Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Whenever I tell Graham that I am going to make homemade ice cream, the first question out of his mouth is, “are you making rum raisin?” Of all of the ice cream I’ve made since getting an ice cream maker last summer, rum raisin ice cream is by far our favorite.  In general, I’m a big fan of any rum-flavored dessert, but rum raisin ice cream has a special place in my heart for other reasons as well…

The first time I had rum raisin ice cream was actually on a trip to Guatemala.  A good friend and I travelled around Guatemala for about 3 weeks after we graduated from our masters program.  Overall the trip was fantastic, but there was one low point, and rum raisin ice cream ended up being the silver lining of that part of the trip.

Throughout our trip, we kept hearing from people we met that we had to visit Semuc Champey.  They all described it is one of the most gorgeous spots in Guatemala, so we rearranged our whole trip to go.  However, instead of seeing beautiful natural pools of turquoise, emerald green, and sapphire blue, all we saw was a muddy brown river.  Apparently, the rain the night before had caused the river to flood and had temporarily washed out this natural wonder.

Frustrated by our bad luck, we consoled ourselves with dessert that night.  I ordered a slice of carrot cake and luckily for me it came with a scope of helado de ron y pasas.  The carrot cake was forgettable, but the rum raisin ice cream was awesome!  I became an instant fan and totally forgot about the day’s troubles.   I think I spent the rest of that trip (and the many years following) sampling rum raisin ice cream wherever I could find it.  Finally, I made some of my own…

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • ½ cup rum
  • 1-inch strip of orange zest
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1¼  cups heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks

Mix together the raisins, rum, and orange zest in a small saucepan.  Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes and remove from heat.  Cover the pan and let stand for a few hours (this can be done the day before you freeze the ice cream).  

In a medium pot stir together the milk, sugar, ¼ cup of the cream, and the salt.  Heat the mixture for a few minutes or until it is warm.  Place the remaining cup of cream in a large bowl with a mesh strainer on top.  Put the egg yolks into a different bowl and mix them together.  Slowly pour the warmed milk into the yolks while continuously whisking.  

Pour the egg yolk and milk mixture back into the pot and stir constantly over medium heat.  The custard is ready when it has thickened significantly and coats the back of a spatula/spoon.  Strain the custard into the bowl with the cream. Stir the custard and then let it chill completely in the refrigerator (a few hours at least).  

Once the custard has cooled, drain the rum from the raisins and reserve the rum. Discard the orange zest.  Add 3 tablespoons of the rum from the raisin to the custard (if you don’t have enough, top it off with more rum). Freeze the custard in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  A few minutes before the ice cream is done, stir in the raisins. 

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Five Chefs (Gourmet Fare!)

A super creamy custard base paired with plump boozy raisins is a winning combination anytime of year!

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

Though it is not particularly hard to make, this recipe requires some special equipment—an ice cream maker—so we lowered the rating on the easy scale a bit.

Healthy Rating


One Apples (This Might Take A Year Off Your Life)

If you’ve come to our blog looking for a healthy dessert, this one is not for you—it is full of heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, egg yolks, and rum.   I try not to make it too often, and when I do, we eat it in very small servings.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

The eggs were cage-free, local, and organic, and many of the other ingredients were organic.
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