Killa Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice CreamWell, we took the new Cuisinart ice cream maker on it’s maiden voyage this weekend, and I have to tell you – it does a marvelous job.  Even if I didn’t get to make what I had originally planned (and was really looking forward to).

You see, we’d just bought blood oranges last weekend and one of the first recipes I found was for a blood orange sorbet.  Just the thought of it made my mouth water, so I went on a quest Saturday to buy some.  Alas, there were none to be found.  Apparently, their time at market is extremely short, leaving me extremely disappointed.

So, I went to Plan B:  Vanilla ice cream and a strawberry-rhubarb crisp.  Separately, they were delicious – combined, they can make you weep.  It was that good.

The recipe I’m presenting here is adapted from dessert master David Lebovitz’s recipe.  It is rich and creamy with an intense vanilla flavor, and simply the best vanilla ice cream I have ever tasted.  The Young One apparently agreed, since he literally licked his bowl clean.

The ice cream isn’t exactly inexpensive to make, to say nothing of being diet-friendly – it contains whole milk, heavy cream, several egg yolks and calls for both a costly vanilla bean as well as high-quality extract – so it’s not something I will make every week.  But it is definitely a treat worth making (to say nothing of eating) occasionally.

If you’re apprehensive about the expensive vanilla bean – two cost me $13 – Mr. Lebovitz has some recommendations about how to get the most out of one.

“Since vanilla beans are expensive, you want to get as much use out of them as possible. After use, rinse and dry your beans on a plate until they’re brittle, then burrow them in a container of sugar. Not only will they add their lovely scent to the sugar, but you can re-use the beans for anything, from adding to a pot of poaching fruit to jam-making. I also like to pulverize the dried beans with sugar in a food processor and use it in cake and cookie batters.”

Works for me – I’ve got them drying on a plate in my kitchen right now, and as soon as they’re dry they’re going in their own container of sugar.

Don’t have an ice cream maker?  Don’t sweat it – go here for instructions on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Vanilla Ice Cream

makes about 1 quart

1 cup whole milk

Pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lenghtwise

2 cups heavy cream

8 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.  (I was in the middle of planting my vegetable garden when I started this and the milk/sugar/vanilla mixture acutally ended sitting for nearly two hours – it did not hurt the final product; if anything, it helped.)

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour.  This will temper the eggs and help keep them from cooking into “scrambled” eggs as you make the custard.  Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.  Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.

Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

16 thoughts on “Killa Vanilla Ice Cream”

  1. I just knew you’d love that Ice Cream maker. Ours gets a real workout and doesn’t even flinch.

    Our Coscto has vanilla beans at a pretty reasonable price. Another use would be sticking all your left over beans into a small bottle of vodka for homemade vanilla extract or in my case vanilla martini fixin’s

    Micheles last blog post..What I did on Mother’s Day

  2. Last week was pen*s week and now it seems we’ve moved on to ice cream week. We had to buy a box of rock salt on the way to school this morning because ST’s science class is making vanilla ice cream using a quart and a gallon zip lock bag. Just think of the money you could have saved on that new ice cream maker. LOL

    Midlife Slicess last blog post..What The Hey?

  3. I have never made ice cream. This recipe and your description maes me want to start. Strawberry rhubarb pie was a favorite my mom used to make….

    Sounds like you had a great Mother’s Day weekend Jan ; -)

    Pseudos last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day

  4. Jan no no no no no no! Say you didn’t do it! Vanilla ice cream is my achilles heel. And not just any vanilla ice cream, but REAL vanilla ice cream. LIKE.YOUR.RECIPE. Dude . . . make it stop! Or add it to the flat belly diet!

    Elaine at Lipstickdas last blog post..Say Hey, Sis

  5. For a brief moment I thought I was lost in some bright but strange corner of the blogosphere.

    The last time I went sailing in an ice-cream maker I capsized. The problem with those things is that they have no keel.

  6. That’s just mean. Now I have to take that pile of clothes off the stair machine and walk up a couple dozen imaginary steps. Not to mention that pool, created by all the salivating will need to be cleaned.
    I would think, no other ice cream would ever do, after that delectable treat. So can you ship some this way????

    BTW, I like your new look.

    Rebeccas last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day

  7. Your ice cream maker sounds fabulous but I’d have to put it up against the hand cranked one my grandfather had which we kids would take turns cranking on a Sunday afternoon because we couldn’t wait to taste that super rich, ultra creamy homemade ice cream… made by hand, so to speak.

    But yours sounds just as yummy!

    Gaston Studios last blog post..Young and ignorant…

  8. I love homemade icecream. I was brought up on it being we had all the cream we wanted with raising cows and all. We just might have to make some of this one of these days this summer…if it ever actually warms up!

    Loris last blog post..On Becoming A Mommy

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