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Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Cajeta

What is it about Rum Raisin Ice Cream that seems so classy?  Oh, wait...that's just me who sees it that way?  Well, okay.  But it's true, I've always seen it like that.  Rum Raisin: the Sophisticate's Ice Cream.  Could that explain why I've never eaten before now?  I mean, I can be sophisticated if the moment calls for it, but that's not one of the words that I'd pull out of my proverbial hat when someone asks me for three words to describe myself.  If you know what I'm sayin'.  But anyhoo...I figured since I was riding the rum train right now, I'd finally cross it off my my never-shrinking, ever-growing "to make" list.

I found a great book that I sticky-tabbed up like crazy, but the very first page I happened upon when I picked it up to flip through it at the library, happened to contain Rum Raisin.  A sign.  I think that perhaps it's partly just the romance of rum-macerated raisins that seems all-grown-up to me.  And though I joke when I stick words like "classy" and "sophisticated" on this ice cream, it's really not all that far from the truth.  It really is an ice cream for grown-ups.  My oldest ate a bowl and promptly declared himself drunk.  Pshaw, as if he'd know.  Middle child took one bite and ptooey-ed all over the yard.  That left Sweet Thang.  He "just said no".  As in...he wasn't even gonna go there.  However.  The adults in the family enjoyed this batch.  It was sort of strange to me.  I mean, raisins in ice cream.  I must have initially been more focused on the rum part.  Raisins are kind of a weird addition to frozen dessert, if you ask me.  I thought they needed a little foil, for which a rich ribbon of Cajeta was perfect.  Mexi likes it alot because it brings back memories of when he was a bodybuilder.  Huh!?  Really.  His trainer would give him a big bowl of Rum Raisin Ice Cream on the morning of competition.  For warming up the veins?  I dunno...that's my slightly uneducated guess.  And personally, I'm not going to declare this my favorite new ice cream or anything, but I did enjoy it and I can see myself getting cravings for it every now and again.  But I will definitley add cajeta to all future batches.
Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Cajeta 
adapted from Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams
yield: ~1 qt.

⅔ c. raisins
½ c. light rum (I used my bottle of DonQ Cristal)
2 c. heavy whipping cream, divided
¾ c. whole milk
½ c. superfine sugar
¼ c. light corn syrup
2 Tbs. nonfat dry milk powder
2 Tbs. cornstarch
pinch of kosher salt
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

cajeta (goat's milk caramel), for serving*
Combine raisins and rum in a small saucepan and heat until just simmering.  Remove from heat, cover pan, and allow raisins to macerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day (I went about 8 hours).

Combine 1½ c. of the cream with the milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture begins to steam...watching carefully to make sure it doesn't come to a boil.

While mixture heats, combine remaining cream with milk powder, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Stir until smooth and powders have dissolved (and formed a slurry of sorts).

Whisk cornstarch mixture into pan and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.  Whisk until smooth, simmering and stirring constantly for ~2 minutes, or until thickened.  If lumpy, strain.  Stir the raisin rum mixture in to the "custard".

Transfer hot liquid to a storage container and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto surface (so it doesn't form a skin).  Refrigerate until completely chilled.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions and then transfer to a storage container and freeze until hard.

Serve on a pool of cajeta. *Cajeta was a last minute addition...and I thought it was a match made in heaven.  I will probably stir a good cup full (at least) into the ice cream when transferring to storage container next time so that it has ribbons of the rich goat's milk caramel in every scoop.
Okay, I know somebody's going to ask if this really freezes because of the large-ish amount of alcohol in it.  Yes, it really does.  I don't know how.  I don't know why.  But it really, really does.  It was pretty loose (which had me worried) after the ice cream machine finished it's cycle...but once I transferred it to a freezer container and let it sit in the freezer for a few hours, it was just as firm as any other type of ice cream.

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