In this world of internet chat boards and food blogs I’m not afraid to say I have met several people in just that way. One of those people is Courtney. We finally met at a 4th of July party 3 years ago and discovered we had a lot in common not least of which was our love of Harry Potter. Sadly, the last movie is already in the theaters but you can still discover (or rediscover) the joy that is Harry Potter by reading the books (I would recommend this before the movies anyway). Courtney has been blogging about her food for a long time and her Frozen Butterbeer recipe inspired me to create a butterbeer ice cream recipe. I tweaked a vanilla bean ice cream recipe and added a butterscotch swirl and the result I think captured the flavor made so famous by the Harry Potter series. Grab one of the books and a bowl and soon you too will be a member of Hogworts heading to Hogsmeade for one final time before summer break.  This icecream is so good, it’s almost magical. 🙂

Butterbeer ice cream 

Makes approximately 1 quart

1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla)
2-4 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps *
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Slice open the vanilla bean revealing the bean inside. With your knife, scrape the vanilla beans off and add to a saucepan filled with the milk and cream. Then add the whole vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, schnapps and sugar until smooth and thick. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk mixture. Pour out 1 cup of the mixture and very slowly add it to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Add the scalded milk mixture to the egg mixture a spoonful at a time, whisking constantly. Once the milk is fully incorporated, add the entire mixture back into the saucepan with the milk and stir to combine. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Do not allow the custard to boil.) Transfer to a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the custard and chill completely. Meanwhile make butterscotch sauce.
*2 tablespoons will get a mild butterscotch flavor 4 tablespoons will get a strong one.
Butterscotch Sauce
From Smitten Kitchen
Makes approximately 1 cup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus more to taste
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and whisk together with the cream, sugar, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Taste the sauce and add more vanilla or salt as desired
Once custard is properly chilled, add to the ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s guidelines. When ice cream is done transfer to container for storage. To create the butterscotch swirl had mix the cooled sauce into the ice cream until desired effect is achieved. (Over mixing will cause the sauce to be fully incorporated. Swirling only requires a few folds of the spatula.) Freeze until firm.