Double Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Cardamom

November 10, 2010
By Holly Jennings

On a beautiful early September day, following a late summer swim, my friend Kristina and I found ourselves in one of those classic general stores that are still to be found in Vermont, selling local handicrafts, artisanal cheeses,  hand-scooped cones, everyday necessities like scouring powder and laundry detergent, and one remaining apple pie, looking very handmade and beautiful. We would have that pie for dessert that evening. Why not make some ice cream to go with it, I suggested. My favorite flavor is vanilla (or even just sweet cream), but Kristina wanted something more exciting, something with things in it. She suggested rum raisin, a good idea for apple pie.


Kristina had just been telling me about a trip to India she had taken with her brother and sister-and-law, where every dessert she’d tried had cardamom in it, and not a little  bit, but a lot. She was sick of cardamom-flavored desserts. I like challenges. This was a perfect opportunity to create something with cardamom that she will like.  (I knew apples and cardamom are nice together because my grandmother used to make a simple stewed apple dish with ground cardamom.) It’s true, by the way, that most of the desserts in Entice with Spiceby Shubhra Ramineni, the  current DCCC cookbook pick, use cardamom. There’s only one that doesn’t: Rasgoola, or Sweet Cheese Ball Dessert.


Kristina did like this ice cream, and since making it for her I’ve tweaked it a couple of times. What I discovered is that too much alcohol keeps ice cream from freezing as solidly as it should (the freezing point of alcohol is much lower than cream and milk), so I reduced the amount of rum. I had started out with 1/2 cup rum—way too much! The quantity of rum in this version still makes for a slightly soft consistency, but my friends loved it, saying it was the ideal consistency for eating. If you like ice cream very firm, reduce the quantity of rum by half.


Double Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Cardamom


¼ cup golden raisins

¼ cup dark raisins

2 tablespoons light rum

2 tablespoons dark rum

1/3 cup demerra sugar

2 cups whole milk, divided

5 tablespoons honey

4 cups heavy cream or whipping cream

Pinch of salt

¾ teaspoon fresh ground cardamom seeds (from about 10 cardamom pods)


Combine the raisins and rum in small bowl and cover. Let sit overnight.


Place the sugar and 1 cup of the milk in small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Chill the milk. (The fastest way to chill it is to set it is to tranfer it to a bowl and set it in an ice water bath.)


While the sweetened milk is chilling, puree the raisins and rum in a small food processer. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the honey.


In a large bowl, combine the chilled, sweetened milk, the remaining 1 cup of unsweetened milk, the cream, salt and ground cardamom.


Process the cream mixture in an ice cream maker. When the ice cream is set, add the pureed raisins. Process until thoroughly combined. Let firm up in the freezer for a day prior to eating. Makes about 2 quarts.

0 Comments to “Double Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Cardamom”

  1. What a great recipe – rum raisin is the perfect canvas for adding in new and interesting flavors. How about ginger, for a Dark & Stormy ice cream?

  2. Holly Jennings says:

    Great idea. Or how about ginger, rum and lime as an ice cream profile? Or better yet, how about making a Dark & Story, sans ice, and then put a couple scoops of Double Rum Raisin Ice Cream in it for a Dark & Story float? Double Yum.


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