This time of year in Kansas City, people start to prepare themselves for the imminent arrival of Boulevard Brewing Company’s Bourbon Barrel Quad — one of our favorite beers on Earth.* BBQ (as it’s known around these parts) is essentially an abbey-style quadrupel that gets aged in bourbon barrels, with a cherry puree added at the end of the process.
In anticipation of Bourbon Barrel Quad, we like to make an ice cream that mimics its flavors. A creamy base becomes boozy with Boulevard’s Sixth Glass quadrupel, and whiskey-soaked cherries are folded in at the end. Not only do the cherries add fantastic flavor, but the whiskey prevents them from fully freezing. This ice cream is the perfect flavor combination for an early fall ice cream, and will definitely hold us over until we can drink the real thing.
A couple things: Add the beer right before you spin the ice cream for a strong beer flavor. And even though the cherries take six weeks to “make,” they’re super simple to prepare and will last forever, or at least close to forever. They work in this ice cream, in a proper Manhattan, or in a sauce for meat.
*Full disclosure No. 1: Kyle works for Boulevard. Full disclosure No. 2: Bourbon Barrel Quad is part of the reason Kyle wanted to work at Boulevard.
Bourbon Barrel Quad Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
6 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup fig jam
pinch of salt
⅓ cup Boulevard Sixth Glass
8 whiskey-soaked cherries, chopped (see recipe below)
Add the the egg yolks, sugar, and brown sugar to a medium-size mixing bowl and combine with a whisk. Set aside.
Add one cup of the cream and one cup of the half-and-half to a saucepan over low heat and warm for about three minutes. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the bowl with egg yolk mixture, whisking while you do.
Add everything back to the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the fig jam. Using a candy thermometer heat the mixture to 160º. As soon as it reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the heat and immediately and pour it into a chilled bowl on ice and stir in one cup of cold cream to stop the base from cooking. (This step is pretty crucial. If you cook the mixture too high you will end up with scrambled eggs).
Chill in the refrigerator for four hours or overnight. Prepare your ice cream maker and spin the cream mixture using the manufacturer’s directions, adding the beer just before you spin it.
Once the cream has become ice cream, stir in the chopped cherries and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to cure.
Whiskey Soaked Cherries
1 cup sugar
2 cups whiskey
About a pound of cherries with pits removed
Place the sugar and the whiskey in a saucepan and warm while stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let the syrup come to room temperature. Place the cherries in a large jar (or two) and pour the syrup over the cherries. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 weeks. They should last a really long time in the fridge.