Raisins in desserts is definitely a love it or hate it affair. The hate it affair begins while we are toddlers, when we start panicking at the sight of these blackish things in our food. Growing up we are advised against doing so, but it may take decades to force ourselves to come to like them. Or simply, we never do. For the haters, the reason is that raisins in edible goods are often a distraction. If a biscuit is crunchy, a raisin will be the reason your jaws will stop happily munching on the crunchiness and slowly start chewing the sticky raisins. If a cake is tender, they will get in the way of this tenderness. Lovers, on the other hand, will accept them unconditionally.
Ask raisin haters if they like Rum and Raisins Ice Cream and chances are that they LOVE it. And how could they not? It is not that the rum raises the spirits and helps them forget about their primitive instincts for their enemies lying hidden in the creaminess. It is that the raisins are soaked in the rum before being added to the ice cream. They plump up, they soften, they transform from those indifferent, chewy things that they are, to little pockets which burst with rum flavour. Rum pockets in rum creaminess. This is what rum raisins ice cream is all about. Now, go and make it.
Rum Raisins Ice Cream recipe
Adding the rum after the ice cream is churned is the best way to ensure that your ice cream will expand in volume and be creamy. If the rum is added into the ice cream base before churning, the excess amounts of alcohol will lower the freezing temperature of the ice cream and it will stay soupy instead of adding volume.
- Freeze your ice cream machine’s container at least 24 hours before the time you plan to churn the ice cream.
- Make the ice cream base 12 hours before the time you plan to churn the ice cream.
- Let the ice cream sit in the freezer for 3-4 hours after churning, before you serve it
This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 liter/quart capacity.
- 250 ml / 250 gr / 1 cup heavy cream, around 35% – 38% fat
- 500 ml / 500 gr / 2 cups whole milk, around 3.5% fat
- 1 Tbsp. corn flour (corn starch)
- 170 gr / 3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar see here for recommendations
I use a combination of 90 gr demerara sugar and 70 gr dark muscovado sugar, hence the light brown colour of the ice cream. These give a superior taste to the final ice cream. You will still have an amazing ice cream if you use regular white sugar, or just any kind of light brown sugar, so do not stop yourself from making this ice cream if you do not have the above two varieties I recommend.
- 20 gr / 0.7 ounces powdered milk optional
Powdered milk helps ice cream expand in volume while churning by creating better structure. There are many kinds of powdered milk out there; regular skimmed milk powder works best, plus it can easily be found in most super markets. However, you may use whey powder, whole milk powder or any other powdered milk as long as it consists solely of milk powder (no sugar, flavour or anything else listed on the ingredients)
- 1 cinnamon stick, whole optional
We will not infuse the ice cream with it while the base is hot, to avoid giving it a cinnamon flavour. Rather, we add it when the ice cream base is lukewarm and it stays in there while it is in the fridge. It balances the flavours, making them more round and compound.
- 80 gr / 1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
Step 1 – Prepare the ice cream base
In a large bowl pour the heavy cream and set a mesh strainer on top.
Put the corn flour in a small bowl. Start pouring some of the milk (around 75 ml) over it, while whisking with a fork to obtain a thick, lump-free slurry. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking well.
In a medium pan put the rest of the milk, sugar and milk powder (if using). Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When it is hot and steamy, remove from the heat and start pouring slowly over the egg-corn flour slurry, while whisking continuously.
Pour it back into the saucepan and warm over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula till it starts to thicken and bubble up. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, it should register 90°C / 194°F.
Remove from the heat and pour over the strainer and into the heavy cream.
Step 2 – Cool the ice cream base
The mixture will be very hot, stir occasionally to help it cool down a bit. Then remove to an ice bath, put the cinnamon stick in it and let cool completely. Stirring always helps it to cool down faster.
How to prepare an ice bath
You will need a large bowl, larger than the bowl with the prepared ice cream base. Put in some ice cubes and cold water. Carefully nest the bowl with the ice cream base in it. Pour more cold water from the sides, till it reaches the ice cream base in the inner bowl in height. Take extra care not to spill any water into the ice cream base.
Alternatively, first nest the bowl with the ice cream base into the empty larger bowl. Fill the sides with ice cubes and cold water, taking care not to let any water spill into the bowl with the ice cream base. This is my preferred method, as sitting directly on the bottom of the bowl, rather than sitting on ice cubes, is more stable.
Pour into a container and close with a lid. Leave in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days, if dairy is fresh.
In a small bowl put the raisins and pour the rum over. Leave to macerate for 3-4 hours. Strain and reserve the raisins. Measure 80 gr rum to pour into the ice cream during the last stage of churning. Keep both, separately, in the fridge.
Step 3 – Churn the ice cream
Transfer the 80 gr chilled rum from the refrigerator to the freezer while you churn the ice cream.
Prepare the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the cinnamon stick and with the machine running, pour the chilled ice cream base through the canister and into the ice cream machine. Leave to churn until nice and fluffy.
With the machine still on, gradually start pouring the ice-cold rum, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, waiting for the booze to absorb well before adding the next. When all the rum has been added, allow to churn for a full 10 minutes more to properly mix in. If the ice cream seems to melt, do not worry; it will become creamy again in 10 minutes. Start adding the raisins, a tablespoon at a time and allow to mix in.
Remove the machine from the container and put the container along with the lid into the freezer. Leave for 3-4 hours for the ice cream to properly set, before serving or removing to another container.
Storing the Ice Cream
This ice cream stays amazingly soft during storage, thanks to the addition of the alcohol. So it should be soft enough to scoop anytime you want to serve it. Do not let it sit in the freezer for more than one month.