Because the alcohol in the bourbon doesn't fully cook off, the ice cream doesn't freeze hard in the churn.
1 3/4 cups half-and-half
2 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 (5-inch) vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 large egg yolks
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
How to Make It
Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk mixture. Heat milk mixture to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).
Combine sugar, bourbon, nutmeg, and egg yolks in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Heat mixture to 160°, stirring constantly. Discard vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Pour mixture into a bowl, and place plastic wrap on surface of custard. Chill thoroughly.
Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 8 hours or until firm. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
Commander's Palace Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana
We have prepared this for three separate holiday occasions, always to rave reviews. In fact, it is so delicious, we've been volunteering to bring dessert, just to have an excuse to make more!
It pairs beautifully with the Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake in the 12/08 issue, but is just perfect on its own. Be sure to plan ahead, because the custard must be completely cool (e.g. overnight in the fridge) before you begin to churn the ice cream.
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