About Irish Coffee Ice Cream

We like us some Irish coffee. We like us some Irish coffee A LOT. In fact, now that it's playoff season we'll be spending the majority of our time before games at the pub around the corner, sipping a couple of these:

(1 p.m. games = 10 a.m. Irish coffees.) (Also, LET'S GO CAPS!)

Another thing we like is ice cream. We like ice cream A LOT. In fact, just this last summer Winston (cutest kitten in the whole wide world) bought me an ice cream maker for my birthday so's I could do awesome things like PUT BOOZE IN MY ICE CREAM. Because booze is awesome.

Time to go shopping (for booze).

For about a quart of ice cream you'll need:
  • 3 cups of fat-free half-and-half (usually I use 1 1/2 cups of whole milk and 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, but I went this route just to see if it would work. And it did.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (I meant to use decaf, but the boyfriend brought home the wrong stuff.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (any more and your ice cream won't actually freeze. But the resulting Irish coffee milkshakes will be equally delicious. And way boozier. Just not frozen.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (you can press regular grinds through a fine mesh sieve, or use espresso grinds. Also, "grinds" is a funny word.)
First, you're gonna wanna pour yourself a glass of that there whiskey. Gotta make sure it's not poisoned, right?

Next, heat up 2 cups of fat-free half-and-half, all of the sugar, the coffee beans, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan until everything gets all warm and steamy, but not boiling.

Then, put on yer lid, remove the pot from the heat, and let the whole shebang steep at room temperature for an hour to let all the coffee goodness get good and coffee-y.

Pour the remaining cup of fat-free half-and-half into a large bowl, and set a mesh strainer on top. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together.

Reheat your lidded coffee mixture, now unlidded, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (heh). When you've gotten all hot and steamy (heh) slowly pour a little of the mixture at a time into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. If you pour too fast or whisk not enough, you'll end up scrambling your eggs, which is good for breakfast but not for ice cream (as far as I know).

Now to make a custard! Scrape that all that back into the saucepan, stirring it constantly over medium heat with a silicon spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot as you stir. In about 10 minutes, you'll notice the mixture has thickened considerably. Once it coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have it not run, you're done. (With this step, anyway.)

Now pour your custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press down on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the delicious coffee flavor as possible. (You'll notice that the fine mesh will also catch any pieces of scrambled egg you may have accidentally cooked.) Then you can toss the beans in the garbage. Or better yet, the compost heap! Finally, mix in the vanilla, Jameson, and finely ground coffee, and stir until cooled.

Here's the big secret to making ice cream at home: the colder your base is before you put it in the machine, the better. So wrap up your bowl in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge at least overnight. Or, as Jack Bauer has taught us, 24 hours is better. Then, fix up your ice cream maker however you're s'posed to fix it up, flip that baby on, and pour your custard in.

And watch the magic happen!

Also, listen to the magic happen!

Magic is loud!

After 20-30 minutes of loud magic, you'll have this!

Which is about the consistency of soft-serve. So you can either eat it right away, or scoop it all into a container and stick it in the freezer for another couple hours. Either way, YUM.




  2. Awesome. Although, whenever I see a container of 'fat-free half & half' it makes me want to grab a pimply-faced stockboy and scream 'What the fuck does that MEAN??!?!? It's supposed to have fat in it, you oily bastard!!!!!'

    I don't, though, because I'm tactful.

  3. Gaaaaaaaah, this makes me want an ice cream maker so badly. However, that part where you had to wait for an hour and then that OTHER part where you had to wait for 24? That's what's stopping me.

  4. Maybe I would follow hockey more closely if I pregamed with Irish Coffee and Irish Whiskey.

  5. jake - IT'S NOT WORKING!

    sir - i also have a really hard time with this. careful consideration of the ingredients label makes my head explode.

    h!a! - but it is!

    abigail - it's true; you have to wait a REALLY LONG TIME for homemade ice cream.

    gsr - really, that should be an [insert blank here] kinda thing, shouldn't it?

  6. god, that looks completely delicious.

    (side note: good call on throwing the beans in the compost. coffee is an exceedingly rich source of nitrogen. yeah, I'm kind of a garden nerd.)

  7. one day i will have a yard and a garden and a compost heap.

    one day.


  8. Remember Marjory the compost heap (trash heap, whatever) from Fraggle Rock? I heart that show.

    Also, this ice cream? WANT.

  9. Costco.com has the BEST composter! You can add to it in between batches so you don't have stuff sitting around for 2 weeks waiting to go in the composter. Plus, red wiggly earthworms live in the top, and you can take compost out anytime you're potting something. I don't know about how it would fit in an apartment, though.