I had been looking to bake something, but it's been a scorcher of a week. I went to the beach yesterday and actually didn't enjoy it, compliments of what felt like heatstroke. So forget any recipes I had been eyeing that involved using the oven. My mother forbids using the oven at her house in the summer, but how else can you get great summer pies and cobblers? But even I couldn't argue with that on these 95-degree days, so ice cream it was. And what an ice cream.
This tastes just like Bailey's, and is one of the best ice cream recipes I've ever made. Some ice creams turn a little icy or crystallized, but this was very rich, creamy, and luxurious. The alcohol is cooked out, but the taste still has some potency. The book also has suggestions for mixing it up: throwing in a half-cup of chocolate chips at the end, or a teaspoon of espresso powder for fans of Irish coffee.
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Irish Ice Cream
From Bruce Weinstein's The Ultimate Ice Cream Book
1½ cups Irish cream liqueur
½ cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring the liqueur to a simmer in a small, heavy saucepan placed over medium heat. Cook until the liqueur is reduced to about ½ cup, 5 to 7 minutes. The liqueur will appear thicker and slightly syrupy. Set aside. (I recommend stirring so the sugars don't scorch; also, mine reached this stage with a yield of about ¾ cup.)
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow. Set aside.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium heavy saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly. Mix in the reduced liqueur, cream, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in one or two batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least two hours.