Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

This custard based ice cream has a rich velvety texture that is perfect alone or with a variety of accompaniments. Good vanilla beans can be expensive and difficult to find. Mine tend to harden before I get the chance to use them so I often substitute vanilla bean paste in recipes that call for vanilla beans. Just add the paste to the saucepan with the milk and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
5 egg yolks
2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk with the tip of a paring knife. Add the bean pod to the milk.

Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks 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. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Rinse the vanilla bean and put it back into the custard and cream to continue steeping. Chill thoroughly, then remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.