Whenever we would have relatives come over for the classic Caribbean Sunday lunch, our dad would always dust out his old crank-ice cream pail and all US kids knew we were in for a delightful treat. I’m yet to find an ice cream which even comes close to Joe’s creamy coconut ice cream. Funny how we made ice cream with many of the tropical fruits of the Caribbean, but when it came to rum and raisin, we always went for the plastic containers at the grocery store! My weakness for rum and raisin ice cream is REAL!.. at one point I would cross the boarder into the US just to get the Häagen dazs rum and raisin which were only sold in the US!
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup raisin soaked in rum
1 tablespoon vanilla
Soak the raisins in rum overnight or as in my case I had it soaking a few days in a covered container so the rum does not evaporate. If you’re in a rush you can place 1 cup of rum in a deep saucepan (high sides) with the raisin and place it on a low flame (be careful as it can be flammable). As it heats the raisins will be infused with the rum.. PLUS it will remove the raw rum from it so kids can enjoy the ice cream.
Put the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until creamy/smooth. It will go from the brilliant yellow to a very pale color.. that’s normal. At the same time place the milk and cream in a saucepan and let it warm through (almost to a gentle simmer).
Before we add the sugar/egg mixture to the pot, it’s important that we add a little of the warm milk to the bowl with the egg and whisk. Do that a couple times so the egg mixture warms up. If we added it directly to the pot we risk having scrambled eggs. Now add all the egg mixture to the pot and whisk. Go in with the pinch of salt and vanilla.
When your custard is somewhat thick … dip a spoon into it and run your finger along the back of the spoon.. it should coat the back of the spoon and leave a clean line where you passed your finger. Now it’s time to pour it into a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours. This chilling will help your ice cream maker make less work of making the actual ice cream.
You have two options.. you can add the marinated raisins into the mixture now (as I did) or you can pour the mixture into your ice cream maker (when chilled) and then add the rum infused raisins.
After the custard is properly chilled, work it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
You can serve this immediately. But I much prefer firm ice cream and not necessarily soft sever, so I usually remove it out of the maker and into a plastic container, which I then place in the freezer to firm up for an hour or two.
You can make the base of the ice cream the day before and have it chill in the fridge until you’re ready to make the ice cream. You can certainly customize this ice cream by adding chopped pineapple, cubed mango.. even play around with some spices? BTW.. you can make frozen treats with the base custard we made. Get Popsicle molds or do as our mom did.. pour into ice cube trays and freeze. We called those ‘ice blocks”!