Monday, May 30, 2011

French Vanilla Ice Cream

I love the idea of making ice cream. It reminds me of chemistry lab and I always seem to overcook it, but once it all comes together everything turns out OK. Homemade ice cream tends to be more eggy than store bought ice cream, but it is also richer in flavor and creamier. I hate ice cream that is mostly air which tends to be the new trend for store bought ice cream (with some exceptions like Ben and Jerry's). Like most foods, I love ice cream, but only if it is done right. This recipe should completely satisfy you unless you overcooked the eggs. If you overcook the eggs... well you could just say its an acquired taste. Best of luck!

This recipe if from Food Network Kitchens.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
In a saucepan, combine the milk and 1 cup of the cream. If you are using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the pod into the milk mixture and then add the rest of the vanilla bean pod. Otherwise add the vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat until bubbles from around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Using the vanilla bean creates a more natural taste, but the vanilla extract tastes great too. When choosing between the two options I usually let my budget decide. 

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar and remaining cream in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve. I usually keep the egg whites for an omelette later. 

Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Keep the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it. This takes about 10 minutes. Do not let the custard boil and be careful and try not to over cook because this will cause the eggs to scramble which will make a very eggy tasting vanilla ice cream. Pour the mixture through a strainer and into a bowl. 

Place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and water. Leave until the mixture is cool. Now you have two options: you can either place it directly into the ice cream maker or keep it refrigerated for up 24 hours.

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