Vanilla-Bourbon Walnut Crumble Ice Cream

August 26, 2012

Author Notes: As I discovered, bourbon (or any alcohol) helps keep ice cream soft and scoop-able. This walnut crumble recipe yields 5 batches of crumbles; I like to portion them into zip lock bags, and keep them in the freezer for easy future use. Cristina Sciarra

Makes: about 1.25 quarts


Walnut Crumbles

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean, scraped

Vanilla-Bourbon Ice Cream

  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 1.5 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla-infused bourbon (you could also use regular bourbon), divided
  • 4 egg yolks
In This Recipe


Walnut Crumbles

  1. Heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Lay the walnuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. When the oven is heated, bake them for 10 minutes, or until they start to brown and smell divine.
  3. Let the walnuts cool slightly. Then, using the bottom of a mug, crush the walnuts fairly thoroughly. (You can do this right on the baking sheet.) Add the flour, the white sugar, the light brown sugar, the butter, the nutmeg, the cinnamon, and the vanilla to the walnuts. Use your hands to massage all the ingredients together, making sure to evenly distribute the butter especially.
  4. Put the baking sheet back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until you have golden cookie crumbles. Let the crumbles cool completely.

Vanilla-Bourbon Ice Cream

  1. In a medium pot, combine the milk, the cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, the salt, the vanilla bean (split it open first, and scrape it), and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla bourbon. Heat the liquid over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it froths. Turn off the heat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.) When the custard is cold, I like to stir in another tablespoon of the vanilla bourbon.
  6. Pour the cold custard into an ice cream maker. Let it 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, add the walnut crumbles.
  7. 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.

More Great Recipes:
Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts|Cobbler/Crumble|American|Milk/Cream|Vanilla|Walnut|Nutmeg|Bean|Bourbon|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Vegetarian

Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Reviews

Miss M. August 30, 2014
Made it and it's fantastic!
Yum, delicious combination of flavors!
dymnyno May 27, 2013 favorite flavors combined!
Author Comment
Cristina S. May 28, 2013
:) I hope you give it a try!