Grapenut Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Over the summer one of our baking club themes was “No Bake Cereal Treats”.  Most minds go right to Rice Crispy Treats, which mine did.  However, after some brainstorming I came around to GrapeNut Ice Cream.  As kids, Lindsay and I were never allowed to have “sugary” cereal (this being fairly relative since almost all cereal has a lot of sugar in it, even GrapeNuts).  Our cupboard was filled with GrapeNuts, Quaker Oat Squares, Special K, and the occasional Honey Nut Cheerios.  Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs were relegated to Grandma Ryan’s pantry.  I always liked GrapeNuts because they would not get SOGGY, they stayed crunchy through the bowl!

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The first time I had a Grapenut inspired dessert was in Cape Cod with my friend Kailyn.  She raved about Grapenut pudding, I thought it was good but a little weird.  It was kind of like a rice pudding, a little crunchy and had warm flavors of vanilla and cinnamon.  It seems to have New England roots so I figured it would be a fun dessert to try.  Since it was a no bake/cook theme I opted for ice cream.  I used to load my bowl of Grapenuts up with raisins, so I decided to add a little rum raisin flair which I think brought the sophistication level up a notch.  I imagine this being much more popular with adults instead of kids.  However, once sandwiched between to oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies everyone will enjoy it.

Grapenut Rum Raisin Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cups light cream
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Grapenuts

In a small bowl, pour 1/2 cup of rum over raisins. Stir well, then cover and refrigerate.

In a saucepan, bring cream and milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot cream-milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking as you go, then transfer it all back into the pot to create a loose custard. Heat the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 175° on an instant-read thermometer (this is the point at which it will thicken noticeably). Remove from heat, add salt and vanilla extract, and pour through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in half of the Grapenuts, then place in refrigerator to chill overnight.Once mixture has finished chilling, pour mixture into ice-cream maker, leaving 3/4 inch at the top to allow for expansion, and prepare according to freezer instructions.  Scoop chilled ice cream into a chilled bowl and stir in remaining grape nuts, drained raisins and 2 tbsp. of reserved rum.  Transfer to container and freeze till firm.
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