Rum Raisin Gelato


The following recipe is from the August 4 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

In high school I worked at the local ice cream parlor, which meant busy, sticky summers of scooping and seemingly endless falls and winters sitting behind the counter with few, if any customers to serve. In lieu of using this downtime to catch up on my homework, I decided to taste every single flavor in the shop, beginning with the ones that I wasn't particularly found of. Rum raisin was on the top of my list, but it only took a few spoonfuls for rum raisin to join the ranks of my favorite flavors, and years later I still have a soft spot for it.

Reading this recipe for Rum Raisin Gelato from The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto reminded me just why this flavor has such resonance. Dark rum, derived from molasses, has a wonderfully rich and complex sweetness that lends itself particularly well to desserts. Using the Ciao Bella method the raisins are steeped in rum for 12 hours to not only rehydrate and soften, but also infuse the raisins with rum flavor. After the raisins have been soaked, the leftover rum is incorporated into the gelato base, lending mellow notes of rum and raisins. But if rum and raisins aren't your favorite, this recipe would work just as well with other dried fruits such as prunes, dates, or figs paired with calvados, armagnac, or even grappa.

Recipe Facts

Total: 0 mins
Makes: 1 quart

Rate & Comment



  1. Prepare the Plain Base and chill as directed.

  2. Place the raisins and rum in a small bowl. Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature for 12 hours to macerate. Drain the raisins and refrigerate them. Reserve the rum.

  3. Gently whisk the reserved rum into the base. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just after churning, stir in the raisins. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.