Cinnamon Ice Cream
My favourite ice cream of all time! While it may be a traditional dessert of Maltese weddings of old, this ice cream is one for everyday, and all year round. Try it on apple pie in winter too.
Recipe type: Chilled dessert
Cuisine: Maltese & Italian
Serves: 8 good portions
  • 200ml full fat whole milk
  • 500ml single cream
  • 3 large or 6 small cinnamon sticks
  • half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 80g sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks (save or freeze – the whites are ideal for meringues)
  1. Separate the eggs. Whisk up the egg yolks til light and slightly frothy. Save (you can freeze) the egg whites. Set aside the frothed yolks in the fridge for now but remove 15 minutes before stage 3.
  2. Heat half the cream, broken up cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, the sugar and all the milk until steaming point. Turn off and leave to spice to infuse for an hour at room temperature to start with and then in the fridge.
  3. When you’re ready to make the custard, strain the cinnamon milk mixture through a fine sieve and then reheat to steaming point in a heavy-based saucepan.
  4. When steaming, very slowly and steadily pour the heated milk into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking as you go. Don’t be tempted to dump it in all at once otherwise it will make scrambled eggs!
  5. Then, pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan, add the rest of the cream and heat over a medium heat. Whisk all the time to cook the custard. Use a good whisk or a rubber spatula, sweeping the bottom of the saucepan. You must keep the heat low to medium to ensure the custard cooks but does not burn. Once the custard thickens to coat the back of a spoon, switch off the heat and pour the custard into a jug. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge to really chill, preferably for a day, but 3 hours minimum.
  6. Now you’re ready to churn the ice cream. This takes around 10 minutes in an ice cream maker (a custard-based ice thickens very quickly). To make by hand, pour the custard into a freezer-proof container and freeze for an hour, then remove from the freezer, whisk up to break any larger ice crystals forming, and refreeze for an hour. Repeat 2 more times to ensure the ice cream creates a smooth look when frozen rather than having large crystals. In general, custard-based ice creams don’t form large crystals, unlike no-cook or more watery, fruit ices.
  7. Serve with wafers of choice and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon if you like.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at