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Ice Cream and Maple

We have been touting our maple syrup as a great ice cream topper for years. But with the infusions and barrel-aged syrups we realized we had opportunities for a whole new menu of flavor combinations. To figure out what shined and what fizzled, we invested in a table-full of different ice cream flavors and went to work matching up complementary flavors. Some have become obsessions, such as the butter pecan with bananas and rye barrel-aged maple syrup and some have been surprises like rum raisin and elderberry infused maple syrup. Our research was thorough and a few belt-notches later, we can present our favorite combinations. Feel free to do your own research and let us know if you discover a winner.

Afternoon in Georgia

Peaches and cream are a well-loved pair. Maple and Bourbon are excellent together. The foursome is phenomenal. Throw some crumbled graham cracker and chopped pecans on top of the whole shebang and you have a love song to the southeast with a kiss and a wink from Vermont.

Tears of Joy

As a cook, it can be challenging to improve on tried and true flavor combinations. Bananas and chocolate – done that. Bananas and caramel – big yawn. Bananas and butter pecan ice cream – not exactly revolutionary but pretty darn good. Now take the bananas and butter pecan and drizzle it with Whiskey Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup. Those bananas never tasted so good. The ice cream seems to have been elevated to ambrosia-level yumminess. The combination of all three is way, way better than the sum of its parts. A new flavor combination has been christened and it is a keeper, eliciting a cook’s tears of joy.

Saturday Picnic

Until last week, I had never eaten a bowl of strawberry ice cream. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I’m a chocolate girl so I didn’t see the point of any excursion to the ice cream store that didn’t end with a bowl of chocolate, topped in chocolate, drizzled with chocolate. When we had a tasting at the sugarhouse, pairing ice cream flavors with our infusions there was a unanimous winner from the whole table, including me: strawberry ice cream with Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup. It is scrumptious. The tanginess of the hibiscus brings out the best of the strawberry flavor and marries beautifully with the cream. It was a very pretty and cheerful looking sundae too so we dubbed it Saturday Picnic.

 

October Sundae

This sundae has all of the best elements of the sweeter side of October; maple syrup, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and caramel. The maple and caramel provide the hum of sugar while the spices make sure they are counterbalanced with plucky high and low notes. It has “Sunday night in front of the fire” written all over it; but there is no reason you can’t have it mid-summer for Thursday morning breakfast too.

The Hipster (P)’Stache

We feel a certain kinship with Hipsters and not just because they wear lots of plaid. Everything they do is a little eccentric yet they seem to have a reverence for true craftsmanship. This sundae is a tribute to them; a mixture of flavors that are not your mainstream standbys. We took pistachio ice cream, added a dash of chocolate and then topped it with cardamom infused maple syrup. The result is unexpectedly delicious and unusual. If you enjoy cardamom, you will really like this one. Man bun optional.

Rum Ta Tum Tum Raisin and Elderberry

People who like rum raisin ice cream seem to me the type who know exactly who they are and what they like. They are not vanilla people (too non-committal) and they only stray into chocolate territory when more interesting flavors are not available. I propose to you rum raisin mavericks to try a splash of Elderberry Infused Maple Syrup on your next scoop. The maple adds a sweetness to balance the rum and the elderberry brings hints of figs and honey to complement the raisins. No sprinkles, whipped cream or extraneous whoopla to muddy the complex flavors already in progress. Self-possessed eaters only. You know who you are.