Desserts, Ice Cream
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Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding & Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream

I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my family.

Isn’t she pretty?  Such a doll.  We’re related.  No really.  Here’s how I found her:

Early this year I got inspired to uncover our ancestry after my husband’s uncle was able to trace back their family tree to the 800’s.  No, I didn’t forget a ‘1’ there.  I really meant 800.

After joining an ancestry website and doing some digging, I discovered my great great great grandfather was a man by the name of Charles Nelson.

Charles Nelson

Charles immigrated to the United States from Germany with his family.  His father was a wealthy soap and candle factory owner who converted the family fortune into gold bars and had them sown into his clothing for safekeeping during the passage.  One night during a terrible storm, Charles’ father was thrown overboard and the weight of the family’s wealth took him straight to the bottom of the ocean.  So they say.

Charles’ daughter, Louise holding my great grandmother Sarah.

With a mother and siblings to support, Charles would eventually settle in Nashville and open a distillery called Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.  At one point, Nelson’s was out-producing Jack Daniels 17 to 1!

My great grandmother Sarah–Charles Nelson’s granddaughter.

Unfortunately the distillery closed down in 1909 when Tennessee passed prohibition laws.   Sad, sad day for all of us bourbon lovers.

In discovering our family history and our hard liquor roots, we uncovered that two boys from my generation (also the great great great grandchildren of Charles Nelson) re-started the distillery business in 2012 are now distilling Belle Meade Bourbon; a brand Charles manufactured back in the day.

To say uncovering all of this incredible family history and sipping a bourbon my great great great grandfather used to make has been fun would be an understatement.  Our family has had a wonderful time uncovering who we are and for me, that’s what it all boils down to.

Food has always had a sentimental and memorable presence in my life.  The stories that pair with recipes and food experiences are equally as important as the taste of the dish to me.

Therefore, upon receiving a beautiful bottle of my bourbon relative, I spent an entire day figuring out how I could cram as much of her smooth flavors as I could into a delectable dessert.

Ladies and gents, I’ve done it.

I present to you Belle Meade Bourbon Ice Cream and Bread Pudding.

If you like your bourbon, you’ll love this.  Just as much as I love my long lost relative.

Now, I must go pull her back out and enjoy a sip.  We’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream

About 1 quart


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ c. Belle Meade Bourbon (or a different brand of may regret it though)


  1. In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla seeds and scraped bean. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and return to a boil and stir until thick, about 2 minutes.
  4. Place cream cheese in a bowl and add in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and stir until combined.
  5. Pour the cream mixture into a plastic food storage bag. Seal the bag and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  6. Pour chilled ice cream base into an ice cream maker and stir in the bourbon. Process according to manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Scrape ice cream into a storage container and freeze for several hours until set.

Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding

Serves 6


  • 6 c. cubed day old french bread (1" cubes)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, diced
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. Belle Meade Bourbon (or a different brand of may regret it though)
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease 6 ramekins. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat and saute apples and raisins for 4-5 minutes until soft. Fold fruit into the bread cubes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a simmer over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, bourbon, sugars, syrup, and cinnamon. Slowly whisk in the hot milk to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  4. Pour the milk mixture over the bread cubes and fold gently to thoroughly coat the bread cubes without mushing them. Let the bread stand for 30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Divide bread cubes among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a 9x13 pan. Create a water bath by pouring hot water into the 9x13 pan to come up the ramekin sides halfway. This took 4 cups of hot water for my size ramekins. Be careful not to pour water in the ramekins.
  6. Bake the bread puddings for 30-35 minutes until set.
  7. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and serve with a scoop of Belle Meade ice cream.
  8. Enjoy your bourbon moment.

Filed under: Desserts, Ice Cream


Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.


    • Hi Erica! Good question 🙂 Water baths are really good for more delicate desserts like bread puddings and some cheesecakes because you want the dish to set but not get brown or even crisp like the sides of brownies baked without a water bath. A water bath just heats the ramekin more consistently and gently than direct heat so what your baking stays creamy and soft.

  1. Found your blog thanks to Mark Lowe. Looks like a fun blog with some great recipes. I have to tell you that I think you are the only other person in the world that I know of that loves peanut butter and dill pickles. I’ve been given a hard time my entire life over that sandwich combination! My grandma use to make it for me, and I loved it and it makes me think of her. I look forward to following you.

    • Welcome Michelle! I always love finding more peanut butter & dill pickle lovers. We are a rare group aren’t we? That sandwich is a sentimental treat for me as well–my mom always had them as a kid and made them for my sister and I when we were little too! The best things are always passed down, aren’t they?

  2. I just came across your blog and I love it. What a neat, neat story! I’m incredibly interested in my family history and I’m just hoping to come across a neat story like yours!

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