⅓ cup Pedro Ximénez sherry or other rich sherry
⅔ cup raisins
1½ cups cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
½ cup soft brown sugar
200 grams mascarpone
To finish – optional
⅓ cup Pedro Ximénez sherry
⅓ cup raisins
Put the sherry and raisins in a bowl and soak overnight. Strain and reserve the sherry and raisins separately.
Place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add the pod and seeds to the cream and heat to scalding point – just below boiling point.
Beat the eggs and brown sugar until thick and creamy. Slowly whisk in the hot cream. This is called tempering, as it gradually brings both mixtures to the same temperature. Tip the custard back into the saucepan and stir in the reserved sherry. Cook, stirring constantly over a very low heat until it thickens. A simmer mat is best for this – if the custard gets too hot it will curdle.
Strain into a clean bowl and place over another bowl of iced water to cool the custard down quickly. Stir occasionally until cool.
Put the mascarpone in a large bowl and slowly whisk in the cold custard, ensuring there are no lumps.
Tip the mixture into a shallow, freezer-proof container and place, uncovered, in the freezer. When the mixture has started to freeze around the outside and is firming up a little in the centre (about 2-3 hours depending on how cold your freezer is), scrape the ice cream into a chilled glass bowl and beat with electric beaters until smooth. Pour back into the tray and re-freeze. Repeat this step twice more. Ice cream containing alcohol takes longer to freeze.
After the final beating, stir in the raisins and tip back into the container. Cover tightly and freeze until firm.
To finish: Put the sherry and raisins in a small bowl. Cover tightly and microwave on high for 1 minute. Leave to cool.
To serve: Scoop the ice cream into serving glasses and spoon over the raisins in sherry or just pour over a little extra Pedro Ximénez sherry.
Menu: This dessert will complement Chicken with Chorizo, Olives and Rice.