Friday, August 14, 2015

Bailey's Irish Soda Bread Ice Cream

by Sheila Connolly

My sister sent me this recipe around Saint Patrick’s Day. She found it in a magazine. But March this year was not a good time for ice cream in New England (several feet of snow on the ground), so I decided to save it for summer, when it might be warmer. It is!

So let’s pretend we’re celebrating Lúnasa, the traditional Irish festival that marks the start of the harvest, and falls midway between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. Or for the sake of simplicity, somewhere around August 1st. Close enough!

My own bread--it tastes better than it looks!

First you have to find some Irish soda bread—the brown, wholemeal kind. Most stores don’t have it, but you can make your own. I think I have thirteen recipes for it now, and I’m not happy with any one of them, but I do keep trying. The one I used worked as well as any. If you can’t find it and don’t feel like making your own (baking = hot!), find a fairly dense wholemeal bread and proceed with the recipe, although you could throw some oats in to add texture.

Bailey’s Irish Soda Bread Ice Cream

5 oz bread crumbs from Irish soda bread
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix bread crumbs and brown sugar together, then spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until the bread crumbs are lightly browned and the sugar has melted (stir occasionally while baking) and the whole thing feels kind of gluey. Let cool.

Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and stir in the granulated sugar and a little salt.  Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved (the mixture should be warm, not hot!). Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Gradually add the warm milk mixture, beating gently to combine. Transfer the mixture back to the pan and place over low heat. Add the vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a custard consistency (heck, mine never made it past chowder consistency, but it was thicker than it started).

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Baileys, along with the cooled bread crumbs. Mix well.

The original recipe said to pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze overnight, stirring a couple of times so it doesn=t form a solid block. Well, I’ve been keeping the freezing container of my cute little ice cream maker in the freezer for, oh, years, so I figured I might as well use it. Yes, I did crank it a few times, and I left it in the freezer for 24 hours.

I don’t think that it will ever get hard, but it’s hard enough. The texture is interesting. I don’t know if it’s ice cream—maybe you could call it a frozen pudding? With bread crumbs? Either way, it tastes good.

Makes 2-1/2 cups.

A Gala Event is coming out October 6th!

Pre-order it at Amazon (where for some reason it's currently on sale for $4.37, but I don't know for how long because nobody tells me these things) or Barnes and Noble.

And eat more ice cream!


  1. What a curious recipe, Sheila. I have trouble imagining bread crumbs in ice cream. Maybe they're like all the cookie piece that Ben and Jerry's insists on putting in ice cream.

  2. That is a very interesting recipe! And "A Gala Event" looks very good! I love the cover. I need snow...

  3. You always find something fascinating, Sheila. And you make it fun too. Thanks once again.



  4. I should have mentioned that the crumb topping (brown bread crumbs plus brown sugar--I used dark) would be great on a lot of other things.

    Yes, it's kind of an odd recipe. As I said, I think it needs its own name. Bailey's Crunchy Pudding? Ice Cream Crumble?

    1. Sort of like the crumble on top of a crumb cake!

  5. What fun! Sugary crumbs and Baileys. Sounds good to me!
    Ice cream mix ins are all the rage.

  6. Replies
    1. Well, it's not something you'll find everywhere! Come to think of it, the Irish are much more into bread than sweets (perish the thought!). And they still sell Fairy Buns.