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Crema Morisca (Moorish Ice Cream with Sherry & Prunes)

Judi Rutz

Yield: Yields about 1-1/4 quarts.

I tried this terrific ice cream in Campeche and was fortunate enough to find a recipe for it in the Guía Gastronomía series (published several years ago by the magazine Mexico Desconocido) that I used as a starting point for my own. Don’t let the prunes put you off. If you like rum raisin ice cream, you’ll love this.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sweet or medium sherry (not dry)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup chilled evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup chilled whipping or heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup prunes, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, drained, patted dry, and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (1-1/4 oz.) coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)


  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir or whisk in the milk, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Add the sherry, continue simmering for 1 min., and then remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until blended, about 30 seconds. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milksherry mixture into the yolks and then whisk in another 1/2 cup. Slowly whisk in the remaining hot liquid and then pour the mixture back into the pan. Heat the mixture on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 180°F and just begins to thicken; it will look like it’s about to boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla, whisking until the mixture begins to cool. Strain to remove any cooked pieces of egg and refrigerate until it’s colder than about 60°F, at least 2 hours or as long as 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the prunes and walnuts, if using, and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream machine (following the maker’s instructions) until the ice cream is very thick and cold. Transfer to a resealable plastic or stainlesssteel container and freeze until it’s firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours.


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