Rum-Brandy Ice Cream

Rum-Brandy Ice Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

To make a generous amount of ice cream, use an ice cream maker, either an electric model or a hand-cranked one, with a dasher that is turned constantly to incorporate air into the custard as it freezes. A frozen-canister ice cream maker, which is turned only every 15 minutes or so, will make a delicious, heavy ice cream but not enough volume to serve a large crowd. This ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to our Steamed Cranberry Pudding.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. dark rum
  • 2 Tbs. brandy


In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and nutmeg. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the half-and-half and cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Slowly and gradually whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

Return the mixture to the pan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon and leaves a clear path when a finger is drawn through it, about 4 minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.

Immediately transfer the custard to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions until softly frozen. Add the rum and brandy and continue to churn until the ice cream freezes further. (Due to the alcohol content, it may not freeze solid.) Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, cover and freeze overnight before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

Make-Ahead Tip: Ideally, the custard is refrigerated overnight and then the ice cream is frozen overnight, which means that the ice cream must be started 2 days in advance of serving. Alternatively, the custard can be refrigerated for only 2 hours. If necessary, soften the ice cream in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Thanksgiving, by Michael McLaughlin (Simon & Schuster, 2001).