To be honest, I’ve never been the biggest vanilla ice cream fan. I mean, of course I like it because it is ice cream, after all, and what ice cream isn’t good? But, it’s always been more of a vehicle for other flavors to me. You know – caramel sauce, Oreo cookies, berries. Or, of course, the base of one of the greatest inventions ever, the Blizzard.
When my now-husband and I started living together (yes, in sin), he loved having vanilla bean ice cream around. My husband has never really been the most discerning foodie, but when it comes to ice cream he knows his stuff – always going for the all-natural kind, made with vanilla beans over solely extract (or imitation extract. *shudder*). Slowly, I started to change my tune regarding vanilla ice cream.
When I wanted to make my first batch of homemade vanilla ice cream, I of course turned to David Lebovitz. Like always, he didn’t disappoint. This ice cream is really delicious and oh-so-vanilla-y. The custard base is fabulous and rich, and will knock the socks off your grocer’s ice cream, natural vanilla bean or not!
Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warmed milk, and then add the bean itself. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let steep for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl, and set a mesh strainer over the top. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, and then scrape back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (don’t boil!). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla bean to the custard, stir in the vanilla extract, and then stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture in your refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.