Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 quart milk, heated

  2. 1 small piece of vanilla bean, split down one side, or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  3. 10 egg yolks

  4. 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar

  5. Pinch of salt

  6. 30 Prunes in Armagnac (pages 397-398), pitted, plus

  7. 1/4 cup of the syrup, plus extra prunes for garnish, if you have them

  8. 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. A day before serving, in a heavy enameled saucepan, scald the milk with the vanilla bean; set aside, covered, to keep warm.

  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale, and a ribbon forms when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in a pinch of salt.

  3. In a heavy enameled or stainless steel saucepan, warm the beaten eggs and sugar over very low heat, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the hot milk. Cook, over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, the froth on the surface has disappeared, and the custard registers about 165°F on a candy thermometer. Do not let boil. Immediately remove from the heat.

  4. Strain the custard into a chilled mixing bowl set over ice. Cool down quickly, stirring constantly. If using vanilla extract, stir it in at this point. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

  5. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the prunes with a large sharp knife or by pulsing in a food processor. When the ice cream is half frozen, add the prunes and the Armagnac syrup.

  6. When almost frozen, add the cream. When the ice cream is done, pack into a 2-quart ice cream mold and set in the freezer overnight.

  7. About 20 minutes before serving, transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator to soften slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. To help loosen the ice cream, soak a kitchen towel in hot water, wring it out, and wrap around the mold. If necessary, tap the mold lightly with your fingers and shake it to loosen. If the surface needs a little patching up, smooth it with a spatula dipped in hot water. Return the unmolded ice cream to the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up. Place a whole, soaked prune on top of each portion and drizzle with a teaspoon or so of the syrup.


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