Makes 1 quart
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces pure white chocolate, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Xtabentún honey liqueur
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican vanilla
- Set up a double boiler. Set up a 4-quart saucepan, filled halfway with water, into which you can nestle a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Bring the pot of water to a boil over high heat while you’re preparing the custard base.
- Cook the base. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the half-and-half until it steams. Spread the chocolate into a thin layer over the bottom of a bowl, then pour on the warm half-and-half. Stir until the white chocolate has begun to melt. In the 3-quart stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thoroughly combined, then whisk in the chocolate mixture. Reduce the temperature under the pot of water to maintain a gentle simmer. Set the bowl of custard base over the simmering water and whisk frequently, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens noticeably, about 5 minutes. The custard is sufficiently cooked when it reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (You can also test it by dipping a wooden spoon into the custard, then running your finger through the custard: if the line holds clearly, the custard has thickened sufficiently.) For the finest texture, pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a similar-size stainless steel bowl.
- Cool the base. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Nestle the custard into the ice and whisk regularly until completely cool. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
- Finishing the base, freezing the ice cream. Stir the heavy cream, Xtabentún and vanilla into the base. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Scrape into a freezer container and freeze for several hours to firm.