The twenty year anniversary of my father’s death came and went a couple of weeks ago. He has come to my mind at least once a day for the last twenty years but marking the date caused me to talk about him more than usual. In telling my sons a few fun facts about the grandfather they will never meet (in this life) the subject of ice cream came up. My youngest son, Nathaniel, upon hearing my dad’s favorite ice cream was rum raisin, became fascinated with this fact. He also knows I never saw my father take a drink of alcohol so Nathaniel was a little perplexed about the rum raisin situation. I tried to reassure him the amount of alcohol in rum raisin ice cream is pretty negligible but it made for an interesting conversation.
The recent dairy-free Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream recipe went over well (surprise!) so I thought taking on homemade rum raisin ice cream might be a possibility. This time I’m using milk and cream in an effort to recreate my father’s favorite ice cream flavor. It is sweetened only with raisins and maple syrup and has lots of nutritious egg yolks. The taste is exceptionally creamy and our family loved it. We even fought over the ice cream a little but I took that as a positive sign of a delicious result!
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup rum
- Soak the raisins in the rum for about 4 hours, covered.
- Heat the rum-soaked raisins and liquid in a medium pan just enough to cook out some of the alcohol but not enough to dry out the raisins. Allow it to cool completely. (If there is too much alcohol the ice cream won’t harden quite as much but you could skip this step.)
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the cream, milk, maple syrup and vanilla and bring to barely a simmer.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy.
- Pour about a fourth of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the combined egg yolk/cream mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, while whisking, until somewhat thickened – about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the custard to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled. Alternatively, you can use an ice bath to cool the custard off even faster. (You can see the ice bath in the background – bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice.)
- Pour the cooled custard into the bowl of an electric ice cream maker.
- Sample the custard. (This is a mandatory step.)
- Add the rum raisins a few minutes before the end of the freezing process.
- The ice cream will be ready to eat immediately but if you want a harder ice cream you can transfer to the freezer for a couple of hours before serving.
I posted a photo of this Rum Raisin Ice Cream on Instagram several days ago. If you’re on Instagram please join me.
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