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Rum and Raisin

Makes about 1 quart

© by Christian Lalonde

“Are you soaking the raisins?” “Are you grating fresh nutmeg?” “Are you using a proper Caribbean rum?”

Well, we are now, thanks to the schooling by our customer Rhonda (and the fresh nutmeg her mom brought back from St Vincent and the Grenadines). Our rum & raisin ice cream now meets her very high standards, so much so that she asked us to make a 5-quart tub for a family gathering. Apparently it passed muster there as well.


  • Heavy Cream 2 cups (473 ml)
  • Whole Milk 1 cup (236 ml)
  • Sugar 1/2 cup (100 g)
  • Fine Sea Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Egg Yolks 5 large (90 g)
  • Premium Caribbean Rum 2 Tbs (30 ml)
  • Ground Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
  • Rum-Soaked Raisins 1 qty (recipe below)

Make It

  1. Prepare an ice bath.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine cream, milk, sugar and salt. Stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until steam begins to rise from the surface. Remove from heat.
  3. While the dairy is warming, whisk the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. To temper the yolks, slowly pour 1 cup of the heated cream mixture into the yolks while whisking vigorously. Continue adding heated cream and whisking until about half of the hot cream has been added. Transfer the yolk mixture to the pan.
  4. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula or a digital thermometer reads 180°F (about 5–6 minutes). Immediately remove from heat and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the inner bowl of the prepared ice bath.
  5. Stir in rum and nutmeg. Cool the custard in the ice bath until room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  6. Place storage container in the freezer to chill. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions until ice cream is thick and creamy and has increased in volume by about a third.
  7. Once churned, add in rum-soaked raisins and any additional rum from the raisins and churn for a further 30 seconds until incorporated.
  8. Freshly churned ice cream can be enjoyed right away or, for a firmer scoop, stored in a chilled airtight container in the freezer for a further 2 hours. For optimal flavour and texture, homemade ice cream is best consumed within 2 weeks of being made.


When used in moderation, alcohol, with its low freezing point, can help you achieve a quintessential parlour-style scoop. Even if you’re not looking for a booze-forward flavour, 1 tablespoon of a mildly flavoured alcohol can significantly help with scoopability. Adding more than 3 or 4 tablespoons of hard alcohol can make your ice cream too soft, or it can inhibit freezing all together — so be wary and follow the recipe. When alcohol is added to cooked components, add it after removing from the heat, otherwise it will cook off.

Rum-Soaked Raisins

  • Raisins 1/2 cup (85 g)
  • Premium Caribbean Rum 1/4 cup (59 ml)
  1. Combine raisins and rum in a small glass jar. Secure lid and shake to combine. Set aside for at least 4 hours, until raisins plump up.
  2. Raisins can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Excerpted from Great Scoops: Recipes from a Neighborhood Ice Cream Shop by Marlene Haley and Amelia Ryan of The Merry Dairy with Anne DesBrisay. Photographs by Christian Lalonde. Copyright © 2022 by The Merry Dairy. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.