Bittersweet French Press Coffee Ice Cream with sweet and boozy Brown Sugar Rum Raisins is a cold, creamy treat on a hot day!
Y’all, I have been making ice cream constantly lately.
I’m working on finalizing the ginger ice cream sandwich recipe for an upcoming cooking workshop, and I needed a little break from making and tweaking the same recipe over and over. This French press coffee ice cream was just the diversion I needed!
French Press Coffee Ice Cream
There are a million ways to make coffee ice cream. I’ve seen recipes using instant coffee, finely ground coffee, coarsely ground coffee and almost every brewing method under the sun.
One method I haven’t run across, though, is French press coffee ice cream, and that seemed like a shame. I love French press coffee’s strong, rich flavor, and I think it really adds something special to this ice cream.
Also, it’s super easy and not too messy, because you’re doing the steeping and straining all in the French press.
Trust Me on The Raisins
I wanted this to be more than just a plain French press coffee ice cream, though, and the touch of sweet and booziness from these brown sugar rum raisins were just the extra oomph this recipe needed.
To make the rum raisins, just soak the raisins in a mixture of rum and brown sugar overnight. They’re a real delight and so, so easy to make. You just need to plan ahead.
To make the ice cream, you brew up strong, sweet, coconut French press coffee milk. Chill in the fridge or freezer, then churn in your ice cream makes.
The rum raisins go in right at the end.
There’s a lot of chilling and waiting time, but the actual active cooking time is pretty quick. Less than 45 minutes, for sure.
Before we get started, I did want to make a note about the coffee part of the coffee ice cream we are making: do not skimp!
If you make this recipe with bad coffee, it will taste like bad coffee. Splurge on the good stuff. You’ll be glad that you did!
For this recipe, I used Batdorf & Bronson Dancing Goats Blend. They’re a local coffee roaster, and their beans are top notch. You can use the ones I used or your favorite beans!
You also need the bowl of your ice cream maker to be ice cold. It should be frozen for at least 24 hours before you start churning, so stick it into the freezer the day before you want to make this ice cream.
I’ve been just keeping my bowls in the freezer, so they’re ready to roll. If the bowl isn’t totally frozen, your ice cream will not set up properly. Trust me on this.
That rule about cold applies to your mix as well. You can’t skip the chilling step when you’re making your ice cream, especially this one, where we heat the mix on the stove.
When storing your ice cream, remember that air is the enemy of flavor. Choose an airtight container, and press a piece of parchment or wax paper over the top of your ice cream. It will look like this, and I promise it makes a big difference.
French Press Coffee Ice Cream with Brown Sugar Rum Raisins
For the Brown Sugar Rum Raisins
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup light rum
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the French Press Coffee Ice Cream
- 1 15 ounce can coconut milk - Lite or boxed coconut milk will NOT work.
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup coarsely-ground coffee
Make the Brown Sugar Rum Raisins
- Combine the raisins, rum, and sugar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close the jar, and shake vigorously. It’s fine if not all of the sugar dissolves, but shaking will help get things started.
- Stick the jar into the refrigerator for 8 hours before using. Soaking overnight or even longer is also fine. Strain, and use however you like! Reserve that liquid – you can use it to make awesome cocktails!
Make the French Press Coffee Ice Cream
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine the coconut milk and brown sugar, stirring until the brown sugar dissolves. Keep the burner on until you see bubbles start to form around the edges of the coconut milk, then turn off the heat immediately. You don’t want the coconut milk to reach a boil, because that will cause a skin to form. Yuck!
- Pour the coffee grounds into your French press, then pour the hot coconut milk mixture over the beans. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes, then slowly press down the plunger on your press. Pour the mix into a small bowl, getting as much of the coffee milk out of the French press as possible.
- Refrigerate the coffee milk for 90 minutes. If you’re on the clock, you can stick the mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes instead. You want it chilled, is the point. Warm mix won’t thicken in the ice cream maker. Your bowl should be very cold when you pull it out.
- The longer you chill, the more the coconut milk will thicken. Give the mixture a stir, making sure to incorporate any coconut that has gone solid in the fridge. If you have to get out a fork and whisk, go for it! A nice, even mixture is worth the effort.
- Turn on your ice cream maker, and slowly pour the mix into the frozen bowl of the ice cream maker. Let it churn for 22 minutes (or until it thickens to soft-serve consistency, see note), then add your Brown Sugar Rum Raisins. Churn for another minute or two, just to incorporate the raisins.
- At this point your French press coffee ice cream will be soft serve consistency. If that’s cool with you, dish it up! If you prefer a firmer ice cream, transfer it to a freezer safe container with a tight-fitting lid. Press a piece of wax paper or parchment paper over the top of your ice cream, to prevent ice crystals, then freeze for another couple of hours before serving. I’ve found that this ice cream scoops best if you let it sit out for a couple of minutes before scooping. It hardens up a lot in the freezer, and waiting a few minutes gives the smoothest, roundest scoop.