Bourbon Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries and Chocolate


It still took me three tries to get this ice cream just right, with a creamy, full flavor, a detectable level of booze that still allowed the ice cream to set, and ruby bits of cherries that stay soft and gooey. As a result, we now have three quarts of ice cream living in our freezer. When I explained this to my friend Vanessa, she said, “Ah – three days worth of ice cream.” I like the way she thinks.

– Alanna Taylor-Tobin – The Bojon Gourmet


Indeed! This is a beautiful, well thought out, relatively complicated ice cream that looks absolutely fantastic! Make this once and I doubt you will ever buy Cherry Garcia again.

What I like about this recipe:

The combination of flavors is as good as it gets, a bourbon vanilla ice cream base, bourbon roasted sweet, fresh cherries and bittersweet chocolate. This recipe is a first rate example of how to use of liquor in ice cream.

The care with which they are combined to maximize both palate and eye appeal. For example, mixing in the roasted cherries after the bourbon ice cream is almost done churning, in order to get a marbled look to ice cream, rather than the uniform pink of a regular cherry ice cream. Also, rather than adding the chocolate as a mix-in of small chunks, as you would see in Cherry Garcia, Alanna adds beautiful alternate layers of drizzled chocolate, when she moves the ice cream to a container for freezing.

With 4 tablespoons of bourbon, it should maintain a very nice scoop-able consistency in your freezer. The author notes that this ice cream is good for a month of storage, and I believe it, though there is no way an ice cream this good would last a week, even in a single person household.

What do I mean by relatively complicated?

Simply that there are more steps and technique required in making this ice cream, than with simpler ones. You will have to:

  • Pit and roast the cherries, and then chill them. Chilling them is essential because of when they are added to the ice cream.
  • Make an egg custard based vanilla ice cream.
  • Shave and melt the chocolate. The chocolate needs to be runny but not to hot to melt the ice cream. If you follow the instructions given, it should be fine.
  • Assemble the ice cream and chocolate in layers, fairly quickly; ice cream has this unfortunate tendency to enjoy melting faster than you would like, especially right out of the ice cream maker. A good spatula will be a must, pre-freezing your container will help, and doing this with a friend should help a great deal.

I wouldn’t let any of this intimidate you, I mean look at the photograph! If you are a fan of these flavors than click over to Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s blog The Bojon Gourmet for the full recipe.


This is recipe with at least 3 simpler knockout variations readily available just by leaving out one or more ingredients.

Bourbon vanilla ice cream

Bourbon cherry vanilla ice cream

Bourbon vanilla with layers of drizzled chocolate.



Bourbon Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries and Chocolate Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Bourbon, vanilla, roasted cherries, chocolate / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 1 hour
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)

4.0 stars based on
1 review

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Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream


This is a very interesting, vegan vanilla ice cream created by Mattie on It is a sophisticated attempt to capture as much of the creaminess and mouth feel of a high butterfat dairy ice cream using only vegan ingredients. Given the reader comments, it looks like he has mostly pulled it off. Also there are links to recipes for other flavors on the site which you will see towards the bottom of the vanilla recipe page.

I plan to be experimenting with and writing a lot about using various ingredients and techniques to improve the texture and freezer life of homemade ice creams here, so I’m always really interested in what success other people are having. This is a particularly relevant topic in relation to creating “healthier” frozen desserts, i.e. lower fat, less sugar or in this case completely vegan.

Some of the things I find interesting about the recipe:

  • The use of apple cider vinegar to in his words “..add subtle notes of sweet cream..” to the flavor. I have never run across this before.
  • The use of xantham gum as a natural stabilizer that adds no discernible flavor to the resulting ice cream but helps a great deal with how smooth the texture ends up being.  It is sold in Whole Foods and in the baking area of many supermarkets by the way.
  • The use as corn syrup (NOT high-fructose corn syrup, don’t panic!) for part of the sugar, an excellent way of reducing ice crystals.
  • The versatility of the recipe, it can be used with any nut-milk or tofu.
  • The comments are from other vegan home ice cream makers and are uniformly positive.

Check out the full recipe on



Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Vanilla / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min


Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base


I wanted to have one post that contains my current version of a sweetened condensed milk ice cream base. This is a work in progress as I keep tinkering with various proportions of milk, cream and condensed milk. Why do I keep tinkering? Because I actually made the perfect version of this once; silky smooth, absolutely perfect texture, that stayed that way for days in the freezer and I didn’t write it down! Sigh..

If you haven’t tried a condensed milk based ice cream, you should. It has a unique, cooked milk, slightly caramelized taste and very nice texture. It is very sweet!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
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Serves: 8
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca or corn starch
  • 2 inches of split, scraped vanilla bean, use a whole for vanilla ice cream
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of milk and tapioca or corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat milk, cream, and condensed milk in a medium, heavy bottomed pot until simmering. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the remixed tapioca/corn starch slurry.
  4. Put back on heat and cook for about a minute or until you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon or spatula, and leave a track that doesn't immediately fill in.
  5. Remove mix from the stove and pre-chill as required by your machine.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions
  7. Store in freezer-proof container with a sheet of cling wrap pressed on to the surface of the ice cream.


Click here for more recipes that incorporate sweetened condensed milk.


French Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a classic French vanilla ice cream recipe that is simply a creme a l’anglaise  (egg custard) frozen in an ice cream maker.  You will be very, very happy if you eat it right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours in your freezer.  After that it will get hard and need a little thawing before you serve it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
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Serves: 6
Classic French recipe for vanilla ice cream. Read embedded links before printing.
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a 2 inch piece of a split and scraped vanilla bean
  1. In a medium, heavy bottomed pan, over a medium heat, cook the milk, vanilla bean (not extract), sugar and salt until it just starts to simmer.
  2. Temper the eggs with the cooked mix using one of these methods
  3. Add the combined mix back to the stove, and cook stirring, until the mix hits a temperature of 170 F or you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon and leave a track that doesn't fill in right away. This should only take a minute or two. Do not overcook or bring to boil.
  4. Immediately pour the mix into a medium heat proof bowl and whisk in the cold cream and vanilla extract if that is what you are using.
  5. Pre-chill as needed. Read this for options.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Serve right away or after 2 - 6 hours hardening in your freezer as you prefer.
  8. Store in a freezer-proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed against the top of the ice cream to prevent frost buildup.


A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base


This recipe is for a basic, very traditional, Philadelphia style ice cream. The primary characteristics of this ice cream are: a 2 or 3  to 1 cream to milk ratio, no eggs, and an uncooked mix. It’s main strength, a  simple, pure, super fresh, uncooked taste, also results in its primary weakness; after more than 4 – 6 hours in your freezer, what you make will become rock hard, with a slightly grainy texture from ice crystal formation.  This style ice cream is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or after just a few hours in your freezer, when it will be delicious. I would also suggest pre-chilling the mix even if you have a built in compressor ice cream maker.  You want everything as cold as possible when you go to freeze this in your ice cream maker.  I would also suggest you use the freshest, highest quality ingredients you can for this recipe as you will taste the difference.

Here is a recipe for about a quart of ice cream.

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A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base
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Serves: 8
A classic Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream recipe
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ - 1 cup of sugar. To taste, ¾ cup is most common.
  • ½ vanilla bean split and scraped. or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • pinch of salt
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a lipped bowl.
  2. Pre-chill using one of the methods described here.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  4. Serve immediately or within 4 - 6 hours in your freezer.
  5. For a full vanilla ice cream, double (or more) the amount of vanilla called for in ingredients above.


A Classic Gelato Base

This is the standard gelato base that I will be updating as I experiment. I put together this recipe to approximate the fantasy ideal of what most people imagine this Italian ice cream to be. That is lower in fat, at least dairy fat, and having a dense, silky-smooth, glossy texture provided by the inclusion of a lot of egg yolks. As you can read about here, this actually describes only one style of gelato, even in Italy.

The most important practical thing to know about making gelato is that it is best served either right from your ice cream maker or after only a few hours of hardening in the freezer. It just doesn’t keep well for long periods of time in a home freezer. You will find that the next day it can be hard as a rock and will need to be thawed a little before you can scoop, let alone serve it. The only problem with this is that if you do it more than a few times the process of melting and re-freezing starts to ruin both the taste and texture of what is left in the container. For that reason my recipe is for one pint rather than a quart. Just double everything if you with to make more.


  • 2/3 cup  heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cup  whole milk
  • 5 large  egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract



  1. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a medium size bowl in your freezer to pre-chill for no more than than 1/2 an hour. If you do this at the start of making this recipe that should be enough time.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of cream and sugar until smooth in a blender.
  3. Add the milk to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
  5. When the milk is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the milk.
  6. Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn’t immediately fill back in.
  7. Remove from heat and immediately pour the mix into the bowl that contains the heavy cream you have been chilling in the freezer. Whisk together until smooth. The purpose of this step is to rapidly lower the temperature of the mix and stop it from continuing to cook.
  8. Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here.
  9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 – 30 minutes.
  10. Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the gelato before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.

Download a pdf of this recipe here.

Notes and Variations

Feel free to flip or even out the proportions of milk to cream. With a two to one cream to milk ratio I would call this a frozen custard and with a one to one proportion, I would call this an ice cream. But what’s in a name?

The number of egg yolks used is completely up to you. In one pint I wouldn’t use fewer than two or more than 6. The more yolks you use, the denser, smoother and glossier the result be. Unfortunately it will also be that much higher in cholesterol.

For a true vanilla gelato I would use 1/4 vanilla bean split and scraped and added to milk when you boil it. You can still add or not as you prefer, the teaspoon of vanilla extract later as the recipe above calls for.

If you prefer a sweeter result you can add up to 1/4 cup more sugar to the recipe above. In the interest of experimenting with texture, instead of adding more table sugar try adding 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. This should help it stay softer in your freezer. Add the corn syrup to the milk when you go to boil it. Another thing we could try to soften the stored texture, is the addition of one tablespoon of an 80 proof alcohol that compliments the flavor you plan to make; for example Meyers rum, bourbon, vodka or maybe a liqueur that you like. Add this right before you pour the mix into your maker.

A Classic Gelato Base

Bob Clark
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

How to Make Ice Cream In a Bag with Kids

I want to say up front that I haven’t tried this recipe myself yet.  But I have gotten so many requests for it along the lines of “Have you heard about making ice cream in a bag?” or “My kids made ice cream in a Ziploc bag at school.” that I decided to go ahead and post this.  As you will see its a very simple process and I have it on good authority that kids love the simple magic of it.  Each Ziploc bag makes a cup of ice cream (2 servings).  I can see this as a fun kid’s party activity. Though come to think of it 15 kids and liquids hmm…   PLEASE NOTE STEP 5:  This mixture gets very, very cold while freezing.


Since I have published this I have gotten feedback from friends that this technique works quite well. See the videos at the end of the post. If you don’t have an ice cream maker I urge you to try this method. You should be able to make up to pint of any recipe on this site with no difficulty especially if you use rock salt rather than table salt.


  • 1 quart size, freezer ready, Ziploc bag
  • 1 gallon size, freezer ready, Ziploc bag
  • 3/4 cups of table salt. Rock or Kosher works even better.
  • 2 cups of ice


  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Add all the ingredients to the quart Ziploc bag.  Try to remove some of the air and seal it securely. Mix the ingredients together by gently shaking and rocking the bag.  “Gentle” may want to be emphasized here.
  2. Add the ice into the gallon ziplocTM bag.
  3. Add the salt (sodium chloride) to the bag of ice.
  4. Place the sealed ice cream bag inside the gallon bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon bag securely.
  5. Gently rock the gallon bag from side to side. It’s best to hold it by the top seal or to have gloves or a cloth between the bag and your hands because the bag will be cold enough to damage your skin.
  6. Keep rocking for between 10-15 minutes at which point the mixture should have solidified into ice cream.
  7. Serve. This is a no lose activity because at worst you will end up with a vanilla “milk shake” and happy kids irregardless of how solid the ice cream actually ends up getting.

Why it works.

Ice needs energy to melt, to phase change from a solid to a liquid.  It draws that energy out of the ice cream mix (and little hands if they aren’t holding the bag by the zipper seam!) causing it to get cold. Adding salt to the ice lowers it’s temperature of freezing so that even more energy than usual is needed to get it to melt.  This cause the ice to get colder and draw out more energy, faster from the ice cream mixture causing it to freeze.

This recipe is based on one by  , in the Science Projects section of   You can read the full post here.


My friends Kristi and Alex decided to try this out with their son Max and as you can see from the short iPhone videos below the process works as advertised. They doubled the recipe and added some thawed out frozen strawberries. I don’t see why you couldn’t make any recipe on this website using this method.

Max tumbling the ice cream while it freezes.

The moment of truth.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Mark Bittman’s World’s Simplest Ice Cream Base

NY Times

Mark Bittman, The New York Times resident foodie and cook has come up with what has to be one of the easiest of all cooked ice cream bases. A basic corn starch base that is simple both in ingredients and in preparation. If you want to make a fast ice cream that is still better than anything you can buy at the supermarket this is the way to go. Plus as he notes in the article you can make this as low fat as you want or need to based on the type of milk or cream you use

Corn Starch Ice Cream Base

Mark Bittman's World's Simplest Ice Cream Base
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Serves: 4
Corn Starch Ice Cream Base Makes 1 Pint
  • 2½ cups light cream, half-and-half or milk (whole or skim), or a combination. You can also substitute buttermilk or yogurt for half (1¼ cups) the mixture.
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  1. In a small bowl blend ½ cup of milk mixture with cornstarch so there are no lumps.
  2. Add the remaining 2 cups of the milk/cream mixture, the sugar and salt to a saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape in the seeds and then add the pod to the pan, if not don't add the vanilla extract now. Cook over a medium low heat until mixture begins to steam.
  3. Remove the vanilla pods and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring until it starts to thicken and just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to very low and stir for another 5 minutes or so until thick.
  4. Take off the heat, stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a bean.
  5. If the mixture has any noticeable lumps, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. If you are not using an ice cream machine with a built in freezing condenser, pour custard into a bowl and refrigerate until cold. This will usually take a couple of hours but here are some options.
  6. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Go to the original recipe for a short list of flavor variations

Corn Starch Ice Cream on the New York Times

A Video of Mr. Bittman preparing the base.

Vanilla Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Eat the Love

I found this amazing vanilla, peach and graham cracker ice cream recipe at Irvin Lin’s wonderful, award winning food blog Eat the Love. It was his contribution to potluck he attended, that as you will see, looks like it was a great afternoon. There is fair amount going on this recipe and it calls for preparing the custard and graham cracker mixes the night before. Consider this an advanced but rewarding recipe.

Vanilla, Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream Recipe at Eat the Love
Note: You have to scroll down towards the bottom of the post to get to the recicpe.

Vanilla Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Peaches / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 1 hour
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min

What is the Difference between Ice Cream and Custard?


Frozen custard is kind of a Gelato/Ice Cream hybrid. It combines the density and egg yolks of gelato with with the balance of more heavy cream than milk of ice cream. Thus maximizing the fat content and density of the two. In the US, by law frozen custard has to contain at least 10% milkfat like ice cream plus at least 1.4% egg yolk solids. Commercial frozen custard machines churn in a way so as not to add air to the mixture; this is very similar to gelato.  Lastly frozen custard is often served at a lower temperature so that it is softer than ice cream. This is also similar to the way gelato is served in Italy.

For the purpose of this website ‘Im going to define frozen custard as ice cream that has a roughly a proportion of 2 cups of cream for every one cup of milk and at least 5 eggs per quart.  Additionally it should be served soft right from the machine.

Here is a basic recipe based on one from the American Egg Board that I found on


What is the Difference between Ice Cream and Custard?
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Frozen Custard Recipe
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. In medium saucepan, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, honey and salt.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat metal spoon and reaches at least 160 degrees.
  3. Cool quickly by setting pan in ice or cold water and stirring for few minutes.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to freeze, pour chilled custard, whipping cream and vanilla into your ice cream maker. If your machine is so equiped, use the gelato paddle and speed setting.
  6. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze to desired firmness.