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Vanilla Ice Cream

 

I may have mentioned that i have a little problem with kitchen gadgets.  I own many of them.  We have an entire closet that is pretty much dedicated to cooking tools (hey, some of them take up a lot of room!  Canning pot, stock pot, sausage stuffer, etc.) but I don’t feel like it’s excessive because I actually use all of them.  Except for one…my ice cream maker.  I’ve had it for 2 years, but there was never enough room in the freezer to actually use it.  It’s the type with a bowl full of some sort of liquid that has to be pre-frozen for about a day in order to operate.  (the kitchenaid attachment actually) That’s a lot of freezer real estate to give up, and despite owning two fridges I could never make it work.

But no longer!  This year my beloved husband bought me a freezer for Christmas.   The second the we plugged it in I gleefully placed my ice cream maker bowl on the top shelf.

Vanilla ice cream seemed like the classic first choice.  I love custard ice cream, and I happen to have a healthy supply of vanilla beans thanks to a online bulk purchase.

So of course I went to David Lebovitz for the recipe.  He is pretty much the expert on ice cream, and he doesn’t disappoint with this one.  Creamy, rich without tasting eggy, and not-to-sweet with a deep vanilla flavor.  Definitely a recipe worth keeping around.  Now I just need somebody to buy me a copy of The Perfect Scoop for my birthday so I can try more of his recipes.

Vanilla Ice Cream adapted  from David Lebovitz

  • 1 c. milk (David calls for whole.  I had skim.  I used skim with a big splash of cream.  Worked)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the milk, salt and sugar in a saucepan and warm over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, untill the sugar dissolves.

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise with a paring knife, and scrape the insides into the mik.  Add the (now empty) pod to the milk, cover with a lid and turn off the heat.

Let the pod steap in the warm milk for about an hour.  I was in a hurry, so I think mine was only in there for about 40 minutes.  It’s still tasty.

Remove the vanilla pod** and reheat the milk over medium low heat till steaming.

Put the heavy cream in a medium sized bowl, and set that bowl in an ice bath.  (if you have lots of time you can probably skip the ice bath.  I used it because I needed my ice cream fast)

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks to combine.  While wisking contantly, pour at least half of the hot milk into the yolks in a slow stream.

Pour the yolk+milk mix back into the saucepan and cook gently, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken.

Strain the custard into the heavy cream and mix to combine.  Stir the mixture in the ice bath until it is cool, stir in the vanilla extract, and then chill until very cold.

Several hours, or even overnight in the fridge is recommended for the chilling, but again, I was on a deadline (dinner party in 2 hours) so I put the whole bowl, still in it’s ice bath, in my lovely new freezer.  I checked on it and stirred every 10-15 minutes and it was completely cold after about an hour.  I don’t care how you do it, but the mixture must be COLD, not just cool, or else you risk thawing your ice cream maker bowl before the ice cream has a chance to freeze (or melting your salted ice if you are really old school).  If you are a fancy pants with a ice cream maker that has a compressor unit this might not be as big of a deal for you, but no reason to make the machine work harder than it has to.  Pretty sure starting with a cold base is supposed to help the texture too.  So yeah, just chill it.

Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions from here on out to turn this delicious liquid into ice cream.

**rinse and dry the spent pod and stick it in a jar with some sugar.  The vanilla scent/flavor will infuse the sugar and then you can use it on all kinds of things.  I like it in coffee.

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