The pumpkin patch will always be one of my favorite nostalgia-laden memories of autumn childhood. The smell of hay, the massive piles and sometimes entire acres of pumpkins, low brow haunted houses, scarecrows, and the crowning jewel of them all – caramel apples. There was one pumpkin patch in particular in Nebraska that was stunningly huge, and had a little goodie shop brimming with varieties of candy dunked and crunchy rolled apples that seemed only outdone by the Main Street shops in Disneyland. While it would be easy enough to melt some caramel and coat apples any time of year, they’re the most delicious and prominent during the harvest season, and the classic combination of tart apple and sweet candy is only second to pumpkin for being the most iconic flavor pairing this time of year.
Pie Pop Pioneers JC’s Scoops have ventured into the pint game with an all new line of premium ice creams, simply dubbed “Scoops”, and one of the launch flavors screams pumpkin patch perfection. Taffy Apple, which is apparently another name for a caramel or candy apple that I had never heard of, combines tart and sweet green apple ice cream with swirls of salted caramel and candy coated peanuts.
The base game in this pint is on point. Any ice cream claiming to be premium has to deliver with some high fat ultra creamy richness and those elements are on full display with the texture of the green apple ice cream. There’s a bit of tart green apple aroma coming from the pint as well, but only a little bit of apple flavor in the actual bite. I was extremely excited to have an apple based ice cream, since apple is usually added as a mix-in to vanilla or cinnamon bases, and as good as the texture is, I really want more from the overall taste. The initial flavor carries a hint of sweet apple acidity but it quickly fades into more of a slightly tart sweet cream, and the apple gets a bit lost in the sea of fatty dairy. It’s a shame there are no actual apples or apple juice listed in the ingredients, as the ominous “natural flavors” just isn’t doing the glorious fruit its justice.
I absolutely love nuts in ice cream, especially candied or caramelized, and the execution of the peanuts in this pint is fantastic. Almost all of the candy coating has come off and left little red indentations in the base, leaving mostly naked peanuts that have a wonderful roasted flavor and big satisfying crunch. There’s a hint of sweetness to them but the deep roasted notes prevail overall, and I’m happy with how they function in the scheme of the overall balance of flavors.
The salted caramel swirl is great, but unfortunately a bit lacking in its density. It’s thick and salty which provides wonderful contrast to the base, but I only got little strands of it throughout and never a fully satisfying punch of gooey sweetness like I would get from biting the outside of a candy apple. What is there is delicious, I just wish I had more, because the bites with ice cream, nuts, and caramel were very limited.
While this flavor is lacking in the fully tart elements the description promised and needs a bit more swirl to take it over the edge, I still really appreciate JC trying something different that I can legitimately say I’ve never had before. Even though this isn’t a fall seasonal flavor, it’s lined up perfectly with the brands’ launch, and is solid enough that I’m intrigued to try more of their unique flavors.
Found at: Sprouts ($4.99)
Quick Nutrition: 1/2 cup (105g) – 270 cal – 15g fat – 8g sat fat – 125mg sodium – 32g carb – 25g sugar – 4g protein