Friday, July 10, 2009

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It has been a really long time since I've made homemade ice cream. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is that I wisely decided to throw away my ice cream maker direction booklet, and although I have found lots of great recipes, didn't want to mess up the maker by making too big a batch or doing something wrong. Have no fear, loyal readers, the interweb is here! The entire booklet was available for download online (duh), so I've ventured into ice cream again. Homemade vanilla bean ice cream is so amazing. I like to cook the custard until it has a cooked flavor to it. Not burned, but slightly scalded so that it blends well with the vanilla bean. The only trouble with this is that it ices up a little too much if you try and freeze it, so it is best to just serve it the day you make it, after about 3-4 hours of firming up in the freezer. No chocolate syrup needed for this ice cream! I apologize for the over exposed picture, apparently vanilla ice cream is tough to shoot!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (from a mix of the Cuisinart direction book, a cooking light recipe, and my own preferences)
3 1/2 cups 2% Milk
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Granulated Sugar (I ran out and used about 3/4 granulated, 1/4 powdered)
1 vanilla bean
3 large egg yolks
Prepare countertop ice cream maker insert according to directions (24 hours in freezer works for mine). Combine milk products in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean down the middle and run knife through the cut to scrape out all the little seeds. Add seeds and split bean to the milk mixture. Heat until just boiling. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks & sugar and beat on high until lemony colored. Ladle half the hot milk mixture into the eggs very slowly (one ladle at a time) to temper the eggs (constantly stirring), discard the vanilla bean shell, then add milk & egg mixture back to the remaining dairy in the saucepan. Cook over medium low heat until custard coats the back of a spoon (if you take a swipe with your finger down the spoon, the trail should hold up). Stir constantly during this step to avoid burning the dairy. Remove to a bowl and refrigerate until cold. Following manufacturers directions, freeze custard in ice cream maker (mine has me pouring mixture into churning unit and churning for 25-30 minutes or until nearly all crystalized. Remove to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 3 hours before eating.

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