Sunday, July 02, 2006

Speckled vanilla bean ice cream

This is our tried and true vanilla ice cream, adapted from the recipe in The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...an ice cream maker is a good investment.

2 vanilla beans (I bought some nice ones on eBay last year for not much money)
2 cups heavy cream (or half and half, your choice)
2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
3/4 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla

Split vanilla beans and scrape out seeds. Add beans and pods, cream, vanilla and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Add the sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves and mixture is hot, 6 to 8 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk about 1 c. of the milk mixture into the bow, then return the egg mixture to the pan. Reduce heat to medium low, cook 5 to 10 minutes, until custard thickens.
Strain the custard into a bowl, add vanilla bean pods for flavor. Cool 1 hour at room temperature, then in fridge at least six hours or as long as 3 days.
Discard vanilla bean pods. Pour custard into canister of ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions (30 min for our maker). Transfer to a covered container and freeze at least 3 hours.

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