My favorite order at Fenton's is a "junior" Black & Tan - ever since I discovered ice cream could taste like a bear claw! The recipe I started with seemed reasonable (delicious vanilla base), but all that made it "Toasted Almond" was . . . well, toasted almonds. One cannot rely on the extra bits for fundamental flavor. No. So the trick to toasted almond ice cream is to replace the sugar with almond paste!
Yup! Almond paste is just ground-up almonds and sugar. It also has a carbon footprint of a jet-setting yeti. It also costs as much. Look at that. My almonds have traveled from my home state to Denmark and back.
However, while it's possible to make your own, I was concerned about maintaining the correct texture for ice cream, and industrial-ground pastes tend to have much more uniform textures than home-ground, so storebought it was!
And the almonds? The almonds came from a giant box of one-ounce freebies at the office. I let the box sit there all day, then stuffed a pound and a half of samples into a Ziploc bag and scurried home like a paranoid squirrel.
The trick with the almonds, according to my beta-tasters, are to start with slivers or chop them up much smaller (and use less of them) than I had. The constant crunch overpowered the creamy ice creamI tend to overdo the extras, because I always feel storebought ice cream gyps you (unless it's Ben & Jerry's. All hail Ben & Jerry's!)