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It seems to me that raisins have fallen out of favor.  Remember the ubiquitous little boxes that were a staple of school lunches?  Remember cinnamon rolls WITH raisins? Remember GORP?

I’m not sure when the raisin become old-fashioned, but you just don’t see it around like you used to.

I, however, am a champion of the raisin. My favorite raisin is the golden raisin (aka sultana), but there are occasions when I go dark…like for Rum Raisin Ice Cream for instance.

Rum Raisin is a relatively rare flavor.  Much like its namesake, you just don’t see it around…raisins that is, not rum. I doubt that rum will ever go out of style. When you do find Rum Raisin, it is hardly ever rummy enough or raisiny enough for my taste.

To make this batch, I used my favorite egg-free method, loaded it with lots of extra boozy raisins and used whole milk instead of cream so it is technically gelato.  If you want to make this extra rich and creamy, you can transform it back into ice cream by substituting half-and-half for the the whole milk.

Rum Raisin Gelato

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  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1-inch strip of orange zest
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 big pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Place the raisins, 1 cup rum, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Cover the pan and let stand for a few hours or overnight.

Add 1 cup milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 large pinch of kosher salt and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk. Continue whisking over medium high heat until it comes to a boil, about 5-6 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook while whisking for an additional minute. Take off the heat and whisk in the 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of rum. Transfer to a different bowl or your trusty pyrex measuring cup.

Cool all this down by placing the container with the cream into an ice bath for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take care not to get water into the cream.

When the mixture is cool, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture to prevent a “skin” from forming on the top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to make the ice cream, turn your on ice cream maker and freeze the mixture according to your machine’s instructions. It will not harden all the way. Mine takes about 25 minutes to reach a thick soft serve consistency.

At the end, drain the raisins and add them gradually to the ice cream maker churning for an additional couple of minutes. At first, I thought I had made too many raisins, but the gelato took them all!

 

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