No-Churn Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Makes about 12 (1/2 cup) servings.

Note: You can master this terrific ice cream without an ice cream machine, but you do need an electric mixer (handheld or free-standing). There are two optional mix-ins; choose none or one but not both. The crispy cinnamon clusters, made with cereal, are especially nice. And although bourbon’s in the title, you can omit the alcohol altogether. From Stella Parks.

For the ice cream:

• 4 eggs

• 3 1/2 oz. granulated sugar (about 1/2 c.)

• 1 1/2 oz. light brown sugar (shy 1/4 c., loosely packed)

• 1/2 oz. bourbon (about 1 tbsp.), optional

• 1/2 oz. vanilla extract (about 1 tbsp.)

• 1/2 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for other brands, use less

• Pinch ground cinnamon

• 6 oz. chilled heavy cream (about 3/4 c.)

For the buttered pecans, optional:

• 1 oz. unsalted butter, sliced into thin pats (about 2 tbsp.)

• 4 oz. raw pecan pieces (about 3/4 c.)

• 1/8 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for other brands, use less

For the crispy cinnamon clusters, optional:

• 2 oz. finely chopped dark, milk or good-quality white chocolate (about 1/3 c.)

• 1/2 oz. refined coconut oil (1 heaping tbsp.)

• 1 1/4 oz. Kix cereal (about 1 1/3 c.), Crispix cereal (1 heaping c.), Rice Krispies (about 1 c.) or other crunchy, low-sugar cereal

• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

For the ice cream: Combine the eggs, granulated and brown sugars, the bourbon (if using), vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Stir with a flexible spatula until well combined, then place the bowl over a large pan of gently bubbling water. Stir and scrape continuously until the mixture registers 160 degrees on a digital/instant-read thermometer. This should take no more than 10 minutes, so adjust the heat as needed to keep things moving along. Transfer the bowl to a cool work surface.

Use a handheld electric mixer to beat the warmed egg-sugar mixture until pale and thick enough to hold soft peaks, about 15 minutes (the timing will vary with the power of the mixer). When properly mixed, the mixture will be thick enough to mound up on itself in the bowl when dropped from a spoon.

Whip the cream to stiff peaks in a separate large bowl, then add about one-third of the foamed egg mixture, whisking by hand to incorporate. Add the remaining egg mixture, and fold until well combined.

Scrape into a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. If you plan to use either of the 2 mix-ins (see options, below), let the ice cream freeze for about 1 hour, until thick and firm, before folding it in.

With or without the optional mix-in, continue freezing until the ice cream reaches 0 degrees before scooping. Serve as you would traditional ice cream, in ice cream cones or chilled bowls.

For the optional buttered pecans: Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat, then increase the heat to medium. Stir constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, until the butter is golden brown, about 1 minute, although the time will vary depending on burner output and skillet size. Remove from the heat, add the pecans, sprinkle with salt and stir until well coated. Let the pecans stand for 15 minutes; this will allow them to fully absorb the butter.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer the skillet to the oven (lower rack); toast the pecans until fragrant and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes depending on your personal preference. Scrape onto the baking sheet and freeze until cold and dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a quart-size, freezer zip-top bag and freeze until ready to use (up to several weeks).

For the optional crispy cinnamon clusters: Line a plate with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl on high for 30 seconds. Stir well, then add the cereal and cinnamon, folding the mixture with a spatula so the cereal is completely coated.

Scrape onto the plate and freeze until cold and dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a quart-size, freezer zip-top bag and freeze until ready to use (up to several weeks).

Nutrition information per 1/2 cup serving without mix-in:

Calories 120 Fat 7 g Sodium 75 mg

Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 12 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 80 mg Dietary fiber 0 g