Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

After being with the bf for 6 years, we've had so different many occasions to exchange gifts that after a while they become more practical. This time he got me an ice cream maker! Woo hoo! I got him a video game, so now we're both happy.

For my first flavor I chose vanilla because I didn't want to make anything fancy in case I didn't know what I was doing. I chose David Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream recipe because this was the perfect opportunity to try one of his recipes.

Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

This was my first time using a vanilla bean, and they're a lot longer than I thought. Being the second most expensive spice because of the extensive labor used to grow them, they are kinda pricey but well worth it. I went to a local spice store and got 3 for around $7. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds out.

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Add the vanilla bean seeds and pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks.

3. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. 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.

4. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) 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. Our ice maker is broken, so I just used a  bag of frozen fruit to chill the water.

5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. I'm using a Cuisinart ICE-21.

It took about 20 minutes, and I put it into a container so it could harden more in the freezer. I've heard a few hours but it took like 6 hours for me.

Serve and enjoy! You can also keep the used vanilla beans by drying them and flavoring sugar or coffee.
Next flavors on my list are pumpkin and pistachio!

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