Friday, September 25, 2009

Irish Cream Ice Cream

Doesn't this ice cream look delicious? It was. For our Memorial Day 2009 cookout, I got the bright idea to make Irish Cream Ice Cream. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of Irish cream liqueur to be cooked down to 1/2 cup (I used Bailey's). The idea is to have a full flavored, smooth ice cream that actually freezes (unlike other recipes I've seen that just have a couple of shots added to the mix).

I have never reduced liqueur before and there weren't specific instructions in the recipe. I usually have to stir syrups and curds to keep them from burning, so I thought I'd better stand over the pot and stir often. It didn't occur to me to turn on the fan. (I might mention at this point that I had not had any alcohol in three years at when this occurred, which might have something to do with what happened next.)

I started to feel a little woozy and dizzy. It got worse and worse until I could barely stand. I had felt funny earlier in the day, and started to worry that I had a virus and would have to cancel our party. Finally, I called my husband into the kitchen and told him I'd have to go lay down because the room was starting to spin. He said when he walked into the kitchen he was hit with the smell of the alcohol. I had to go lay on my bed and stayed there for hours. No one else was allowed to come into the room or get on the bed because it made the spinning worse.

So this is the story of how I got myself drunk while making ice cream and the story of why I'm not "allowed" to reduce liqueur the day before a cookout anymore. We definitely don't have time in our schedule of making fun foods for me to lay down for hours in the middle.

Fortunately, I felt much better the next morning, and the ice cream turned out smooth, creamy and (in my opinion) rivaled Haagen-Dasz as a premium ice cream. We didn't serve any to small children, though, just in case all the liqueur didn't cook out.

The lesson here is to turn on the fan when reducing large quantities of liquor!

I got the recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein. Seriously, if you want to make great ice cream, I highly recommend this book. There are lots of wonderful flavors included and for each recipe, there are multiple variations.

Irish Ice Cream (from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book)

1 1/2 cups Irish cream liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the liqeuer to a simmer in a small, heavy saucepan placed over medium heat. Cook until te liqueur is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 5 to 7 minutes (note: it took me longer than this, and you need to turn on the fan!). The liqueur will appear thicker and slightly syrupy. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow. Set aside.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly. Mix in the reduced liqueur, cream and vanilla. Cover and refridgerate until cold or overnight.

Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.

I use Cuisinart's ice cream maker that has a freezer bowl instead of using ice and rock salt. They're about $50, but are a great investment if you enjoy making ice cream. We've had ours for years, and it works great.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of right-out-of-the-maker ice cream. I find that it melts far too quickly for my taste. I put my ice creams in freezer-safe containers and let them "ripen" for 2-4 hours or overnight, depending on when my party is (or how long I'm willing to wait). It brings the texture much closer to premium ice cream which I appreciate.

I've also made the ginger ice cream from this book. I thought it was fabulous, but I'm a ginger nut. I've been considering making an ice cream from Captain Morgan's, although I suspect I'm the only person who would enjoy rum flavored ice cream. What's your favorite ice cream to make?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I painted that cute little bowl at Louisville Stoneware's paint-your-own studio a few years ago. Ice cream seems all that more special eating from this bowl.


momandkiddo said...

Is it okay that I found this story highly amusing! When I first started reading I thought you were going to get drunk EATING the ice cream! It looks extremely delicious!

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

I'm glad you found it amusing! It kind of makes it worth it that I have a funny story to share, at least. It was delicious - creamy, smooth and the flavor was really intense.

Anonymous said...

You did say "Irish" didn't you? Not to say your dizziness was funny, but I agree this story is a cracker.

Melissa Goodsell said...

oooh yum, that icecream look so yummy!!! Great story :)

EaglesWings2004 said...

THAT is hilarious- I'm sure it wasn't too funny at the time. I'm tempted to try it for me and my husband but leave the alcohol IN it ;)

Mama Bear said...

Oh my goodness that ice cream looks delicious! As for not turning on the fan - that sounds like something I would've done. :)

Oh and OpenID isn't working for some reason so just so you know this is Crystal aka Breedermama.