Rum Raisin Ice Cream – Creamy, custardy ice cream with a hint of dark rum and rum-soaked raisin sprinkled throughout.
Today’s ice cream recipe is a classic one – Rum Raisin. It’s a flavor that I only began loving as an adult (along with butter pecan). It’s so rich and creamy and, well, boozy. It reminds me of ice cream that my dad would have when I was a kid. He’d add a little liquor to his store-bought ice cream and, though I obviously never tried any, the smell alone was memorable.
Rum Raisin does have actual rum in it. It adds depth and richness that you just can’t get from artificial flavoring. However, the good news about making your own ice cream is that you can control the ingredients. So if you don’t want a lot of alcohol in your Rum Raisin, you can just add a splash for flavor.
OK- before I give away too much, let’s take a look at the ice cream, huh?
How is this ice cream made?
Rum raisin is unique from other classic ice cream recipes because it has dried fruit and alcohol in it. The dried fruit actually gets soaked in the rum to:
- Plump up the fruit and keep it plump, even when frozen
- Flavor the rum
To soak the raisins, they get cooked in rum for a couple minutes and then steep for a couple hours to really bring out the flavor and let that rum seep in. The rum then gets strained out and will be used in the base of the ice cream.
Ice cream base
The base of the ice cream is made from a custard. It consists of cooked egg yolks, sugar, milk, and heavy cream and then gets finished with a splash of that rum that we strained out of the soaked raisins. The rum not only adds incredible flavor but since alcohol doesn’t freeze, it changes the chemistry of the ice cream to make it even creamier, even after freezing for hours.
The ice cream then gets frozen in an ice cream machine. When the ice cream is almost finished freezing, the rum raisins get sprinkled in.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure that you’ve read the instructions for your ice cream machine before beginning the process. My machine requires me to freeze the bowl for 8 hours before use so I’d hate for you to go through the whole process and then have to wait overnight because you missed a crucial step.
- This ice cream is actually a custard because it’s made with cream AND egg yolks. The eggs yolks need to be cooked to thicken them up and make them safe for consumption. Because the mixture is warmed up, we need to cool it down to (1) keep it from cooking and getting too thick and (2) to get the chilling process started. We cannot add a warm mixture to the ice cream machine or it will never freeze.
Rum Raisin Ice Cream
- ¾ cup milk whole
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup dark rum
- ⅔ cup raisins
For the rum-soaked raisins:
- Add the raisins and dark rum into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Cover and let sit for a couple hours and up to a day in advance.
- Once the raisins have finished soaking, strain the raisins to remove the excess rum. Do not discard! We'll use the left-over rum in the ice cream.
For the ice cream:
- Place milk, ½ cup of cream, sugar, and in a medium sauce pan. Heat until the mixture is steaming, but not boiling.
- Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Very slowly whisk in warm milk. Transfer mixture back to saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to slightly thicken and is 170 degrees. Mixture should coat the back of the spatula. Remove from heat immediately so the mixture doesn't scramble.
- Place remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a large bowl and place strainer over bowl. Pour thickened yolk mixture through strainer to remove lumps. Stir with cream. Add 2 tablespoons of strained rum.
- Chill mixture until completely cold, about 4-6 hours. Once chilled, ice cream base is ready for your machine. Freeze ice cream according to machine instructions. When the ice cream has about 5 minutes left to freeze, add the strained raisins to the mixture.
- Once mixture is ready, scoop into storage container and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze ice cream until solid, about 8 hours.