Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
It seems like a tragedy that this is the first time I’ve made ice cream all summer. Last summer we went gung-ho and made this, this, this, and this, and now you’re probably thinking, “and you only made vanilla? That’s it?” My only explanation is that we’ve been a popsicle family all summer. Lots of flavors and lots of variations, (some of which I still need to post). Sophie tells me every night before going to sleep, “Pop-aco af nap.” Yes, dear. You can have a popsicle after your nap tomorrow.
Anyways, back to ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is probably the most versatile, and I think you’d agree, because it pairs with all flavors of anything you’d put ice cream with. But this vanilla ice cream is much more than that. It’s not just the Lexus, but the Lamborghini of vanilla ice cream.
This next photo might frighten you a bit. It’s not everyday that you use 18 egg yolks for a recipe. I made a triple batch of this for a ginormous birthday party, ending up with nearly a gallon, so all of those yolks went to good use. (The whites, too, because I made Angel Food Cake a few days later.)
Here’s something you don’t see everyday.
Because this type of ice cream was custard-based (French style) as opposed to types without eggs (Philadelphia style), it required a few more steps. Like making custard.
Making custard can be tricky and takes some patience. If you heat it too fast, you might end up scrambling your eggs, which is why straining the liquid is a good idea. I cranked up the heat a little and turned my back for just a few seconds and see what came out?
Scrambled custard yolks and vanilla bean bits are definitely not good eats.
Moral of the story: as with most recipes that take more time, the pay-off is well worth it. Just remember, no matter what kind of ice cream you make, to put it into the freezer immediately after the ice cream maker finishes working its magic. Then you’ll have the creamy, thick consistency you’re looking for.Did I mention we had no leftovers? This little ball was all I ate.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (French custard style)
Yield: About 1 quart
1 c whole milk
1/4 c sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium sauce pan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 c cream, and salt over medium-low heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warmed mixture and add the bean also. Cover; remove from heat and allow to steep at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 c cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then put the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan. (You might be thinking, "why don't you just pour the eggs into the saucepan to save yourself the trouble?" There's a reason why its done like this. I'm not sure about details, but I think it has something to do with your yolks scrambling.)
Return the saucepan to medium heat and stir constantly with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the remaining cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath. (I had 3 ice cubes at the time, which wasn't enough to cool much of anything. I just let it sit on the counter until it had cooled down quite a bit.)
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge. When you're ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, and then freeze mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. When it's finished, transfer immediately to a freezer-safe container and chill for several hours (preferably overnight).
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz