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Rum Raisin Ice Cream Recipe:

1/4 cup (40 grams) dark raisins

1/4 cup (40 grams) golden raisins

1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) light or dark Rum

2 cups (480 ml/grams) half-and-half cream (can also use 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk plus 1 cup (240 ml) light cream)

pinch of salt

5 large (90 grams) egg yolks

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Note: To toast pecans, place on a baking sheet and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Let cool then coarsely chop.

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Rum Raisin Ice Cream: Put the raisins and rum in a small saucepan and place over medium heat just until warm. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature, cover, and let macerate at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
Next, in a saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half, salt, and the seeds from one vanilla bean (if using) to the scalding point (the cream just begins to foam up).

Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl (I used stainless steel) beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. (You can do this with a wire whisk or with a hand mixer.) Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. If any lumps do form, strain the mixture.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F) (77 degrees C). The term 'coat a spoon' is a technique used mainly as a way to test when an egg-based custard or sauce is done. A spoon, usually wooden, is placed in the custard and, when the spoon is raised, the film of custard on the back of the spoon will stay in place even when you draw a line with your finger through the middle of the custard.

Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook. At this point stir in the vanilla extract, if using. Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is cold (several hours but preferably overnight).

Before you freeze the custard in your ice cream machine, drain the raisins and place them into the freezer, along with the container to store your finished ice cream.

Transfer the cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine #ad and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is almost finished churning, add the raisins and chopped pecans. Transfer the ice cream to your chilled container, press plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream (prevents ice crystals from forming), and store in the freezer.

Makes about 3 cups (720 ml). Preparation time 40 minutes.


With Rum Raisin Ice Cream you get to enjoy a mix of flavors and textures. First, the ice cream has a sweet vanilla flavor with a creamy smooth texture. Very good on its own, even better with lots of rum soaked dark and golden raisins with their wonderfully soft texture. Add to that some buttery caramel flavored toasted pecans for a bit of crunch, and you have an ice cream that you're sure to enjoy. It's excellent on its own, with or without a cone, or serve alongside a slice of Apple Pie, Apple Crisp, or with a bread pudding.

Rum Raisin Ice Cream starts with a vanilla custard base made with just four ingredients - cream, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. The cream gives the ice cream its rich and creamy taste. Sugar is added for sweetness and smoothness and the eggs are necessary for smoothness, richness, and color. For the vanilla, you can use the seeds from one vanilla bean, pure vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste. If you decide to use vanilla extract in the ice cream, instead of the vanilla bean, use "pure" vanilla extract. Another idea is to use pure vanilla bean paste which has the convenience of pure vanilla extract but it also contains those wonderful small black vanilla seeds that make the ice cream look so good.

For the raisins I like to use a combination of dark and golden raisins. Both raisins are macerated in rum (you can use light or dark rum) for up to 24 hours which gives the raisins a really good rum flavor. And did you know that the rum also prevents the raisins from becoming too hard in the freezer. Finally, I also like to add some toasted and chopped pecans into the finished ice cream. You could use walnuts or, if you prefer, you can leave out the nuts entirely.