Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Swirl

Nothing is better on a hot summer day than cool creamy ice cream. What’s even better is homemade ice cream. I can’t begin to tell you how rich this ice cream is. I adapted this recipe using a basic vanilla ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz and spiked it with a little bourbon and added a luscious caramel swirl.

Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbs bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
* I like to use vanilla bean paste in addition to the extract cause it adds a stronger vanilla flavor, but If you don’t have the paste you can double the amount of extract.
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart  bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the bourbon, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. About 4 hours should be good.
Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • half stick butter
  • 2 tbs cream or milk

* This recipe makes enough for leftovers, if you just want enough for the ice cream you only need to make half. I suggest making all of it because it is delicious on just about anything.

Heat sugar on high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. I usually swirl the pan around to make sure the sugar melts evenly.
Once all the sugar is melted, immediately add the butter to the pan. The liquid should be a deep amber color. Whisk until the butter has melted.
Remove from heat and add the cream. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. If the sauce seems too thick add a little more cream. Cool sauce to room temperature before adding to ice cream. If sauce hardens, heat slightly.
Now that you have your ice cream and caramel sauce, you can assemble your ice cream. In the container you plan to store your ice cream place down a layer of ice cream. Next pour in a little caramel. The caramel may melt the ice cream a bit, but that’s ok. Continue to layer ice cream and caramel, ending with ice cream. Freeze just a little so that ice cream can set. Then enjoy!

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One thought on “Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel Swirl

  1. I just made ice cream based on his vanilla recipe too. It was great. I’m definitely a fan of spiked ice cream, so I’m sure this was delicious!

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