Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Bourbon

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So, I got this adorable cookbook to review and thought I would share an absolutely YUMMY recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream with Bourbon that I found in it! (reprinted with permission, of course!)  If you want to enter the giveaway, there are TONS of other awesome recipes in it and this book is going to find a lovely home amongst my much used cookbooks!

I halved the recipe because I have a very small ice cream maker and wasn’t sure the full recipe would fit. (in hindsight, I wish I had made the whole thing!)I also made a small change to the vanilla in the recipe, which I noted in parentheses in the recipe below! The flavor of the bourbon really shines through in this recipe!


Vanilla Ice Cream with Bourbon

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From the Publisher:  This recipe proves that vanilla doesn’t have to be boring. The classic flavor gets wonderful warmth from a heavy dose of brandy, which pairs well with alcohol-spiked fruit or cake. This was one of the first flavors we tinkered with, and we believe it’s also a good starter flavor for the first-time spiked ice cream maker.



1½ cups milk
1½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (I used 1 1/2 TBSP Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I omited this…)
½ packet (½ tablespoon) gelatin
⅓ cup cold water
½ cup cold (refrigerated) bourbon


Makes about 1 quart


1. Mix the milk, cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. While the milk mixture is heating, split the vanilla bean down the center lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Whisk the seeds into the milk mixture, then add the empty pod to the pan. Continue heating until the mixture is steamy and makes a slight sizzling noise when you move the pan. (NOTE: I used 1 1/2 TBSP Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste…more on this in a later review!)


2. Steep the milk mixture and vanilla. Once the milk mixture is scalding, remove the pan from the heat and cover it. After about 30 minutes, remove the vanilla bean pod and set it aside. (I skipped this step since I used the vanilla bean paste so I just went on to step 4)
3. Reheat the milk mixture back up to scalding.


4. Whisk the egg yolks and temper with ⅓ cup of the scalding milk mixture. While the milk mixture heats to scalding, whisk together the egg yolks in a medium bowl until they’re light in color and slightly fluffy. Gently stream about one-third of the hot milk mixture into the eggs while whisking continuously. This is called tempering. It’s important to whisk while streaming the hot milk. If you just pour in the hot milk and then whisk, you may get scrambled eggs.


5. Thicken the custard over low heat. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the rest of the milk mixture in the saucepan and stir continuously on low heat with a heatproof spatula. Make sure you scrape the bottom evenly while you continuously stir. The custard is thick enough when you can draw a line on the back of the spoon with your finger and the line retains its shape.


6. Whisk in the vanilla extract. (omitted)
7. Strain, cover, and chill the custard for at least 8 hours. Add the empty vanilla bean pod to the custard before covering it. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof container. Cover with plastic wrap so that it’s directly touching the entire surface of the custard and none of it is exposed to air. This prevents a skin from developing. Transfer the container to an ice bath and let it cool for about 30 minutes to stop the cooking process. Transfer the container to the refrigerator. Chill until the custard is completely cold, at least 8 hours.
Once the custard is completely cold…
8. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the custard.


9. Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. When the custard is cold and you’re ready to churn the ice cream, dissolve the gelatin. Pour the water into a small saucepan or microwave-safe container and evenly sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow to sit until the gelatin appears to have absorbed as much water as it can, about 2 minutes. This is called blooming. Gently warm over low heat and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the liquid, about 3 minutes. If using a microwave, heat on medium power and check every 30 seconds until the gelatin is completely dissolved. The total time will depend on the microwave’s voltage.
Note: It’s important that the gelatin gets completely dissolved at this stage. Once the alcohol is mixed in, the gelatin denatures and will never fully dissolve. However, once the alcohol is added, clumps may form. This is fine since in most cases you strain the gelatin mixture before adding it to the custard. Do not try to reheat the gelatin mixture once you’ve added the alcohol; this will only denature the gelatin further, making it unable to solidify the ice cream, and it will also cook off the alcohol.
10. Spike the custard with the cold bourbon and gelatin mixture. Refrigerate the alcohol until completely cold. Do not speed up the process by putting it in the freezer, which may make the gelatin set up too much before it is added to the custard. Pour the gelatin into a medium bowl and whisk in the cold alcohol until combined. Do not attempt to skip this step by pouring the alcohol directly into the saucepan or microwave-safe container with the gelatin. There might be enough residual heat to heat up the custard and prevent it from thickening in the ice cream maker (we learned this the hard way). Pour the cold custard into a large bowl. Stream the alcohol and gelatin mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the custard and whisk until thoroughly blended.


11. Churn the ice cream for at least 20 minutes. Pour the cold custard immediately into the ice cream maker and churn for at least 20 minutes, or as directed. Due to the alcohol content, you may wish to churn it longer to get the desired thickness. If you don’t want to serve the ice cream immediately, or you want a firmer texture, transfer it to a freezer-proof container and freeze for several hours before serving.


Vanilla with Vodka: Omit the bourbon and substitute with vodka.
Vanilla with Brandy: Omit thebourbon and substitute with brandy.

Disclaimer:  I received one copy of this cookbook when I wrote my review and was given permission to share this recipe. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.


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