Ice cream is so versatile. This flavor is very adult, and though we tend to link frozen desserts with summer, Armagnac ice cream is perfect all year round. It’s magnificent with desserts made with fall fruits like plums, prunes, pears, and figs but also adds a nice finish to summer meals.
The Armagnac is added after the crème anglaise has been cooked, which gives the final ice cream a punch of raw alcohol and the warm, woodsy note of Armagnac. Feel free to use either Cognac or brandy if that’s what you have on hand.–Rocco DiSpirito
Armagnac Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
Special Equipment: Ice cream maker
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Fill a large bowl or sink with ice. (The ice bath will need to accommodate the saucepan that you will use to cook the ice cream base.)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the half and half. When it comes to a boil, remove pan from heat.
Place sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the sugar and egg yolk mixture into the saucepan containing the half and half; return pan to stove over very low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the foam disappears and the mixture is thick enough that the moving spoon leaves a “track” that fills in slowly.
Set pan in the ice bath to stop the cooking process; stir a few times. Add the Armagnac. Cool to room temperature. Transfer batter to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Armagnac Ice Cream Recipe © 2003 Rocco DiSpirito. Photo © 2003 Henry Leutwyler. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.