Purple Food: Plum Brandy Ice Cream

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The very idea of plum ice cream makes me think of child-like optimism, dreaminess, and all things lovely, sweet and good. Plum ice cream belongs in the land where nothing bad happens, people are sweet and super friendly, and everyone eats ice cream for breakfast.

The good news is that plums are “purple food”good for you and they make it into my purple food series that I started a few weeks.

I think I will have a little ice cream with my brandy.
The better news is that brandy has also been reported to be good for you and may have similar health benefits, which makes perfect sense. Did you know that brandy is really short for brandywine because it’s really strong wine (translated fire wine in Dutch). The difference is in the alcohol content. Wine is roughly 8-12% alcohol and brandy is 30%. Brandy has also been reputed to be good for your heart and has anti-oxidant properties and makes perfect sense having a similar benefit to red wine.

Plum Brandy Ice Cream
Use a good brandy, and great plums. Not to be confused with plum brandy, this is made with plums and brandy (two separate ingredients).

You must start with ripe plums….the kind of plums you eat over the sink, because the juice will run down your chin. Sweet, juicy and red fleshed. Next, use the freshest eggs, because there are a lot of eggs in this recipe. Unlike most ice cream recipes, my ratio of milk to cream is 2-1, not 1-1. I always use organic non- fat milk and heavy cream. Sounds a bit odd, but that’s what I use and only a small amount of sugar. My ice cream ends up being a high protein, high calcium treat.

Eggs verses egg yolks
While I think my food turns out beautiful and delicious. my life is chaotic and my kitchen is crazy.
As my cream became very thick and custardy, I looked around and there was no bowl of egg whites. Uh oh! Ice cream is made only with the yolks.

Well, I could never waste that many eggs and all that milk and cream. I cooled the custardy mixture and decided it couldn’t hurt to see how it would react in my ice cream machine. As it was churning, I was pleasantly surprised that my mistake would be forgivable.

So near the end of the churning I added the plum puree, not really knowing if the plum flavor was going to drown in the cream. It didn’t. It tasted plummy, just exactly as I had envisioned.

The brandy was an afterthought, while the ice cream was churning. It was one of my “what if” moments and now I can’t imagine the ice cream without it.
The plum brandy ice cream made into profiteroles….a post coming soon. Stunning eats!

The Taste
The result was an extraordinary ice cream. Even after a week in the freezer, it’s still creamy. Of course the addition of alcohol adds to the creaminess because it doesn’t freeze. You can choose to make this with 8 large yolks or 7 medium eggs, but I think I may continue to experiment using whole eggs. So far, every time I’ve made ice cream this year I have changed the recipe, but that’s just my own neurotic kitchen creativity.

Feel free to use your own favorite vanilla ice cream recipe and add the plums at the end. You can skip the brandy part, and still enjoy a delicious plum ice cream.

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Plum Brandy Ice Cream

Plum Brandy Ice cream made with fresh plums
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 2 cups non-fat organic milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 8 egg yolks or 7 small eggs
  • 3/4 cups sugar or less depending on sweetness of plums
  • 6-8 ripe plums peeled, pureed (a little bit of skin is good, brings color)
  • 1-3 tablelspoons brandy add and taste
  • .


  • Bring milk, cream and vanilla to a boil.
  • Strain milk.
  • Beat eggs (or egg yolks) with sugar until smooth, pale, creamy.
  • Temper yolks by adding hot milk to eggs and then put all back into pan, on low heat and whisk continuously until thickened, approximately six minutes.
  • Cool completely for several hours or over night.
  • Follow instructions for your ice cream maker and about halfway through add in plum puree.
  • Add in brandy a little at a time. The alcohol will not lose its flavor so add sparingly and only add a brandy (or a cognac) that you would willingly sip at leisure

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