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Absinth and Raisin Ice-Cream

Thursday, 24 March 2011

I was delighted when Cuisinart asked if I wanted to review one of their products. It took me quite awhile to figure out which product to review as I have most of the products listed (I am a gadget hoarder, I know.). Finally, I chose an ice-cream maker, something that has been on my "I-want" list for like forever. It's not in my "I-need" list for a reason, like the actifry. If I have it, I'd be obliged to use it and that isn't good for my waistline or arteries. Since I have it now, I shall put it into good use.

Here's a bit about the Cuisinart Ice Cream Deluxe: like any other home use ice-cream machine, it comes with a housing base, a 2 litre freezer bowl, a mixing arm and an easy-lock lid. The machine requires you to pre-freeze the bowl filled with liquid coolant. Remember to freeze this thoroughly. You can check this by shaking the bowl, you won't hear any ice or liquid moving if the cooling liquid is frozen. I learnt this the hard way. I used it when it's not completely frozen and my ice-cream base was still liquidy after 30 mins of churning. I had to transfer the mixture to another container, wash and re-freeze the freezer bowl and churn the mixture all over again the next day. The whole process was delayed by a day and my ready-to-digest-ice-cream-stomache was screaming with much disappointment. I had to calm it down by eating chocolates instead.

cuisinart ice-cream maker

The machine is easy to assemble and operate after you've got your frozen freezer bowl. It is fully automatic, simply pour your ice-cream mixture through the open lid and press on. Wait 20-30 mins, that's it! You should get a soft scoop-like ice-cream after the churning, and if you want a firmer consistency, just transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for 2 hrs or more. You can also use the machine for frozen yoghurt, sorbets and frozen drinks.

The wild boar wanted rum and rasin ice-cream, but I only had Absinth (don't ask me why), so Absinth and raisin ice cream it is!

Absinth 2

Absinth or more commonly known as Absinthe (with the e) has a natural green colour, thus, it is also known as the Green Fairy. Absinthe (with the e) is the French spelling while Absinth is the Czech spelling. Since I used Czech absinth, I will refer to Absinth without the e. It has a very high alcohol content - anywhere between 55 and 75 percent, which equates to about 110 to 144 proof. Traditionally, absinth is made of anise, fennel and wormwood (a plant), and many Absinth recipes add other herbs and flowers to the mix. It doesn't contain any sugar, so it's a spirit instead of liquor.


Since alcohol has a very low freezing point (pure ethanol freezes at -114°C or -173.2 degree Fahrenheit), adding alcohol to ice-cream reduces the overall freezing point of your ice-cream, keeping your ice cream soft. The softness would depend on the alcohol content and do keep this in mind as the more alcohol you introduce, the softer the ice-cream will be. To much and you'll be eating mousse instead of ice-cream. The absinth I used was 70%, I added about 3 tbs and that produced a soft scoop-like ice-cream. The ice-cream was really boozy and the flavour is more complex as compared to rum and raisin as it has this slight liquorice and aniseed flavour. It was really delicious and the wild boar loved it!

Absinth and Raisin Ice-Cream

Absinth and Raisin Ice-Cream

Printable recipe
Adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Chill time: Overnight
Churn time: 25 mins
Yield: 500 ml (2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbs Absinth (more or less to taste)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.[I didn't do this over a waterbath.]
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks.
  • Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
  • Strain the custard into the cream. Stir over the ice until cool, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
  • The next day, stir in absinthe just before churning.
  • Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, stir in the raisins.

Thanks again Cuisinart for the wonderful product, there will be more yummy ice-cream recipes coming soon. Stay tuned!

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