Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Oh boy, vanilla bean ice cream. This is an awesome dessert, whether eaten plain or alongside any number of things. For instance, strawberry pie which I'm making for dessert tonight!

It's a gorgeous day outside here in the Twin Cities (that is if you like blue skies, sun and 70 degrees) and a perfect day to enjoy some ice cream. I'm sure I'll have no complaints from the family tonight when they get ice cream and pie too!

If you read my post about strawberry and raspberry ice cream, I mentioned that vanilla bean ice cream goes great with it, so if you try that recipe, try this one too and put them side by side. Oh so very, very good. (-:

Okay, to get down to business. This is one of those recipes where you really want the best ingredients possible. There aren't that many ingredients in ice cream so don't cheat and try to cut the fat with skim milk or use imitation vanilla extract. It won't do the recipe justice and you'll likely be disappointed. In my opinion, desserts are one place where cutting the fat is just a bad idea. I'd rather cut out the dessert all together.

What You'll Need - makes about a 1/2 gallon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp. organic, pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 cups organic whole milk
  • 2 cups organic cream - try to avoid the ultra-pasteurized stuff (hard to do these days as a lot of cream you'll find at the market is ultra-pasteurized)
  • 5 organic, free-range egg yolks - an idea, save the whites and make an angel food cake or an egg white omelet
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 quart pot
  • whisk
  • rubber spatula
  • measuring cups
  • small mixing bowl
  • large mixing bowl

Getting Started

1. Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape all the seeds out. Add both the seeds and the vanilla bean to your pot along with 1 cup of milk. Heat the mixture so it just barely simmers for 15-20 minutes.

This step releases the vanilla flavor from the vanilla bean into the milk. I only heat 1 cup of the milk because there are those who read this blog who use raw milk and cream. If you heat your raw milk too much you are essentially pasteurizing it and then what's the point.

2. Place your five egg yolks in your small mixing bowl and very slowly whisk in your milk/vanilla bean mixture. This is how you temper your eggs. If you added your egg yolks straight to the hot milk mixture they would basically turn into a scrambled eggs consistency and we want a smooth custard.

3. Pour tempered egg mixture back into the pot and whisk in 2 tsp. of vanilla extra and the 1/4 tsp. of sea salt.

4. Over medium heat, whisking constantly, gradually heat the above ingredients until they have thickened to something like custard.

5. Add the rest of your milk, the cream and sugar to your pot and whisk together well.

6. Pour ice cream mixture into large mixing bowl, cover and allow to chill in the fridge for several hours or even all night.

7. Once chilled, pour ice cream mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.

8. Once done in the ice cream maker you can freeze your ice cream a bit more in the freezer if you want it hard, like the ice cream you buy at the store.

Now it's time to sit down to a bowl full and enjoy each and every bite!

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