Date Ice Cream with Almond Crunch Topping

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 2h 50m

Makes 1 1/2 qt; serves 6

Ultrasweet dates, a favorite Mexican sweet, always seem to prompt a craving for ice-cold milk, so it makes perfect sense to feature them in this milky concoction. The crunchy topping will keep for weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator, ready for any sundae you make.


  • For Topping:
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • 1 pound fresh dates, preferably Medjool
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


FOR TOPPING: Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment (baking) paper.

In a bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds and almonds and stir to mix. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the vegetable oil, honey, apple juice and salt, and stir until combined, the salt has dissolved and the mixture is warm. Pour the warm honey mixture over the oat mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread out the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool, then pack in a small airtight container and place in a freezer until needed.

FOR ICE CREAM: Pour the milk into a saucepan and place over low heat. Heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until only 1 cup remains, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Remove the pits from the dates and chop into pea-sized pieces. Place half of the pieces on a plate, and place in the freezer until needed. Place the remaining date pieces in a blender, add the cooled milk and purée until smooth.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and brown sugar, and whisk vigorously until lemon colored. In a saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a rolling boil and immediately pour over the yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Add the date-milk mixture and the vanilla, mix well and set aside to cool completely.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir the reserved date pieces into the ice cream and pack into a freezer container. Place in the freezer until set, 2-4 hours.

TO SERVE: Scoop into chilled ice cream dishes, top with the almond crunch topping and serve at once.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2145

nutrition information per serving

777 calories; 35g total fat; 259mg cholesterol; 170mg sodium; 107g carbohydrates; 8g fiber; 18g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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