History Dish Mondays: Burnt Almond Ice Cream

Burnt Almondy Ice Cream Goo.


We’re continuing our ice cream social agenda with Burnt Almond Ice Cream, another flavor pulled form Lincoln’s Inaugural Menu.  This is a custard ice cream, so it’s a little more difficult than what we’ve been making up until this point. And I’ll let you in on the surprise ending: mine didn’t turn out.  It didn’t freeze in the ice cream maker, and it’s currently a Tupperware of goop sitting in my freezer.  I did something wrong in this recipe, I just don’t know what.  The great tragedy is that it TASTES AMAZING.  I think I’ll try serving it as a sauce on top of other ice cream.


At any rate, give this recipe a try, and if your results are more successful than mine, please let me know.

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Burnt Almond Ice Cream
Original Recipe from the Boston Cooking School Cookbook By Fannie Merritt Farmer

Boston, Little, Brown And Company (1896).


1 1/3 cups sugar (set half aside)
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups milk
1 quart cream
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups finely chopped, toasted almonds (or to taste)

1. Mix half the sugar, flour and salt.

2. Add egg, slightly beaten.

3.  Add milk slowly, whisking constantly.

4. Cook over a double boiler (or makeshift double boiler) for 20 minutes, stirring constantly the first 15 minutes.  If you’ve made a custard before, this may not look as think as you think it ought.  But don’t worry, it will thicken up when you add the caramelized sugar.

Left: Makeshift double boiler. Right: Caramelizing the sugar.  Do not try to taste the caramelized sugar by sticking your finger in it; its is very very hot and you will get burned very very bad. Like me.

5. In the last five minutes of cooking time, caramelize the
sugar.  Put the remaining sugar in a non-stick saute pan over a low heat.  Stir constantly.  When the sugar begins to melt, it will caramelize soon after.  You want the sugar to be completely melted and the color of maple syrup. Take care not to burn it.

6.  With the double boiler still on, drizzle a fine stream of the caramelized sugar into the custard, whisking constantly.  As the sugar hit the custard, and might cool slightly and become gooey.  Don’t fret, just keep stirring until the sugar is fully integrated.

7. At this point, you custard will be a dark brown.  Add the cream and vanilla and combine.  Let sit until it comes to room temperature, or place in the refrigerator for an hour or more.

8.  Freeze in an ice cream make according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  I let my ice cream mellow in the refrigerator over night, and then I put it in the ice cream maker for 30 minutes.  It never seemed to freeze; I just tossed the almonds in at the very end and then stuck it in the freezer. tragedy.

2 Responses to “History Dish Mondays: Burnt Almond Ice Cream”


  • This is just a guess, but they didn’t have refined white sugar back in the day. Could it be possible that the raw sugar they had then would have made the difference?

    • What I’ve learned since making this recipe is that a recipe with too much sugar won’t free properly, which is axactly what I think happened here. I think the proportions were off. If I tried it again, I’d add less sugar.

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