Recipe: Tiramisu Custard Ice Cream (Italy / USA)

A micro portion of tiramisu custard ice cream.  The consistency here is thin because I added a larger proportion of rum & coffee to the cream base.

This recipe began as a happy accident.  I was making tiramisu and had some ingredients left over.  I threw everything into a bowl, along with an extra egg or two, then mixed and mixed.  After concluding that it was too liquidy to be of any immediate use, I tossed it into the freezer and went about the rest of my afternoon.  The next day:  Voilà!  Custardy, rummy, caffeinated ice cream!  And wow, was it an incredibly delicious accident.  It was the best ice cream (in both flavor and texture) I have had in a while.  Here is a variation on my impromptu creation.  I will modify this post as I perfect the proportions.



  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese (e.g. BelGioioso which comes in an air-tight plastic tub)
  • 3 whole eggs (from happy healthy chickens)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1/8 cup freshly made strong espresso, cooled to room temperature (“Moka” coffee/espresso using the stovetop method works too)
  • 1/8 cup rum (e.g. Cruzan Black Strap Rum)


  1. CREAM BASE.  Put the 3 egg whites into one medium-sized mixing bowl and the 3 egg yolks (with white thread removed) into second medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. In the bowl with the yolks, add the 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbsp espresso, and 3 tbsp rum.  With a stiff whisk, whisk all the ingredients together for at least a few minutes until well blended and until the sugar begins to dissolve.
  3. Gradually add all the mascarpone cheese to the bowl, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking thoroughly to ensure that all bits of mascarpone are sufficiently dissolved, until smooth evenly-colored cream results.  Vigorous, energetic stirring is recommended to achieve an extra airy creaminess.  You can choose to alternate between this step and Step 4, working on both items simultaneously.
  4. WHIPPED EGG WHITES.  In the bowl with the egg whites, add the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.  With a flexible whisk or hand beater, whisk/beat the whites and sugar together until the whites are white, fluffy, shiny, and form moderately stiff peaks.  Do not whisk further (if whisking by hand like I do, you could be tired by now anyway).
  5. Slowly add the whipped egg whites to the cream base, gently folding them in with the stiff whisk until well blended, forming a smooth evenly-colored cream.
  6. FLAVOR.  Stir in what remains of the 1/8 cup espresso and 1/8 cup rum.  Have a taste.  Add additional rum and/or espresso to adjust flavor as desired, but be careful to not add so much that it turns watery.  The thicker, the better.  Mix until blended, but do not over-mix.
  7. Pour into a food/freezer-safe container with tight-fitting lid, preferably all glass (or stone, if you’re like that) and store in the freezer overnight, or at least 8 hours, longer if you can wait longer.  Take it out to stir (and sample taste) once or twice during this time (optional step; no need to inconvenience yourself).
  8. When ready to indulge, mixture might need to be stirred thoroughly before eating.  Try to share.

Note:  When I update this post, I will modify the above quantities to yield exactly 1 pint of ice cream.  This recipe makes more than 1 pint but less than 2, which is a rough estimate based on memory.


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