This recipe is simplicity itself. Rich, creamy, and not too sweet, with little pockets of intense raisin/rum flavor. It includes cashews and alcohol, both of which disrupt the formation of ice crystals while the mixture is freezing, and so help to make the ice-cream smooth.
5 oz (1 cup) raisins
1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup maple syrup
Soak the raisins in the rum for at least 1/2 hour, turning them through once in a while.
Put 8 fl oz (1 cup) water and the cashews into a high speed blender, and process until completely smooth.
Transfer the cashew mixture to a saucepan with all the remaining ingredients, use another 8 fl oz (1 cup) of water to rinse out the blender into the saucepan, and bring to a simmer until thickened, stirring continuously as it starts to boil.
Allow to cool, then pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze for approximately 4 hours, stirring every hour or so.
At this point, the ice-cream is still soft enough to serve. If it is left for longer in the freezer and gets too hard, you might want to allow it to defrost slightly in the fridge for 1/2 hour before serving.
For a variation on a theme, make Prune and Brandy ice-cream by substituting 5 oz prunes for the raisins, and brandy for the rum. Blend the prunes and brandy with the cashews.