Andre Daguin's Vanilla Ice Cream with Prunes and Armagnac


personal chef fort lauderdale

Four to six servings
16 pitted soft prunes
1 cup/250ml Armagnac
1 cup/250ml whole milk
1 long vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise, giving four quarters—or 1 tablespoon/15ml pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/2 to 3/4 cup/125-185ml natural wildflower honey to taste
Pinch of salt
1 cup/250ml whipping cream
Two weeks or more in advance, place prunes in a large clean jar or crock. Add Armagnac to cover. Cover jar or crock and set aside in a cool place to steep.
When ready to make ice cream, measure out 1 cup moderately packed prunes and fill up remainder of cup with Armagnac; set aside. Use remaining prunes for garnish.
Scald milk with vanilla bean (but not vanilla extract); set aside. Whisk egg yolks over very low heat in medium, nonreactive saucepan until warm. Continue whisking, adding honey gradually. When all honey is added and honey has begun to dissolve, remove saucepan from heat. Do not boil. Whisk in hot milk and salt.
4. Return saucepan to low heat. Cook and stir until custard is thick enough to coat a spoon heavily, about 170 to 180 degrees on an instant-registering thermometer. Do not boil. Immediately strain mixture into a bowl. Stir in cream and vanilla extract if using.
5. Refrigerate, covered, until very cold. Then beat very vigorously with whisk or electric beaters.
6. Strain custard mixture into an ice cream freezer. Follow manufacturer`s directions for freezing. When ice cream is just beginning to set, drop in prunes one by one (while machine is still in operation) and drizzle in Armagnac. Continue freezing until ice cream is firm.
7. To serve, scoop out ice cream, top with an extra prune, and drizzle some Armagnac over it.

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