Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bulleit Rye Ice Cream

Because the bourbon ice cream came out so well, I had a request for more.  Of course I can't leave well enough alone, so I tried it with rye this time instead.  It's similar, but I miss some of the smoky vanilla from the Woodford Reserve bourbon that I used before.

In this one, I used different stabilizers from last time.  I think I actually went too far with it because this ice cream is very soft, like beyond soft-serve.  The combination of the alcohol and the stabilizers have lowered the freezing point to beyond what our freezer is capable of firming up.  I think this could be fixed just by cutting back on the xanthan gum, but it could also be due to a different alcohol content in the rye.  People who get serious about their ice cream chemistry seem to control the hardness by varying the types of sugar between dextrose, sucrose (white table sugar) and glucose or inverted sugar syrup.  I'm not very familiar with all of those options yet, relying on some basic corn syrup to prevent ice crystals and keep things smooth.  (Possibly too smooth?  People always complain about icy homemade ice cream but this has never happened to me when using corn syrup.  I might dial it back a bit to get the ice cream to feel colder and drier.)

I also did something the recipes all tell you never to do, which is put the hot ice cream base straight into the machine to freeze.  Resting the base overnight in the fridge is preferable, since it gives it a chance to thicken.  This also makes it take longer to churn, although I still didn't get any ice crystals, which is the big danger there.

BTW, I've been experimenting with different thickeners and have found that arrowroot seems to be add less flavor and color than cornstarch, so I've switched to it now.  There are warn not to use arrowroot with dairy because it will get "slimy", but I haven't seen any evidence of this.  My best guess is that it's an issue with the butterfat in full-fat dairy and not with the low-fat stuff I'm using.  Or else The Internet is just wrong.

Here's the recipe for this one:

Bulleit Rye Ice Cream Recipe

NOTES: This came out too soft.  I think that cutting back on the xanthan gum and maybe replacing some corn syrup with sugar.


  • 3 cups fat free half and half
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup rye
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum


  1. Mix about 1/4 cup half-and-half with arrowroot, gums, and salt in a small bowl to make a slurry.
  2. Put half-and-half, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil and then allow to boil for 4 minutes.
  3. Lower heat, add slurry, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  4. Heat, whisking frequently, until it thickens up.
  5. Optionally, blend in a blender to disperse gums well.  Be careful about blending hot liquids!
  6. What you should do at this point is let it cool overnight in the fridge, even though I didn't do that.
  7. Freeze in an ice cream maker.