I love having visitors from overseas... There is great excitment in heading to the airport to collect family/friends whom you haven't seen for a long time, and all that chat and catching up on lost time is something to look forward to and cherish.
There's also the duty-free alcohol. Oh yeah...
Thanks to my very kind and generous brother-in-law 'R', my linen cupboard now looks like quite the alcoholic's stash, and now includes some beeeautiful Barbados rum. As soon as I lay eyes on it, I knew it had to be made - Rum and Raisin Ice Cream.
Rum and raisin also happens to be Mr Ladybird's all time favourite ice cream flavour, and he has long requested a home made version of the icy treat. Being the wonderful (and ever modest!) wife that I am, I at last got around to it. And with such lovely rum on hand, there was no better time...
I didn't have to look far for my recipe of choice. I turned to the Guru of Ice Cream Making - David Lebovitz. This guy knows his stuff..
Rum & Raisin Ice Cream
2/3 c mixed dark and light raisins
1/2 c dark rum
1 inch strip of orange or lemon zest
3/4 c whole milk
2/3 c sugar*
1 1/2 c heavy cream, divided **
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
* I added an extra 2 tablespoons to the custard while it was still warm as I felt it needed a little more, but it depends on how sweet you like your ice cream.
** I used 'double cream'.
1. Heat the raisins, rum and orange zest in a small saucepan. Let simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for a few hours. (The raisins can be macerated 1 day in advance)
2. Warm the milk, sugar, 1/2 cup of cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, unti lthe mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath, then chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
5. When ready to freeze the ice cream, drain the raisins over a bowl and reserve the rum. Discard the orange zest. Measure the drained rum and add more, if necessary, so that you have a total of 3 tablespoons. Stir the rum into the custard.
6. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the rum-soaked raisins. If you don't have an ice cream maker, click here for advice on how to churn ice cream without a machine.
The result is a wonderfully creamy ice cream with a delicious rum flavour and dotted with plump, macerated raisins. The alcohol in the ice cream means it is lovely and soft straight from the freezer, unlike other homemade ice creams where you need to transfer to the fridge for a while to let it soften before serving.
Although rum and raisin is Mr Ladybird's favourite ice cream flavour, it's fast becoming one of mine too. I'm not sure it can overtake chocolate though ;)
Tell me readers, what's your favourite ice cream flavour?