You just can’t buy rum raisin ice cream with real rum flavour like homemade! This recipe uses a tried-and-proven method using whipped cream and condensed milk, no ice cream maker required. So easy it’s going to blow your mind!
Welcome back to the final instalment of Jamaican week! To recap, we started off with Jerk Fish, followed by two fabulous Jamaican sides – coconut rice and peas (beans, actually!) and Jamaican Slaw (adore). And here today with dessert – rum raisin ice cream, the EASY way!!
Worth making: rum raisin ice cream
These days you can actually get quite good quality ice cream at the grocery store, though you do pay through the nose for it. But there are certain ice cream flavours that just don’t translate well when produced on a mass scale. Real fruit flavours, for one (like strawberry and mango).
And real rum flavour. Partially, I assume, because of regulations prohibiting the sale of booze-laden food in regular grocery stores.
So if you’ve only ever had store bought rum raisin ice cream, the flavour in this homemade one is going to knock your socks off. I especially love the little chewy pops of rum soaked raisins!
About the no-churn ice cream method
This ice cream recipe uses a miracle no-ice-cream-maker method that’s been around for decades! It uses fluffy whipped cream which replicates the effect of incorporating air into traditional ice cream by churning in an ice cream maker. Meanwhile, the condensed milk adds sweetness as well as preventing the mixture from freezing into a block of ice.
What’s the difference to using an ice cream maker? The melted ice cream is a bit richer (creamier) because no-churn ice cream is made using cream as the base whereas traditional ice cream is made with milk and egg. Hardly a “negative”! You can see the drips on the ice cream at the top of the post are thicker than traditional ice cream.
Ingredients in rum raisin ice cream
Here’s what you need to make this incredible rum raisin ice cream:
Cream – Just ordinary whipping cream. I use thickened cream (heavy cream) but any whipping cream works fine. (Low fat cream is not an option here, recipe won’t work).
The aeration in the whipped cream replicates the effect of churning with an ice cream maker which is called for with traditional ice cream recipes.
Condensed milk – Sweetened milk sold in cans which has a syrupy consistency. Find it in the long-life milk aisle. This adds sweetness into the ice cream and prevents the mixture from freezing into a block of ice, keeping the mixture scoop able like real ice cream!
Rum – Use a golden or dark (brown) rum, for colour and flavour. Not a clear/white rum like Bacardi. I use Appleton Estate (pictured above) which is a good Jamaican made rum brand available here in Australia. But any rum will work here, even an economical one (we’re not doing shots here, it’s mixed with other flavours, so it’s ok!).
Non alcoholic option – Use rum essence instead! I would soak the raisins in hot water + rum essence (to plump them up). Then add rum essence into the ice cream mixture to taste. You can just stir it in at the end – add and taste, add and taste! The ice cream texture will be fine. It will be a touch firmer than pictured which actually is a good thing because one challenge I had with this recipe was to get enough rum flavour in it without the ice cream being too soft (because rum does not freeze).
Raisins – Did the recipe name give it away? 😂 Sultanas make a fine substitute. Other dried fruit, like cranberries, cherries, even chopped dates, will work fine too as an alternative.
Allspice (oops, missing from the photo!) – For a hint of extra flavour. I tried it with and without (I know, my job, it’s so hard….) and just a bit of spicing makes it even better! But, it is optional.
Vanilla – For flavour.
How to make rum raisin ice cream
Soak raisins – Soaking raisins in rum is key not only for great rum flavour but also because the rum stops the raisins from freezing into mini ice cubes.
Give the raisins a rough chop. This helps them absorb the rum more easily. Break them up with your fingers (they are often packed together tightly in the bags) then soak in hot rum for 30 minutes.
The raisins should absorb most of the rum. If there’s any residual liquid, pour it off. You want to limit the total liquid rum in the ice cream mixture to 1/4 cup (60 ml) total. Any more than this and the ice cream won’t set enough because rum doesn’t freeze due to the high alcohol content. Yes, I did trial and error to figure out the maximum amount of rum I could get into the ice cream!!
Condensed milk & flavours – Beat together the condensed milk, vanilla and allspice powder, just to combine. You don’t actually need a beater for this step, I just do because I’ve got the beater out anyway. Just give it a quick wipe before whipping the cream.
Stir in raisins – Add the rum soaked raisins and stir to mix through.
Whip cream until it is well whipped. It will take about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes with a handheld beater, or 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on high with a stand mixer. We are not looking for elegant softly whipped cream here. We want good aeration! (But not butter, which is what you’ll end up with at about the 8 minute mark, so stop before then! 😂)
Lighten condensed milk – Add a big scoop of whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture then fold through with a rubber spatula or big scooping spoon. The purpose of this step is to lighten up the condensed milk mixture before mixing it all into the cream to maintain as much aeration in the cream as we can. More aeration = creamier ice cream!
Just gently mix the cream through until it is mostly incorporated. Some lumps is fine.
Mix with cream – Pour the condensed milk mixture into the cream them fold to combine until it is cream-lump-free.
Be gentle here, don’t mix vigorously, as we want to preserve as much of the aeration in the cream as we can. To help remove cream lumps, “smear” visible cream bits across the surface or against the side of the bowl rather than vigorously stirring.
Pour the mixture into a glass or ceramic container that is at least 1.5 litres / 1.5 quarts. I use a 1.75 litre / 1.75 quart glass loaf pan (28 x 15 x 7.5cm / 11 x 6 x 3″).
Smooth the surface, pop a lid on or cover with cling wrap.
Freeze for 12 hours. Then scoop and serve like normal ice cream!
You can basically scoop it straight out of the freezer, you don’t need to leave it out even for a minute before scooping. This is the rum at work – alcohol doesn’t freeze solid. So, as noted above, actually my biggest “challenge” in this recipe was figuring out how I can max out rum flavour without the ice cream ending up like a slushy! (The answer is reflected in the recipe 😂)
Serve in cones or in bowls, as many or as little scoops as you like.
The ice cream will keep in the freezer for months, just like “real” ice cream. It does freeze a little firmer from day 3 and beyond, it only requires a few minutes on the counter before scooping.
Lastly, just a note on the booziness of this ice cream! Even though the amount of rum per serving is not that much (3/4 cup in total), let’s keep this one away from kids and pooches. Ordinarily my recipes that use alcohol will cook the alcohol out so it’s negligible in the finished dish. But in rum raisin ice cream, it is not. And that’s just how we grown ups love it! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Rum raisin ice cream (easy, no ice cream maker!)
Rum soaked raisins (Note 1):
- 1 1/2 cups raisins (separate with fingers)
- 1/2 cup rum (preferably Jamaican! Note 2)
- 1 x 395g / 14oz can condensed milk (Note 3)
- 1/4 cup rum, dark or golden (preferably Jamaican! Note 2)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp allspice powder , optional
- 2 cups thickened/heavy cream, fridge cold (any whipping cream works)
Serving (all optional)
- Ice cream cones
- Rum raisin chocolate , finely chopped (pictured in post)
Rum soaked raisins:
- Chop – Roughly chop the raisins (about in half) and break them up with your fingers so they are not stuck together.
- Soak – Heat the rum in a small saucepan on medium high, just until hot. Add raisins, spread to submerge as best you can. Then leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Pour off excess – The raisins should absorb most of the rum. If not, see Note 4.
- Condensed milk & flavourings – Place the condensed milk, rum, vanilla and all-spice in a bowl. Briefly beat just to combine with a handheld beater (or mix by hand), then stir in the rum soaked raisins.
- Whipped cream – Place the cream in a separate large bowl and beat on high with an electric beater for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until well whipped (stand mixer 1 – 1 1/2 minutes). We're not looking for "soft whipped" here, we want stiff peaks and good aeration!
- Fold together – Fold about 1 cup whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. Once mostly incorporated (some lumps is fine), pour the condensed milk mixture into the cream and gently continue folding until smooth (minimise folding as less aeration = denser ice cream). To help remove lumps, "smear" visible cream bits across the surface or against the side of the bowl rather than vigorously stirring.
- Freeze 12 hours – Spread in a 1.5 litre / 1.5 quart container (Note 6). Cover with lid or cling wrap. Freeze at least 12 hours.
- Serve! To scoop, you'll only need to leave it out for a minute or two, like real ice cream! Then scoop and serve in bowls or in cones. I topped mine with chopped rum raisin chocolate, because, why not? 🙂
More no-churn ice cream to try!
Life of Dozer
Definitely no rum and raisin ice cream for Dozer! No booze, no dried fruit. But he happily settled for a plain ice cream cone!