I have been trying to make more ice cream at home and avoid the store-bought varieties. I made some very good ice creams in the past and although I prefer more interesting types of flavours, this time I decided to make a basic vanilla ice cream. The process of making good home made ice cream can take some time, it’s not something you can make in the afternoon and have it for dinner, but the efforts definitely pay off.
This recipe makes for a vey rich ice cream. I like ratio of two and half cups of cream to one and half cup of whole milk. You can choose to make it equal parts cream and milk or even swap the cream for half-and-half, but I think ice cream should be very creamy.
Most ice cream recipes call for tempering the egg custard with hot milk/cream while beating fast and constantly with an egg beater. I find it much easy to do this is the bowl of a stand mixer. I mix the yolks and sugar in the mixer and later mix the hot milk into the yolks with the mixer on medium-low speed.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe:
makes 1 quart
You will need:
2 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 cup of whole milk
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar
9 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
Pour the heavy cream, milk and half of the sugar in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Cut the ends of the vanilla bean and split it in half length wise. Scrape the seeds into the pot and add the whole bean as well.
Heat the pot until the liquid is just bellow simmering point. Do not let it boil. Stir eventually to dissolve the sugar. Set aside and let it steep on the pot (uncovered) for 20-30 minutes.
While the cream cools, prepare the yolks. Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and start beating with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed. Slowly add the remaining half cup of sugar, a tablespoon at the time. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bow and make sure all the sugar has dissolved. If the sugar is not completely dissolved, the ice cream will leave a sort of residue on the spoon which is not very pleasant. Once the sugar is dissolved, increase the speed and whisk until the yolks are pale and slightly thick. Leave yolks in the mixer bowl for now.
Strain the milk mixture and discard the vanilla bean.
Return the pot with the strained milk to the stove, add a pinch of salt and heat again until bellow simmer. Turn on the mixer on medium-low speed and slowly add the hot milk on a steady stream, decreasing the speed as the mixture cools down. Once all the liquid is incorporated with the yolks, pass it through a fine mesh sieve placed on top of a clean pot. Bring the pot to the stove and warm on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and it can cover the back of a wooden spoon. Do not speed up this process, as the eggs might cook. This step might take anywhere between 10-20 minutes.
Once mixture is thick enough, pour it into a clean bowl set over a larger bowl with iced water. Once the custard is at room temperature, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it. The ice cream can be made until this point up to 2 days in advance and kept it refrigerated.
Remove the ice cream custard after 4 hours in the fridge (minimum) and churn in the ice cream maker for about 10 minutes, or according to the manufacture’s instructions.
Transfer to a container, close and freeze it until hard, 6 hours minimum.