Friday, January 14, 2011

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


When people start making ice cream at home, an infatuation usually begins and interesting flavors quickly start emerging from counter-top ice cream machines. After mastering the simple process of making an ice cream custard, flavor possibilities suddenly seem endless and the thought of willingly returning to plain-Jane vanilla ice cream seems an unimaginable waste of creativity.


But when it comes to ice cream, there is often nothing better than a good scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. This basic flavor is one of the few which pairs seamlessly with desserts of all seasons: a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream alongside a fresh berry tart in the summertime is equally as delicious as the same scoop slowly melting over warm apple pie in the winter.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart
adapted from 'The Perfect Scoop' by David Lebovitz

A good homemade vanilla ice cream recipe is a must-have for any lover of sweets. A scoop of this ice cream is perfect melting slowly over warm fruit and chocolate desserts. A few dollops of warmed apple butter is also an amazing combination.

1 cup whole milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of table salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation Instructions
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, and table salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and also add the bean pod. When liquid is barely warm to the touch, cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until nappe: when the mixture the thickens, coats the spatula, and holds its shape when a you draw a line with your finger across the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, stir in the vanilla extract, and cool over an ice bath, stirring occasionally.

When mixture cools, place in the refrigerator to ripen overnight. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


  1. Home made ice cream is a sweet indulgence. The vanilla bean adds a since subtle flavour to an already delicious, creamy treat.

  2. I love vanilla bean ice cream. This sounds like a great recipe.

  3. Wow. I love real vanilla in ice cream. It makes all the difference.


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