Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

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Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

I’ve always believed that alcohol and dessert are a match made in heaven. Whether it’s macerated fruits, boozy milkshakes or liqueur-spiked cake, alcohol adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Plus, it’s always a crowd pleaser.

Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

The wonderful thing about adding alcohol to ice cream and other frozen desserts is that it lowers the freezing point. What this means in basic terms is that the ice cream stays soft and smooth. Have you ever had to leave a pint of ice cream on the counter to soften up before being able to dig a scoop into it? Alcohol will prevent that from happening.

Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

The only negative is that this ice cream might melt a bit faster than non-alcoholic versions. Which I guess just means you’ll need to eat it more quickly.

Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

If you prefer not to use real vanilla beans in this recipe, simply increase the vanilla extract to 1 tablespoon.

Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Bourbon Ice Cream

Yields: approximately 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

Directions:

  1. Add the milk, cream and vanilla extract to a saucepan.
  2. Use a small knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and then use the dull edge of the knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
  3. While the liquid is coming to a simmer, place the yolks and both sugars into a medium bowl and vigorously whisk to combine.
  4. When the cream reaches a simmer, turn the heat down to low. Immediately ladle some of the hot cream into the yolk mixture while whisking to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling. Whisk in one additional ladle of the cream and pour that mixture back into a saucepan, using a spatula to scrape up any remaining yolk and sugar.
  5. With the heat still on low, stir the ice cream base continuously until it has thickened slightly, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, and then stir in the bourbon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, stirring periodically. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the film directly onto the ice cream. Chill in the refrigerator until very cold, preferably overnight.
  6. Prepare in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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