Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield: approximately

    2 quarts

Appears in

If you think it is a shame to grind up these expensive nuts and put them to soak in some milk, please wait and pass judgment after you have tasted the finished product. I first had macadamia nut ice cream on a trip to Maui a few years back and set about right away to try to duplicate the rich and creamy yet delicate flavor. If you have macadamia nut liqueur, try pouring a little over the top just before serving. Accompany with a sweet tropical fruit.


  • 1 pound (455 g) unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1 quart (960 ml) whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 12 egg yolks (1 cup/240 ml)
  • 14 ounces (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream


  1. Toast the macadamia nuts and set aside until cool. Grind or crush the nuts coarsely, combine with ½ cup (120 ml) milk, and grind to a paste in a food processor.
  2. Add the vanilla bean to the remaining cups (840 ml) milk and bring to a boil. Mix in the nut paste. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and set aside to steep for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Whip the egg yolks and sugar until they are light and fluffy and form a slowly dissolving ribbon. Reheat the milk mixture to boiling, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth (see Note). Remove the vanilla bean, cut it in half lengthwise, and scrape the seeds back into the strained mixture, using the back of a paring knife. Discard the pod, or rinse and save for another use. Gradually add the hot milk to the beaten yolks while stirring constantly.
  4. Cook the custard over hot water, stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the spoon. Stir in the heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill the mixture until it is completely cold.
  5. Process in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a chilled container and store, covered, in the freezer.