oil
  • 1 cooking apple (I used a Gala)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon and sugar
  • Splash of bourbon or brandy (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream (not optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Boil walnuts in water for 2 minutes (to help remove skins).
  3. Simmer walnuts in brine of sugar and salt water for 15 minutes, drain nuts and set aside.
  4. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, evenly distribute nuts onto the sheet, cover nuts with a few good glugs of maple syrup and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Place sheet in the oven and slow roast for one to two hours.
  6. Remove nuts from oven and place in a large mortar and pestle, add 1 tablespoon (or so) of cinnamon and a few pinches of nutmeg. Pound the nuts and spices together. This can also be done in a food processor, but by hand is more fun and the nuts release more of their natural oils. You should now have a nut paste. Add 1-2 teaspoons of walnut or canola oil if the mixture seems dry.
  7. Cut up your cooking apple in half moons, toss with cinnamon, sugar and a splash of bourbon or brandy (optional).
  8. Warm a knob of butter in a sauté pan; toss the apple slices in butter over medium heat until caramelized to your liking.
  9. Turn onto a plate while still hot, liberally cover with the walnut topping, and finish it all off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Trish O'Rourke

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