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Vanilla Bean Ice cream with Bourbon

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream top view

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  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and seeds scraped out)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 12 Tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium pot, mix the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Stir in the vanilla seeds and the split bean. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for at least 1 hour.
  3. As the hour is nearing an end, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl in the ice water. Add the cream into the inner bowl (to help the mixture cool quicker!).
  4. Rewarm the milk on medium heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pot. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
  5. Once the milk is hot again, pour half of the mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  6. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and whisk. Cook on low heat while whisking constantly until temp is 175°F. Immediately strain the custard into the bowl with cream in the ice bath. (the strainer will catch the vanilla bean)
  7. Add vanilla extract and cool the custard to below 70°F by stirring occasionally in the ice bath.
  8. Once cooled, add the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add in bourbon at the end when it beeps for add-ins.


I used 1 Tbsp. bourbon and I thought it was plenty, but if you want a stronger flavor you could double it.

if you don’t have a thermometer, remove the mixture from heat once the liquid coats the back of a spatula.

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