Apple Cider Ice Cream

It's officially Autumn here, yet in Chicago the weather's still really warm. Walking home from the El smells like Fall- there's that smell of wood burning fireplaces and leaves changing colors- but it's definitely too warm to break out the seasonal sweaters. This is supposed to be the time of year where I'd break out the flour and start making bread, keeping the apartment warm with the oven. It's apple cider season, pumpkin pie season, time to bake! But it's still so hot that turning on the oven seems like a really bad idea. But dangit, I want my apple cider!

So here's my solution, friends. Something that will taste like Autumn, but feel like Summer:
Caramel(ish) Apple Cider Ice Cream
It's caramel(ish) because it's made with dulce de leche, which not only is easier to make than caramel (at least for me), it also keeps its consistency really well, even when frozen.

The best part of this recipe for people with small kitchens (like me)? No ice-cream maker needed! (Although it'll save you a lot of arm effort if you happen to have a hand mixer.)

Caramel(ish) Apple Cider Ice Cream
(Adapted from Nigella Lawson's No Churn Pomegranate Ice Cream)
Serves 8

Ingredients You'll Need:

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4cups Apple Cider
2 cups Heavy Cream (keep cold)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
A bit of cinnamon
About a tsp of vanilla extract

Tools You'll Need:

A stock pot
A cold mixing bowl (stick it in the freezer for a little while- it helps)
A whisk or (preferably) a hand-mixer (stick the beaters in the freezer too- also very helpful)
A large, shallow tupperware-ish container with a good lid
A freezer

How To:

-Make the dulce de leche:
  • peel the label off of the can of condensed milk, and put it in the stock pot. Add enough water to the pot to more than cover the can, and then bring to a boil. You'll want to boil it for anywhere from 2-3hours, checking every now and then to make sure it's still covered with water- which is important if you don't want it to explode. The longer you let it boil, the more solid the dulce de leche will be. I let mine go for almost three hours, and it was about a pudding consistency, and a rich brown color.
  • Turn off the water and carefully take out the can (with tongs- definitely don't want to touch that can with your hands!)
  • Allow to cool while you do the following:
-In your cold mixing bowl, put the apple cider, the vanilla and the cinnamon. Add the powdered sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Add the cream to the bowl and start whisking/beating until it forms soft peaks. It'll be a tannish color.
- Pour the ice-cream batter you've made into your shallow tupperware.
-By this time the can should have cooled down a bit. Carefully use a can opener and open the can. Congratulations, you've made yourself the most delicious substance ever. But it's probably still a little hot. You'll want to carefully spoon this out into a bowl, and give it a quick stir with a fork to loosen it up and cool it down a little.
- Using the fork, generously drizzle the dulce de leche on top of the ice cream batter. Give it a gentle stir so that it's not all on top, but not too much stirring or it'll all settle at the bottom. Add as much as you like. (I like a lot. It's soooo good)
-Seal it up and shove it in the freezer, and in 2 1/2 hours or so, you will have a little bowl of heaven.

Hot/Cold Weather Food!