Easy Homemade Bourbon Ice Cream | gritsandpinecones.com

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Video Bourbon ice cream recipe

If you are a bourbon aficionado and love homemade vanilla ice cream, you will fall in love with this decadent recipe for adults-only Bourbon Ice Cream. The custard base starts with the basics: rich heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla paste.

The magic happens with the addition of brown sugar with its deep molasses flavor and bourbon, which adds the characteristic vanilla, caramel, and oak flavor profile.

Three scoops of bourbon ice cream in a glass bowl with a glass of bourbon in back.

Rich, luxurious, and bursting with flavor, bourbon ice cream makes the perfect sophisticated ending to any meal. It’s an easy but elegant dessert, and you don’t have to be a lover of all things bourbon to savor this special treat!

Here’s what you will need:

Ingredients for ice cream including eggs and heavy cream.
  • Half-and-half – is half whole milk and half heavy cream. It adds a deep richness and smoothness and is thicker and richer than whole milk.
  • Heavy cream – is thick and luxurious, sometimes called heavy whipping cream, it’s made from the high-fat part of fresh whole milk.
  • Egg yolks – are the glue that holds everything together, egg yolks give it a rich and creamier taste.
  • Granulated sugar – adds its characteristic sweetness to this dessert.
  • Light brown sugar – adds a deep molasses flavor to this dish that enhances the bourbon flavor.
  • Vanilla paste -is full of vanilla bean seeds and is thicker and richer than vanilla extract.
  • Bourbon – is the star of this show. According to the website World Whiskey Day, bourbon is a type of whisky that has to be made with at least 51 percent corn and has to be made and distilled in the USA. Almost all bourbon is distilled in Kentucky, and they even have a Bourbon Trail to encourage visitors to the distilleries.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Place a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and add the half-and-half and heavy cream. Stir occasionally and bring the mixture to a simmer (203 degrees F.) Remove from the heat and set aside.
Pouring heavy cream into a saucepan.
  1. To make the custard base, add the egg yolks to a medium-size mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat them until they turn a pale yellow in color. Gradually add the granulated and brown sugars and beat until the mixture is almost double in volume and forms a thin ribbon that holds its shape when you raise the beaters. This will take from five to seven minutes.
Egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  1. Temper the egg mixture by gradually adding small amounts of the hot cream mixture (about a tablespoon at a time) to the egg mixture, stirring to combine after each addition until about half has been added. Add the remaining cream mixture to the egg mixture, stir to combine, and return the custard to the saucepan.
Tempering eggs by adding small amounts of hot cream.
  1. Stir the custard frequently, constantly scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook it over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat the spoon’s back without running off and registers 170 degrees F on a candy or baking thermometer. This should take about seven minutes.
Cooking ice cream custard in a saucepan with a candy thermometer.
  1. Pour the custard into a container and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add the vanilla paste and stir to combine. Place it into the refrigerator, and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on a lid, cover it, and store it for four to eight hours or until the temperature goes down to 40 degrees or below.
  2. When you are ready, turn your appliance on and then pour in the custard according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your equipment.
Ice cream in an electric ice cream maker.
  1. About five minutes before the mixture has reached a soft-serve consistency, slowly add the bourbon and ensure it is thoroughly mixed in. The alcohol in the bourbon will melt the mixture slightly, but it will firm back up. You can tell it’s done when you can take a small scoopful out, and it keeps its shape.
Removing frozen ice cream from an ice cream maker.
  1. When it’s done, remove the custard and place it in an air-tight container. Place the container in the freezer for at least three hours to allow it to firm up and then serve.
Bourbon ice cream in a bowl with cookies and a glass of bourbon in the back.

Frequently asked questions:

Sharon’s tips:

If your ice cream maker has a bowl that needs to be frozen before churning, be sure to place it in the freezer at least 24 hours before you plan to use it. If your bowl isn’t cold enough, your custard won’t freeze properly.

You can substitute pure vanilla extract for vanilla paste. Don’t use imitation vanilla; it does not have the same smooth flavor. You can also substitute one vanilla bean for the vanilla paste. If you are using a vanilla bean, slice it in half lengthwise and use the blade of a small knife to scrape out the seeds. Discard the pod or add it to an existing jar of vanilla extract.

I use a candy thermometer to test the temperature of my custard. In a pinch, you can use an instant-read cooking thermometer.

Be sure to start your ice cream maker before adding the custard; if not, the custard will freeze to the sides and bottom of the bowl.

I have a 2-quart electric Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which works perfectly for this recipe. If your appliance is smaller, you may have to churn the mixture in batches.

More easy southern-style dessert recipes:

If you like recipes like this one, you might also like these reader favorites: Georgia Cornbread Cake, Southern Strawberry Shortcake, Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie, Banana Pudding Poke Cake, Southern Peach Cobbler, Mixed Berry Sherbet, and Minnie Lee Croley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake.

Also, be sure to check out my round-up post: 33 Incredible and Easy Ice Cream Recipes.

★ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!

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