June 4, 2012

Vanilla Ice Cream

This vanilla ice cream from David Lebowitz is delicious. Even better, it is a wonderful base for other ice cream variations.  Rich and creamy, I'm not sure there's anything more you could want from vanilla ice cream.

I have a batch sitting in the freezer, just begging me to make homemade chocolate pudding to drench the ice cream in warm gooey pudding.

Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup skim milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat the milk, salt and sugar in a saucepan until tiny bubbles form along the edges of the pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, and then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat and infuse for one hour.

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart  bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl, and pour the cream into the bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk, then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk 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. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1 quart of joy.

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