Last week, in addition to making honey lavender ice cream, I decided to try vanilla bean ice cream. I am a huge fan of David Lebovitz so I decided to go to him for advice. If you have never heard of him, take a look at his blog. He is hysterical and he is an incredible pastry chef! This recipe was absolutely perfect. It is easy to understand and it is without question the best vanilla ice cream that I have ever had.
First combine one cup of whole milk, 3/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt into a sauce pan. Heat until everything combines nicely.
Take one whole vanilla bean, which you can find at most specialty food stores, and split it down the middle to scrape the middle out. The seeds in the middle of the bean are where the most flavor is. Add the seeds and the pod to the milk mixture. Remove from the heat and infuse, covered, for one hour.
Set up an ice bath (a bowl of ice and water) with a bowl inside of it. Strain 2 cups of cream into the bowl, and set aside.
After an hour has gone by re-warm the milk mixture. Whisk 5 large egg yolks together in a separate bowl. Add half of the warm milk into the yolks, whisking constantly, and then pour it all back into the sauce pan. Hrm? Confused, again? Milk into eggs then all of it back into the milk!
Heat it on low heat and stir constantly because, once again, you really don't want scrambled vanilla eggs (although Ian assured me he'd try them if that happened). Cook it until it thickens enough that it covers the back of a spatula. Strain the mixture into the cream.
Stir the mixture until it gets chilled and then add 1 teaspoon of good vanilla extract.
Refrigerate so it chills. Mr. Lebovitz suggests that you chill it overnight. I didn't because I was way too excited to eat it. I chilled it for about an hour and then froze it in my ice cream maker.
After about 30-40 minutes I had gorgeous vanilla ice cream. I think what sells homemade ice cream for me is that there are only a handful of ingredients that go into it. It is so fresh and the flavors are so bold because they are standing on their own. Try it! What's your favorite kind of ice cream?
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split long ways
2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract