Happy Halloween!! I have been on a little hiatus from the blog while I have been in studio getting ready for 2013, but I have had time to whip up a little something special to share with you!
This time of year, all-things pumpkin-flavored really take center stage for me. Well, actually, you could pretty much tempt me with a pumpkin-flavored flat tire at any point of the year and I would eat it. But this little delicacy is a celebration of one of my very favorite temptations of the fall. The apple cider donut.
Now, in all fairness, and lucky for me, there is a place local to me that makes these hot and fresh (and perfectly) all year round (genius!). But there is something about the falling temperature and the smell of dried leaves that makes these easier to eat by the, ahem, half dozen.
After finding a version of this concoction on a trip last spring to Charlottesville, VA, I have not stopped dreaming it, and how to make it a tiny bit more delicious. Salt. Caramel. Bourbon. You might want to sit down.
For this recipe, and really, to get to the eating faster, I would recommend buying your donuts and ice cream, but if you don't have a local source there is a good recipe here. Other than that, get the best vanilla ice cream you can and try not to burn the caramel (it's easy to do!) I recommend having a candy thermometer on hand.
These keep well in the freezer, just swaddle them in parchment paper and keep them snug in your freezer. Let them warm up for a few minutes before serving them. Be prepared for folks to ask you to bring them everywhere you go.
Apple Cider Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches with Burboned Salted Caramel Sauce
You will need:
12 apple cider donuts
1 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbs bourbon
1/2 tbs fleur de sel
To make the sauce:
1. Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan with a light colored bottom if you have one. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. Sugar will form clumps, but keep whisking. Continue whisking until sugar melts.
2. Cook until the sugar reaches a deep amber color. It will have a slight toasty smell (not burned, but it is a fine and fast line). This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you have a candy thermometer, heat the sugar to 350 degrees F.
3. As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. The caramel will bubble up when you add it, so be a little careful. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mix will bubble up. Whisk until smooth. Add the bourbon and fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.
5. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature.
The sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. You can easily make this ahead of time.
Set the ice cream out for about 15 minutes before you start making the sandwiches.
Slice each donut in half and lay out on a cookie sheet.
Using a spoon, drizzle each half with caramel sauce
Use an ice cream scoop, scoop ice cream onto one half of the drizzled donut, and put the other half on top. Press down, and use the spoon (or your finger...) to smooth out the overflow.
Either eat this completed sandwich immediately, or wrap it up in parchment and stick it in the freezer.
I do these one at a time to prevent melting and help them keep their shape.
Unwrap them at your leisure or take them to a party and enjoy!