March has arrived and we’re thinking spring (finally!). It also means that St. Patrick’s Day is only a couple of weeks away. It’s time to dig out our recipes for old favorites like Irish Soda Bread and corned beef and cabbage. Green beer, green bagels, shamrock cookies and Irish potatoes— everyone has their St. Patty’s Day favorites.
While some folks may be looking forward to their pint of Guinness, I’m more likely to treat myself to a little Bailey’s Irish Cream over ice. Which led me to think: wouldn’t that make a great ice cream, perfect to top off a St. Patrick’s Day dinner. For an innovative dessert, try this recipe for Bailey’s Irish Cream ice cream, a variation on a standard vanilla custard based ice cream. You could top it off with some green sprinkles for fun. A scoop would be terrific over a Guinness chocolate cake . How about a St. Patrick’s Day Bailey’s milk shake?
Working with a custard can be tricky, but patience is key—just take it slow and simmer over low heat. No boiling! And while it’s generally true that you can’t have too much of a good thing, resist the urge to increase the amount of Bailey’s, since alcohol does interfere with the freezing process.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Ice Cream
5 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. Bailey’s Irish Cream
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar, using either a whisk or hand mixer on low speed . Beat until light and thick.
Whisk together the cream, milk,1/2 cup sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat. When it just begins to boil, remove from the heat and whisk about a third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks; repeat with another third of the cream, then return the entire cream/yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir with a wooden spoon over low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Do not let it boil or you will have scrambled eggs!
Strain into a bowl to eliminate any tiny pieces of egg in your custard. Bring the mixture to room temperature. Stir in the Bailey’s Irish Cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
Churn in an ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will be very soft. If you want a firmer ice cream, which I would recommend, transfer your mixture to a freezer safe container and freeze overnight.
Makes about 6 cups.
(Adapted from basic custard "Vanilla Bean Ice Cream" in Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Recipe Booklet)