It may not officially be fall, but fall is definitely in the air. I can feel it. I can smell it. I swear I can almost taste it. That’s probably because I’ve gotten a jump on making fall recipes, but really, can you blame me? It was a long, hot summer. Very long, and very, very hot by New England standards. I’ve been wearing shorts and t-shirts since about mid-April and I am utterly sick of them. So it’s a relief to feel some coolness in the air now. We’ve had our windows open at night and I was actually a bit too chilly last night. And I love it.
There is no flavour more reminiscent of fall than that of apples. I love apples, perhaps more than I can say. I come from the land of the McIntosh, first discovered and cultivated in rural Ontario. If they sit around, Macs can become very mealy, but take a bite of one straight from the tree, and you are in apple heaven. Crisp and tart and clean. As a kid, I could eat my weight in apples when we went apple-picking. I probably took more home in my tummy than I did in the bag.
Apples aren’t exactly diabetic friendly. For such a tart-tasting fruit, they are surprisingly high in sugar. These days I only allow myself a small apple at a time, or half of one if it’s on the larger side. But I will never give up eating apples. Even if I had to run 20 miles to work off the sugars, I’d still eat apples for the sheer autumnal pleasure of it. Still, it’s not like I can indulge the way I used to. And heretofore, I never would have considered an apple an indulgence at all!
Earlier this summer, my husband and I took a trip to Maine and came across a delightful little kitchen store in Portland. I easily could have spent hours in there browsing, and probably could have spent hundreds of dollars as well. As it was, we bought a few fun items to bring home with us, among them a number of interesting LorAnn candy and baking oils. I’d never seen these tiny bottles of super strength flavourings before, but I instantly recognized their benefits for low carb baking. Most of the flavours are sugar and gluten-free, and are much more concentrated than typical extracts so a very little goes a long way. And they can allow me to play with some of my favourite flavours, without having the carbs add up. I brought home Apple, Butterscotch, Rootbeer, Coconut and Cherry. And I have my eye on a number of others from their website, they have an amazing selection.
And as we head into fall, I thought it might be fun to do a fall-themed ice cream. Apple crisp anyone? The traditional version is not exactly low carb or gluten free. But apple-flavoured ice cream with cinnamon-y, crunchy little bits makes a great substitute!
Apple Crisp Ice Cream – Low Carb and Gluten-Free
- For the ice cream, combine cream, milk, Swerve, arrowroot powder, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk briskly to combine. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, whisking frequently.
- Let cool and transfer to a bowl. Chill at least 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, for the crisp, preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine almond flour, flax seed meal, Swerve, brown sugar substitute and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Scatter pieces of butter over the top of the mixture and then pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Spread mixture on prepared ban and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on pan, then break into small pieces. Set aside.
- Once cream mixture is chilled, stir in vodka, apple flavouring, cinnamon and stevia. Then sprinkle the surface with xanthan gum and whisk briskly to combine.
- Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's directions.
- Once churned, transfer to an airtight container. Stir in crisp pieces, mixing to spread evenly through ice cream.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, 1 hour.