Place two 1/2-gallon bowls or containers in the freezer.
In a large pot macerate the raisins in the rum for 5 minutes. Place the pot over high heat, bring the rum to a boil, and cook out the alcohol, for about 4 minutes. Add the cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the vanilla bean paste and pod to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and bring just to the start of a boil (bubbles forming around the edges), whisking. Turn off the heat. Discard the vanilla pod, or rinse it off and bury in sugar.
In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks. Temper the yolks by adding 1 tablespoon, then another of the hot mixture to the yolks to prevent them from scrambling. Whisk a bit more of the hot mixture into the bowl, and continue slowly until all of the hot cream mixture has been incorporated into the egg yolks. Place this bowl over the bowl of ice water, and continue to whisk gently until the mixture is thick, creamy, and thoroughly blended.
Remove the containers from the freezer and fill them with the ice cream mixture, distributing the raisins evenly; stir well. Place the containers in the freezer, and stir in the ice cream every half hour or so for 3 hours. Cover and freeze until solid, for about 4 hours.
Just before serving, prepare the Fried Plantains and the Spun Sugar.
To serve 4, scoop some ice cream into 4 shallow bowls, arrange 3 or 4 slices of Fried Plantains around the ice cream, and pull the Spun Sugar over the top. Keeps about 1 month.
Yield: about 1 gallon
Scraping Vanilla Beans: Vanilla beans are long and thin, like skinny, black string beans. To get the essence of the bean, you must split it and scrape out the resinous, pasty insides. Lay the bean on a flat surface with its seam facing up. Using a sharp paring knife, place the point in the seam at the center and split it to one end. Place the point back in the center and split it to the other end. Use the blade of the knife to scrape the pasty seeds out. When preparing a sauce, throw the empty pod into the pot as well as the seeds for a really intense flavor. Remove the pod from the sauce before serving, rinse it well, and dry it thoroughly. Bury the pod in a jar filled with granulated sugar, close tightly, and youíll have the vanilla-flavored sugar on hand for your favorite dessert.
Keep the egg yolks covered to prevent a skin from forming on them.