Not Your Average Vanilla Ice Cream
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Double Vanilla Ice Cream stems from my admiration for American-made bourbon. Of course, any quality bourbon will do, but Buffalo Trace is a favorite in our home. The notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, orange, and a slightly smokey oak make this a perfect ingredient for any delicious, creamy ice cream. An additional bonus–the alcohol lends a soft-serve consistency right out of the freezer, so there is no need to allow the ice cream to soften before serving.
The double vanilla in the recipe comes from using fresh vanilla beans and pure 100% vanilla extract. If you don’t wish to add the bourbon, this recipe makes an excellent Double Vanilla Ice Cream. However, the small amount of bourbon matches up exceptionally well with the vanilla essence.
A Little or A lot
Set the amount of bourbon you desire: Mix one or two tablespoons of bourbon for only a bare hint of bourbon flavor that explodes the rich, fresh vanilla bean. Mix three tablespoons, and the bourbon flavor comes through more pronounced but tends to be on the soft side. Best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had! However, add a fourth tablespoon, and the ice cream won’t set no matter how long you keep it in the freezer.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Double Vanilla Ice Cream
- measuring spoons and cups
- cutting board
- instant read thermometer or candy thermometer
- mixing bowls (3-4)
- heavy bottom sauce pot
- wire whisk
- rubber spatula
- ice cream maker
- ice cream storage container with a tight-fitting lid
Prepare the Vanilla Pods
- Prepare the vanilla pods by slicing the pod in two with the sharp tip of a knife. Then, use the back of the blade to scrape the vanilla seeds from the pods. Reserve both seeds and pod.
Infusing the Milk/Cream
- Measure out 1 cup of the cream and 1 cup of whole milk and add these to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Using a whisk, incorporate the sugar and salt. Whisk until the temperature reaches (180°-190°F/82°-88°C). Be careful not to boil the mixture!
- Add the split vanilla pods and the seeds. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and allow the vanilla to infuse the milk/cream for 1 hour.
Prepare the Eggs-Bowl 1
- Crack and separate the yolks of the egg from the egg whites. Save the egg whites for another use. Place the yolks in a small or medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs slightly and reserve.
Prepare an Ice Bath-Bowl 2
- In the larger, bottom mixing bowl, place around 2-3 cups of ice and some cold water; over this, place another medium mixing bowl and add the reserved cup of cream.
- Place a sieve over the mixing bowl containing the cream and reserve.
Making the Ice Cream Custard
- Once the milk/cream/vanilla pod mixture has soaked for 1 hour, place the pot back over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, and bring the temperature to (185°-190°F/85°-88°C) with an instant-read thermometer. Then, turn the heat to low. (Vanilla pods should still be in the cream/milk mixture.)
- Remove the milk/cream/vanilla from the heat and pour a small amount over the whisked egg yolks (Bowl 1), about 1/3 cup. Whisk the egg yolks with the hot cream to temper the eggs.
- Once the milk/egg is mixed with the hot milk/cream/vanilla mixture, place back over low heat. Stir constantly until the egg yolks thicken the custard (about 1-2 minutes). Monitor the heat. Do not heat the custard past (195°F/90°C).
- To test thickness, dip the spatula or a spoon into the custard mix and draw a line down the center using a finger. Hold the spatula or spoon up sideways and if the custard does not bleed across the line you drew with your finger, it's good to go.
- Pour the hot custard over the sieve with the reserved cup of cream (Bowl 2) over the ice bath.
- Use a rubber spatula to work the ice cream custard through the sieve.
- Use the spatula to scrape the bottom of the sieve into the ice cream custard. Discard the vanilla pods leftover in the sieve.
- The ice bath will rapidly cool down the ice cream custard. Once the custard is below (75°-85°F/24°-30°C), add the pure vanilla extract and the bourbon. Stir to incorporate thoroughly. The ice cream custard is now ready for the ice cream machine, or you can store it refrigerated until you need it.
Making the Ice Cream
- Pour the ice cream custard into the ice cream machine. Use a rubber spatula to get out all of the excellent vanilla seed fragments from the bowl. Follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker.
- When the ice cream has formed, pour into an ice cream container and place in the freezer to stiffen the ice cream (about 4 hours). The ice cream is now ready to serve. Because of the alcohol content, the ice cream will be a soft-serve consistency straight out of the freezer.
Serving the Buffalo Trace Double Vanilla Ice Cream
- Use an ice cream scoop to serve the ice cream in a dish, bowl, or parfait glass. Try doing with Luxardo Maraschino Cherries, Walker's Scottish Shortbread, Swedish Rosettes, Norwegian Krumkake, or Italian Pizzelle.