Greetings, ice cream lovers. This recipe was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2013 Certified Humane Holiday Recipe Contest! My sincerest appreciation to those who voted for it. By voting for any recipe, you helped CH raise awareness of farm animal welfare, and by voting for my recipe, you helped me with my personal mission of writing a cookbook aimed at educating people about humane and sustainable choices, so they can make informed decisions. Many thanks! Now scroll down to see the recipe:
Add a dollop of whipped cream to this eggnog ice cream and rum raisin sauce, and call it Christmas Sundae. Lose the Christmas colors, and it’s a great any day holiday season dessert. Use the ice cream to top apple or pecan pie, or a warm square of gingerbread, or enjoy it alone.
Custard style ice cream is the smoothest and most sumptuous of all, in my humble opinion, and the stirred custard technique is perfect for eggnog ice cream, where you want a strong egg flavor.
About the ingredients:
Eggs: What’s unique about my recipe is that I use whole eggs, not just the yolks. Why? I don’t have much use for plain whites and I can’t bear to waste them. I’ve found that, contrary to popular belief, whole eggs can make a thick and velvety stirred custard, so I use whole eggs for almost all of my custard style ice cream recipes. The idea that whites contain too much water to make a thick custard is total bunk. Seriously. The whites also contain a lot of protein, and those proteins undergo the same type of transformation as yolk proteins do, to form a sumptuous custard when properly cooked. And with 4 whole eggs, you get plenty of yolky flavor that you want in an eggnog. Finally, please use humanely produced eggs from sources such as Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved, a responsible local farmer, or your own backyard flock. Any of those are better from an animal welfare and environmental perspective than cheap supermarket eggs from battery cage hens.
Nutmeg is my spice of choice for eggnog ice cream, but cinnamon would be good, too. Normally I’m lazy and use pre-ground nutmeg, but when it’s showcased as the only spice in a recipe, as it is here, I like it freshly ground. We like a lot of nutmeg, but if you think 2 and 1/2 teaspoons would be a bit much for you, try just 1 teaspoon.
As for the booze – yes, the ice cream is still delicious if you omit it, but the alcohol actually improves the texture. So if you omit both the rum and brandy, I would add a couple tablespoons of tapioca syrup or corn syrup (not HFCS), to help keep the ice cream smooth and soft.
Eggnog ice cream
Makes about 1 quart
- 4 large whole eggs
- 3/4 cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 and 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cups low fat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp spiced rum or dark rum
- 1 tbsp brandy (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until yolks and whites are well blended, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk sugar, salt, and nutmeg until their are no lumps, and set aside.
- Add cream and milk to a 4 qt saucepan and, stirring constantly, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat.
- Whisk sugar mix into the hot cream mix, until sugar is dissolved and nutmeg is distributed.
- Temper eggs by slowly drizzling about 1 and 1/2 cups of the hot cream mixture into the eggs, while vigorously whisking the eggs.
- While whisking the remaining hot cream mixture in the 4 qt pan, carefully pour the tempered egg mixture into it.
- Stirring constantly (preferably with a heat proof spatula, but a spoon will do), cook the contents of the 4 qt pan over medium-low heat until it thickens (becomes noticeably thicker than the raw cream/milk) and reaches a temperature of 170-180 degrees F. This should take about 7-14 minutes. Do NOT be tempted to crank the heat up, because you will risk scrambling the eggs.
- Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl.
- Refrigerate immediately, or pre-cool in a cold water bath for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally for the first 30 minutes of cooling.
- When it is lukewarm or cooler, add the vanilla, rum, and brandy.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, until fully cooled.
- Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Transfer to freezer storage container and freeze until ready to eat.
Rum raisin sauce
Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cups raisins (any kind – I use the dark ones)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup tapioca syrup or corn syrup (NOT high fructose corn syrup)
- 1/4 cup spiced or dark rum
- Add all ingredients to a 3 qt saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to just maintain a simmer, and simmer for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Let cool, uncovered, at room temperature.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Serve warm.
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