When I accidently melted the handle off my moka pot a couple of weeks ago, I placed an order for a replacement on amazon. Of course I was 5 cents short of qualifying for free shipping (why do they always do that!) so I promptly starting shopping for something else I needed to bring my order up (oh that's why). It occurred to me that I needed a new ice cream machine. I was given my Krups ice cream machine ages ago by a friend and since then the lid has somehow warped so that it doesn't stay locked down during churning. This is understandably rather infuriating. Since I've used my sister's Cuisinart with good results, I decided to get that one.
It was actually the purchase of this ice cream machine that prompted me to buy more vanilla beans than a single girl can use. Except, now that I've made this vanilla ice cream, I'm no longer sure I won't use them all. I may get very fat in the process though. As always, I came across this recipe first on use real butter's site, although I've been hearing really excellent things about David Lebovitz's book, A Perfect Scoop. And for good reason, this ice cream is divine.
If I owned an ice cream scoop, that picture would probably look better but I don't really care because the less you want, the more for me. What impressed me the most (after the flavor) was how delicious it was straight from the freezer. My past experience with homemade ice cream led me to expect a rock hard chunk of cream that would have to be left out for a while before it became remotely scoopable, but this ice cream was perfect. The texture is like Haagen Daaz ice cream, no lie. I'm rationing this out very strictly to myself but I confess, it is very hard to resist.
In related news, while I was making the ice cream custard I also made some vanilla syrup (I have over 100 vanilla beans). This picture is really bad but it's the best I can do at the moment because I don't want to expend more effort. I promise, the syrup does not actually resemble pee. Anyway, I've been adding to my morning coffees sometimes and it is nice.
Vanilla Ice Cream (adapted from Perfect Scoop via use real butter)
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half length wise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
ice bath (I just chilled some water in the freezer while making the custard)
1. Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream and salt (do not boil!). Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add that to the milk mixture. Throw the bean pod in too. Cover and remove from heat, steep for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top (important! I ended up overcooking my custard a little so had to strain out some cooked egg).
3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Then add the milk mixture from step 1 very slowly, while whisking the yolks continuously. When everything is mixed, pour back into suacepan. Heat again over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the custard thickens and coats the back of your spatula.
4. Pour custard through the strainer into the cream. Add the vanilla extract and cool the mix over the ice bath. Chill the mixture completely in the fridge (I left mine in for 24 hours because I have a job).
5. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean and follow your ice cream machine's instructions. You can rinse and dry the vanilla bean and throw it in some sugar to make vanilla sugar.
Vanilla Syrup (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean with scraped beans (I used a whole one because as mentioned, I have 100+ beans)
Combine sugar and water and heat until sugar dissolves completely. Bring to a simmer and add vanilla bean pod and seeds. Simmer for 4 minutes and then let cool. Can strain out into a jar or not once cool (I didn't). Keep refrigerated.