Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Canela Ice Cream

June 26, 2012
It’s hard sometimes living so far away from family. I really prize myself on being self-sufficient, but having kids is basically impossible without a team of at least one other person (sixteen other people is really preferable, if maybe not thirty-two or really one hundred and ten would be good). And that is where your family comes in.

When we were trying to figure out who in the world would come to the frozen depths of North Dakota last winter to watch our daughter while The Professor and I drove the slick highway one hour east to Fargo to deliver our next child we were really at a loss. How easy it would’ve been if we lived in the same place as at least one family member. “Hey, can you come over here I think I may be having a baby right now.”

Lots of people offered but the reality of getting here in late December can be tricky at best. Once we went to Minneapolis on a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip over New Year’s Eve—a week later we returned home after they had once again opened the interstate following a 90 car pile up. Ground blizzard is term I was not familiar with until moving here, that’s when snow is not necessarily falling from the sky, but blowing around in 40-mile-an-hour wind like a massive, white sand storm, blinding everything in sight.

The Professor’s father finally agreed to fly up from Dallas (no interstate travel required). Packed in his suitcase were foot-long quills of fragrant canela or Ceylon cinnamon. This softer, more delicate cinnamon is commonly brewed as a tea or used to add subtle spice to mole sauce, but my first inclination was to steep it with cream and sugar and spin it into ice cream.

 The flavor of canela is not as brash and spicy as its hard-bark counterpart so if you are substituting traditional cinnamon use 1 (3-inch) stick instead of 2 (6-inch) sticks called for in the recipe. And don’t make the mistake of inviting a bunch of people over to your house for ice cream on the day you made it  like I did only to realize that it was the consistency of super-thick créme anglaise and not scoopable ice cream. Mine wasn’t truly frozen until the next morning.

Canela Ice Cream

Yield: 8


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 (6-inch) sticks canela (Ceylon cinnamon) or regular cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks


  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water and set aside. Combine cream, milk, sugar, canela, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk egg yolks vigorously in a large bowl until foamy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Remove cream mixture from heat and slowly pour about 1 cup into the yolks, whisking constantly.
  3. Pour cream-egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until custard coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil.
  4. Remove custard from the heat and strain in to a large heatproof bowl. Remove canela from the strainer and return to custard. Place the bowl of custard into the bowl of ice water and chill 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once the custard is cool, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove canela and freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most ice cream makers do not freeze the ice cream completely and it will need 4 to 6 hours in the freezer to harden.

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