1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/2 cup raw almond pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups nonfat milk
1 pound fresh dates (medjool are great)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or oil it lightly. Put the oats, pepitas, and almonds in a bowl and mix evenly. In a small saucepan, warm the oil, apple juice, honey and salt over low heat, stirring until combined. Pour over the oat mixture and toss to coat well. Spread this mixture on the baking sheet and bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, turning over occasionally. Cool, then transfer to a small container and place in freezer until needed.
Place the nonfat milk in a sauce pan and cook over low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until reduced to half. Set aside until cool. Remove pits from the dates and chop into pieces the size of peas. Place 1/2 the date pieces in the freezer on a plate and reserve until later. Place the remaining date pieces in the blender with the cooled milk and puree until smooth.
Place the yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk vigorously until pale and fluffy. Meanwhile, bring the Half and half to a full rolling boil and pour immediately over the yolk mixture while whisking all the time. Add the date and milk mixture and the vanilla. Cool and pour into the container of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturers instructions, for 2 to 4 hours or until set. To serve, scoop into chilled ice cream dishes, top with the frozen crunchy nut mixture and serve immediately.
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