“Here — you’ve earned a drink — something from the Three Broomsticks. You won’t have tried it before –” Lupin pulled two bottles out of his briefcase. “Butterbeer!” said Harry, without thinking. “Yeah, I like that stuff!” – Remus Lupin, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
What is Butterbeer, exactly?
Described in the Harry Potter universe as “A delicious wizard drink served warm and foaming in tankards or chilled in bottles” with a flavor “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.”
Of all of the delicious things mentioned in Harry Potter, Butterbeer is definitely my favorite. There’s something particularly magic about the idea of drinking a Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade village and I love that it always seemed to mark moments of friendship.
Butterbeer reimagined as Butterbeer Frozen Custard
Though there are many versions of Butterbeer as a drink, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, I thought it would be really spectacular reimagined as a frozen custard. Considering the descriptor of a “less-sickly butterscotch,” it was important that the base of the Butterbeer Frozen Custard was rich, without being overly sweet.
A delicious update
As a recipe developer, I test and retest my recipes until they’ve reached the point that I think they’re ready to share with the world. But every once in a while, I send something delicious out that I wonder if I could have elevated even further. This recipe was the equivalent of my unfinished painting. Absolutely delicious in its original form, but it always needled me at the back of my mind that it was missing a brushstroke that could make it even better. That brushstroke was butter.
The original base of the custard is still flavored with a bit of almond extract, which I find to be just a little bit richer than vanilla. However, I’ve toned the original amount of almond down in favor of adding some creamy-rich butter. Yes, butter. The thing that always bugged me about every iteration of Butterbeer” anything” was that it always lacked the butter flavor that I assumed was present in the book version.
The resulting base is rich, creamy, and when paired with the salty-sweet ribbons of my Paleo Butterscotch Sauce, a perfect tribute to the butterbeer I imagined when first reading the books.
What’s the difference between custard and ice cream?
The addition of egg yolks in custard is the primary differentiator from ice cream. Egg yolks make the texture of custard just a little bit richer and creamier than ice cream, owing to the additional fat content of the egg.
For those Harry Potter super-nerds like me, you’ll know that the number 7 is very integral to Harry’s journey as well as the wizarding community as a whole. Therefore, you will find the magic number of 7 egg yolks in this Butterbeer Frozen Custard.
No Ice Cream Maker?
This batch of Butterbeer Frozen Custard was made in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. No ice cream maker, no problem. Just make the mixture ahead of time, pop it in your bread pan, and let the freezer do all the work. You’ll need to wait until the custard has reached frozen yogurt consistency before adding the butterscotch though, otherwise, it will fall straight to the bottom. Alternatively, you can just drizzle it on top if you prefer serving it sundae style.
A note for special diets
This Butterbeer Frozen Custard is refined sugar-free. I generally opt to use a lactose-free half & half in this but it works equally well with traditional half & half too.
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Butterbeer Frozen Custard is a delicious blend of buttery almond frozen custard paired with salty-sweet ribbons of butterscotch sauce.
for the frozen custard base:
- 4 cups (1qt) 1/2 & 1/2 (I like to use this lactose-free one but you can use regular just the same)
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup butter or ghee
- 1 tsp almond extract
for the butterscotch sauce:
- Pour half & half, butter, and raw honey into a medium saucepan and heat over medium until it reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally to combine. Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat off.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks until they lighten in color and become slightly frothy.
- Temper the eggs by gradually adding a small amount of the dairy mixture to the eggs, whisking continuously. Continue to add small amounts of the dairy mixture until nearly 1/2 of the mixture has been added to the egg yolks. The heat from the dairy mixture can scramble the eggs if you do not temper slowly, so take your time and continue to whisk as you go.
- Once the eggs have been tempered, add them back to the saucepan with the remaining dairy mixture.
- Turn the heat back to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Once the mixture has reached 170 degrees F and thickened slightly, it should coat the back of a spoon. To test this, dip a spoon into the custard mixture and then run your finger across the back of the spoon. If a clear path is made through the middle and the rest of the spoon remains coated, your mixture is ready to be removed from the heat.
- Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a large, heat-proof bowl. The sieve will catch any unwanted bits to ensure your custard is smooth.
- Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature for half an hour then stir in the almond extract. The reason we add the extract in at this late stage is so that none of the flavor burns off in the cooking process.
- If your bowl is cool to the touch at this point, cover it and place it in the refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees F or below. This will likely take a minimum of 4 hours, but may take 6 hours or more, depending on the size and shape of your bowl and the temperature of your refrigerator.
1.5 – 2 hours before you plan to add the custard to your ice cream maker, start prepping the butterscotch sauce.
- In a small pan over medium-low heat, add coconut sugar, coconut milk, and butter and stir to combine. Allow to come to a low rolling boil and allow to thicken, stirring occasionally. This process will take 10-15 minutes and the resulting temperature should be somewhere between 230-240 degrees F.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
- Allow to cool at room temperature until ready to add to the ice cream mixture. If you are making this ahead of time, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but will need to come to room temperature again before being added to the ice cream.
- Add custard mixture to your ice cream maker and allow to churn for around 15-20 minutes.
- Once the mixture has reached a thick frozen yogurt consistency, spoon half of the mixture into a bread pan or freezer-safe container and spread into an even layer
- Drizzle half of the butterscotch over the top of the frozen custard in thin sheets and then swirl using a fork or spoon quickly. Once the butterscotch hits the frozen custard, it solidifies very quickly. If you prefer to have thick chunks in your frozen custard when scooping you can leave these, but it will not roll into a scoop as easily. I recommend swirling the butterscotch in so that you end up with ribbons of butterscotch sauce throughout when you go to scoop later. Repeat with the remaining custard mixture and remaining butterscotch sauce. If you prefer, you can reserve the butterscotch and use it to top the custard sundae-style.
- Cover the container and place in the freezer for an additional 4 hours or more to further solidify.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 341
- Sugar: 26 g
- Sodium: 140 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Saturated Fat: 15 g
- Carbohydrates: 27 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 179 mg