I’m on a bit of a vanilla kick lately, if you couldn’t tell. Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It’s a flavor that’s so classic and simple, one that every baker should have in their arsenal. Yet, finding the perfect recipe is so difficult. I struck gold with the cupcakes, and with 3 egg yolks hanging around begging to be used, I thought I’d break in copy of The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz, and give ice cream a shot too.
I wasn’t holding out much hope for this ice cream, but even after all the potential disasters, it came out great! Unlike most of the ice creams I’ve made in the past, it’s smooth and creamy, not at all grainy or icy in texture. And it’s perfectly vanilla flavored. Not bland and not too overpowering. Drizzle some chocolate sauce or caramel over top. Serve it up with a piece of pie. Eat it straight out of the container. I’m definitely making this one again! Hurry up, warmer weather!
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
Makes 1 pint
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
½ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Warm the milk, sugar, ½ cup heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds of vanilla bean into milk and add bean as well. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Pour remaining half cup cream into a large bowl and set a fine mesh strainer over top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Slowly pour warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to combine, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
3. Stir mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. (It should leave a clear trail that doesn’t flow back together when you run your finger across the spatula.) Remove from heat and pour the custard through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the cream. Stir to combine. Put the vanilla bean into the mixture as well, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath.
4. Once cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, pressing down onto the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
5. When ready to churn, remove vanilla bean, then freeze mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.