Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bailey's Ice Cream

Top o' the Mornin' to you! Sorry, I couldn't resist. This recipe comes from Nigella Lawson and it's a perfect dessert for a home cooked St. Patrick's Day dinner. I've been making this yummy ice cream in honor of this beloved Irish holiday for the last few years and every time I serve it, it's always a hit. It has now become a tradition Aaron and I look forward to all year long. 

This ice cream is unbelievably soft and creamy with the satisfying richness of Bailey's Irish Cream. You'll be tempted to add more Bailey's, but a little goes a long way. I like to cut the creaminess with a butter wafer drizzled or dipped in chocolate. The best part is, you're left with the rest of the bottle of Bailey's when you're done! That is never a bad thing. Happy St. Patty's Day!

Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe

2 1/3 cups whole milk
1¾ cups heavy cream
½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 whole vanilla bean
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. sea salt

Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using a small knife, scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk and cream mixture. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat until the mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow in color (similar in texture and color to homemade mayonnaise), about 2 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean pod from the cream mixture and discard. Measure out 1½ cups of the hot cream mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture in a slow steady stream. Once thoroughly combined, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot cream mixture and stir well to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into a large metal bowl through a sieve, stir in Bailey’s and vanilla. Place the metal bowl containing the custard inside a larger bowl filled with 2-inches of ice water. Stir the custard until it is cool. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly on the custard. Place in the refrigerator until completely chilled, about 2 hours or overnight. 

Process the custard according to the ice cream machine manufacturer’s directions. The ice cream will have a lovely soft and creamy texture. Transfer the ice cream to quart containers and place in freezer (because of the alcohol in the Bailey's, the ice cream will take about 10 hours or so to freeze). 

Yield: 1½ quarts

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