Cinnamon Ice Cream – My Father-in-Law’s Fave!

Updated On: Sep 13, 2023

I love it when friends or family ask me “Have you ever made ___”?  Unless it’s something completely extravagant requiring tools I just don’t have, then I am up for the challenge.  Enter Cinnamon Ice Cream.  About 7 years ago my In-Laws, Cherrill and Andy, came to our farm in Washington for a visit on their way to California from Michigan.  My Father-in-law is a serious, and I do mean serious, pie and ice cream connoisseur.  That man loves his pie! We were all sitting around the dinner table one night and he asked me “have you ever made Cinnamon Ice Cream”?  My first thought was “yuck” then he went on to explain that there’s an ice cream shop in Michigan that served the best Cinnamon Ice Cream he’d ever had.  He does know his desserts so maybe he’s on to something here.  Having made ice cream before, I had a good base recipe with which to start and gave it a shot.  Let me just tell you, if you’re thinking “yuck”, you will change your mind!  Unless you’re deathly allergic to cinnamon or are having a flashback to High School when you downed that 5th of Cinnamon Schnapps only later to see what regurgitated Taco Pizza looks like.  Oh boy – I digress (and can somewhat relate).  Anyway, if either of those apply, you may want to just forget this ice cream recipe all together.  But – if you like cinnamon, then there’s nothing closer to Heaven than a scoop of this ice cream nestled up to a piece of warm Apple Pie.  I can promise you that and Andy can concur.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!  It’s a keeper for sure.

Half & Half & Sugar goes in the saucepan
While the sugar and milk are coming to temperature – get the eggs good and whisked
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and then run the backside of your knife down the inside of the bean to scrape out all of the seeds.

(Note: great sources for vanilla beans are Cost Plus World Market and Costco.)

Look at those beautiful speckles of seeds.  If you don’t want to toss in the bean pods then you can always put them in a jar of sugar.  Vanilla sugar is amazing in coffee or tea.  No sense in wasting the pods.
Temper the eggs.  See the thin stream of warm milk going in to the eggs?  If you dump, you’ll have cooked eggs!  No one likes Scrambled Egg Ice Cream – so don’t go there.
Break a cinnamon stick in two and toss it in.
This was the best picture I had of this process and is not so great.  You get the jist though.  Dunk in the cold spoon, run your finger down the back and if the milk is thick enough, you’ll see a track where your finger was.  
I love chicken skin, turkey skin, potato skin – just not ice cream skin.  So make sure you get the plastic wrap down in the bowl touching the milk mixture.  Then you won’t get skin.
The ice cream goodness is churning.  You can see it’s starting to get thick at this point.
Take a spoonful or two and enjoy!  It’s even better with pie!!

Cinnamon Ice Cream
1 1/2 c half & half
1 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 c heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1) in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the half & half and sugar.  When it begins to simmer, remove from the heat.
2) whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.  Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in half of the the warm half & half mixture.  Make sure to whisk quickly or the eggs will scramble.
3) pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and stir in the heavy cream.
4) split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and add to the cream mixture.  Toss in the vanilla bean and 1 cinnamon stick.  Cook over medium-low heat until the cream coats the back of a metal spoon.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the ground cinnamon.
5) pour into a medium sized bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the cream or a skin will form.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
6) remove the vanilla bean & cinnamon stick and pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.


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