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Author Notes: This rich ice cream is ribboned with plum jam that's a little boozy, but not too sweet. I used Sugar Plums, but I you can use what you find available. The plum jam recipe yields about 6 batches-worth of ice cream--you should use about 1/2 cup of jam per ice cream batch. I like to portion the remaining jam into zip lock bags, and keep them in the freezer for easy future use. —Cristina Sciarra
Makes about 1.25 quarts
- 3 lbs. plums
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Remove the skins from the plums. (The easiest way is cut cross marks into the bottom of each plum. Plunge the plums into boiling water for about 1 minute, and then move them immediately to an ice bath. After that, the skins should come off easily. Peel each plum, and discard the skins. Set the peeled plums aside.)
- Add the bourbon, the light brown sugar, and the white sugar to a medium pot, along with 1 cup of water. Set the heat to medium-low, and whisk until the sugars are dissolved. Add the scraped vanilla bean (both the seeds, and the vanilla pod.)
- Using both hands, kind of smoosh each of the skinned plums into the pot. If the plums are ripe, they should come apart pretty easily. Discard the pits.
- Cook the plums for about 1 hour, or until the fruit has broken down, and the flavor of the plums is more concentrated.
- Allow the jam to cool completely.
Ice Cream Base
- 2 cups cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 egg yolks
- In a medium pot, combine the milk, the cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, and the salt. Heat the liquid over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it froths. Turn off the heat.
- In a separate small bowl, collect the egg yolks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the yolks look a lighter yellow.
- Take a tiny measure of the milk mixture, and whisk it into the egg yolks. Keep adding the milk, little by little, whisking without pause as you go. When you’re finished, run the custard base through a sieve, add then add it back to the pot.
- Turn the heat again to medium-low. Stir the custard almost constantly as it heats. You want it to coat the back of your spoon; after that, it’s done.
- Move the custard to an ice bath. If you give it the occasional stir, it should be good and cold in about 45 minutes-1 hour. (You can also chill overnight in the fridge.)
- Pour the custard base into an ice cream maker. Let the machine go for about 20-25 minutes, or until the ice cream reaches the consistency of soft-serve. (Don't let it go too long, or you will start to make butter.) At the last minute, pour in the cooled plum jam.
- Spoon the ice cream into a plastic container, leaving as little air between the ice cream and the lid as possible, and move it to the freezer for at least 2-4 hours. Take the ice cream out of the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Ice Cream