Whiskey and Spiced Walnut Ice Cream

Looking for a unique frozen treat or specialty cocktail for Memorial Day weekend? How about rolling them into ONE and serving up Whiskey and Spiced Walnut Ice Cream. Seriously.

I’m not that much of a drinker. There are several reasons for this. Most importantly, alcohol usually doesn’t sit well with my stomach. Two, I’d much rather EAT my calories than drink them. Three, when I have a cocktail I inevitably say really stupid things… in front of people… in inappropriate situations. There, I said it. I’m better off staying away from booze and avoiding the embarrassment.

That is, unless I’m cooking. Whether it’s wine, beer or straight liquor, when I’m in the kitchen I often find myself reaching for the bottle. Liquor is crafted and aged with the sole purpose of creating intense depth of flavor. This flavor has to shine above the potential burn of the alcohol. Therefore it is the perfect ingredient to add “intense depth of flavor” to any dish.

My libation of choice is whiskey. With variations like Scotch, Bourbon and Irish Whiskey, the possibilities are endless. Each holds it’s own distinct flavor that can saturate and perfume dishes with intoxicating gusto. I tend to use Bourbon most often; it’s American made, it’s sweet and the aroma it hard to beat.

Ice Cream is the perfect place to let whiskey shine. The smooth creamy texture of ice cream accentuates the pure essence of Bourbon. Adding fresh vanilla bean, brown sugar and spiced walnuts gives this Whiskey and Spiced Walnut Ice Cream recipe dynamic boldness and a little crunch for good measure.

Homemade ice cream is a relatively simple task. You need a little time for chilling, but not a lot of skill. Just make sure to be on guard for curdling.

Curdling is the one thing that can ruin your liquored-up ice cream lick fest. Most ice cream recipes call for egg yolks. If the egg yolks are simmered too long–WHAM, curdle! Whisking your egg yolks with sugar before adding them to the cream mixture helps eliminate curdle. In this recipe, the whiskey can also curdle the cream. So it’s best to add the bourbon, right at the end, before the ice cream is poured into the ice cream maker.

Here’s how to do it:

Place the cream, milk, vanilla bean seeds, and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk well. Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Once the cream mixture is warm and ALMOST simmering, add the egg yolk mixture, a little at a time. Whisk vigorously (or use a immersion blender) to combine the egg yolks, so they don’t curdle. Stir another 1-2 minutes, until the mixture thickens a little. Then remove from heat. Place in the fridge for at least four hours. *You can speed up the chilling process by placing it in the freezer for 1 hour—just don’t forget about it!

Meanwhile, make the Spiced Walnuts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the walnuts in a bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the sugar, salt and spices. In a third bowl, whisk the egg white and whiskey together until frothy. Pour the egg mixture over the nuts. Toss until well coated. Then add the sugar mixture and toss. Pour the walnuts onto the baking sheet. Try not to pour any of the extra liquid on the sheet. Separate them as best as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes—stirring once. Allow them to cool completely.

Once the ice cream mixture is chilled, pour the mixture into an electric ice cream maker. NOW add the whiskey and let it churn for 20-30 minutes to soft serve consistency. Add the spiced walnuts to the ice cream maker and churn in, or reserve them to serve on top! Serve immediately on place in an air-tight container and freeze.

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Yield: 1.5 quarts

Prep Time: 20 minutes active time

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Whiskey and Spiced Walnut Ice Cream

Ingredients:

For the Spiced Walnuts:
1 Tb. egg white (about half the white of a large egg)
2 tsp. whiskey
2 cups walnut pieces
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. all spice
¼ tsp cayenne (optional)

For the Ice Cream:
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 Tb. vanilla bean paste)
½ tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
5 egg yolks
3 Tb. whiskey (Bourbon)

Directions:

Place the cream, milk, vanilla bean seeds, and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk well.

Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Whisk well. Once the cream mixture is warm and ALMOST simmering, add the egg yolk mixture a little at a time. Whisk vigorously (or use a immersion blender) to combine the egg yolks, so they don’t curdle.

Stir another 1-2 minutes, until the mixture thickens a little. Then remove from heat. Place in the fridge for at least four hours. *You can speed up the chilling process by placing it in the freezer for 1 hour—just don’t forget about it!

Meanwhile, make the Spiced Walnuts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Place the walnut in a bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the sugar, salt and spices. In a third bowl, whisk the egg white and whiskey together until frothy.

Pour the egg mixture over the nuts. Toss until well coated. Then add the sugar mixture and toss. Pour the walnuts onto the baking sheet. Try not to pour any of the extra liquid on the sheet. Separate them as best as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes—stirring once. Allow them to cool completely.

Once the ice cream mixture is chilled, pour the mixture into an electric ice cream maker. NOW add the whiskey and let it churn for 20-30 minutes to soft serve consistency.

Add the spiced walnuts to the ice cream maker and churn in, or reserve them to serve on top! Serve immediately on place in an air-tight container and freeze.

Somebody snaggle-toothed kept trying to sneak into my photo-shoot… Efforts rewarded!

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72 Responses to “Whiskey and Spiced Walnut Ice Cream”

  1. #
    51
    Becky, girl guided by cookbooks — May 28, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    Hi. i just discovered your blog through FoodBuzz, and i really enjoy your writing and pictures. Especially the “Cooking 101″ page! Will defenitly make my way back here to read more :)

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Amy — May 28, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    Booze & Ice Cream…..an awesome combination! The eggs in the picture are beautiful too. ;)

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Chelsea Talks Smack — May 28, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    Wow, this sounds incredible.

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } — May 28, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    OMG – this looks like just a supreme ice cream. I am not much of a whiskey drinker but I can imagine that it is perfect in this dessert along with those divine walnuts. Congrats on the Top 9 today!!

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) — May 28, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Wow, everything about this is fabulous. I’ve been meaning to make room for my ice cream maker canister in the freezer and I think your ice cream has just convinced me to finally do it. :-)

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — May 28, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    OMG, this is amazing, Sommer! Boozy ice cream with crunchy, spicy nuts!!! So glad that you’d rather eat your calories than drink them! Congrats on the Top 9 – just gorgeous, and love the last shot :)

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Anna — May 28, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Congrats on top 9 Sommer, your ice cream looks divine. And with whiskey OMG! Yummmmmm!!!

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Cookin' Canuck — May 28, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

    This is evil – that’s a really good thing when it comes to ice cream. Gorgeous photos, Sommer!

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    kita — May 29, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    doesn’t this look like a devilish little dessert? I love the idea of whiskey with ice cream. (I only really care for whiskey in things – but when its in things -mmmmm). And the walnuts. Oh yeah – I could use a few spoonfuls of this right now.

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Magic of Spice — June 1, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    Absolutely gorgeous idea for an ice cream…brilliant!

    Reply

  11. #
    61
    Alessio — June 5, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Lovely ice-cream flavors! I wish I had a proper freezer to make it :(

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    Heather {Multiply Delicious} — June 6, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    Wow! This looks and sounds amazing! And your photo’s are gorgeous! Now I want ice cream. :)

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    Gwen — June 20, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    Oh my gosh! This sounds so awesome. I can’t wait to tell my mom about this, she was just saying this morning how Black Walnut ice cream was the only kind she likes and she can’t find it here in Az.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply

  14. #
    64
    Nancy Long — March 14, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    Can’t wait to try this one – it’s sounds like it’s right up there with my Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream

    Reply

  15. #
    65
    Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch — August 4, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    I need to stop browsing blogs before breakfast because all I want is a few scoops of this ice cream! Delish!

    Reply

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