March 15, 2007

It's Ok to Love it THIS Much!

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This ice cream is so good that it makes me want to cry! Alright, maybe not cry, but it makes me want to eat a whole lot of it. That’s why, although it’s my new favourite flavour, I can never make it again because I would have no probably devouring an entire tub in one sitting and that’s just not right. The strange thing is that this isn’t a flavour I would have even considered a mere few weeks ago. There’s no chocolate in it, no caramel, it doesn’t seem to make any sense. But once you taste it, everything comes together. What is this miracle flavour? It’s a vanilla custard based ice cream with prunes flamed in Armagnac and it should come as no surprise that the recipe is courtesy of all things good, Dorie Greenspan. I first experienced this flavour combination when I made the cake that got Dorie fired. Right away I was hooked.

Prior to that experience I didn’t know that I liked Armagnac, but apparently I really do. My Armagnac of choice has been Armagnac de Montal and I’ve been trying it in more than a few recipes and it’s superb. I didn’t know I liked prunes that much either until the cake. I had never baked with them and I think my exposure to prunes was limited to eating stewed prunes at my Grandma’s house. So I had no idea that prunes and Armagnac were good on their own let alone together. The technique of flaming dried fruits in alcohol was also something I’d never done before but that inspired me to play around with it and try different fruits and different alcohols. One of the best things to come out of my experimentation was a wonderful Chocolate, Cherry & Rum cheesecake.

As good as it was though, I still loved the flavour of prunes and Armagnac and wanted to try it out in more than just cake. What do I love more than cake? Ice cream! Who makes great ice cream? Dorie! And it just so happened that I had three egg yolks leftover from when I made my Lime, Mango and Ginger Meringue pie, (from another fantastic Dorie recipe) so it was like I was destined to make this ice cream. It’s unlike any other ice cream I’ve ever had and I’m completely in love with it. Don’t turn your nose up at it until you’ve tried it, it may just replace chocolate in your life…


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Best Ice Cream EVER (Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)


1 cup 1% milk (that’s what was in the fridge, feel free to up it to whole)

1 cup heavy cream

3 large egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

10 prunes, chopped

¼ cup Armagnac

¼ cup water


Put the prunes and ¼ cup Armagnac in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until most of the water evaporates. Remove the pan from heat and light it on fire! Weeeewww!!!! Look at those flames go! When the flames die out, pour the prunes and any leftover liquid into a bowl to cool.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until well blended and slightly thickened. Continue whisking and pour about 1/3 of the hot liquid into the egg mixture to temper it. Continue whisking and pour the remaining liquid into the egg mixture. Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over med heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Dorie says the custard should reach 170F but not more than 180F… I don’t have a thermometer so I wouldn’t know). Remove the pan from the heat and strain into a clean, heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla and Armagnac mixture and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.


If you’re wondering about other fantastic ice cream flavours that Dorie inspires, I suggest you add world peace cookie dough to chocolate ice cream. Oooooh yeah!



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23 comments:

Ilva said...

Beautiful photos and I have bookmarked the recipe, it sounds divine! Thanks Brilynn!

Freya and Paul said...

Thanks for the tip about using 1% milk. We don't drink full fat in our household and I've always bought full fat to make ice cream thinking that anything less wouldn't churn properly.
And thanks also for making my mind up about buying some Armagnac next month!

Meeta said...

This is an incredible recipe. I think I missed it in the book. Will have to go check it out. But I've bookmarked it nonetheless. The photos are great Bri.

Shaun said...

Brilynn - Eric and I have been making Ina Garten's Armagnac and Vanilla Bean ice cream for years now. It is our absolute favorite ever. Actually, I think I have invented a flavor combination and that might be our new favorite, but we have to play with it some more. Anyway, this is great, and now I'm keep to try adding prunes to it because I, too, have often read about the supposedly unbeatable combination of armagnac and prunes. Great job!

Lydia said...

I never would have given this recipe a second glance (prunes?), but as you say it is the BEST EVER, I'll have to rethink!

Ellie said...

Those are some pretty special photos, and even though our summer is over, I think you've just sealed the deal on my buying a damn ice cream maker!

*sigh*

Maybe I should look at investing in a home cross-trainer as well :/

Margaret said...

Prunes and Armagnac are a match made in heaven - I would never have thought about using prunes in icecream though, what a clever idea.

valentinA said...

My my, doesn't your ice cream look ever so yummy?? If I could, I'd eat my computer screen!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Brilynn, your text is so witty I feel like running home right now to cook!!
Wonderful reading. :)

I wish I could have this ice cream now, even for lunch! ;)

Maria said...

Oh yum! The ice cream looks heavenly! Great photos! I just got an ice cream maker so I will have to try this one for sure.

Marce said...

Food bloggers are ruining my budget, and killing my storage space (or lack thereof). First, I NEED Dorie´s book, yet I can´t have it. Now, I need an ice-cream maker, but where on earth would I store it in my small kitchen? Argh! I want homemade ice cream of weird flavors :(

sher said...

OH those pictures!!!!! I've never had Armagnac--but now I will. I imagine their sales wil go up and they will have you to thank! :):)

s'kat said...

I'm glad I saw the picture before diving into the post... prunes?! You've completely sold me on this.

Diner Girl said...

Oh, baby.... that looks good.

Sara said...

Sounds amazing, I've never tried Armagnac before, maybe I should...Long Live Dorie!

Helene said...

Actually this ice cream makes a lot of sense and I am glad you thought about it and glad you are sharing it with us...think about run-raisin gone upscale! Great recipe!

Linda said...

woah this looks amazing!!!!! i adore the photographs as well.

Elle said...

Mmmm.... prunes and Armagnac is a wonderful combination. This ice cream looks like the ultimate ice cream. Great photos, too.

Kristen said...

What brand/model of ice cream maker do you use? You make it sound like it is so easy to put together. This looks so fantastic!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Fantastic when the oddest flavors come together! Prunes are really under-rated.
Beautiful looking photos and your writting puts it over the top good.

Brilynn said...

Kristen- My ice cream maker is about 20 years old and it's the kind where you freeze the tub adn then churn it by hand. It's not fancy, but it works!

thepassionatecook said...

that's interesting! we have a fantabulous icecream maker where i live and they excell with unusual flavours. my favourite so far has been ... prune! and now, i'll be able to make some myself!!! if i can find the courage....

Jerry said...

OK. I made my FIRST every ice cream and my first ever recipe from your site (see, told you I would eventually). I think I need to buy myself a thermometer though because I was kind of confused by what you meant by "coating the spoon" and I think I overheated the custard (Well, I KNOW I overheated it as I ended up with some "scrambled eggs")... But, I drained out the rest of the custard and I followed the process. Last night it didn't taste "amazing" as the texture was off a bit. But, now that it sat in my freezer in a ziplocked container it tastes great today. Oh, the local LCBO didn't have Aramagnac (sp?) so I used some Calvados I had lying around. Now to find some other ice cream recipes and add another 20 lbs over the summer ;)