It’s been a while since I’ve given you a recipe for something sweet. I won’t hold out on you any longer. I don’t know if you’ve ever made homemade ice cream before, but it is one of my favorite food memories from childhood. It was always exciting to come in from playing outside all day and hear the groaning of the ice cream freezer’s motor — wondering what flavor my mom would’ve made for us. It also frequently meant that we would have company over to enjoy it with us, something else that I enjoyed as a child (and still do!). While my mom’s specialties included black walnut, banana, strawberry — it was the vanilla that was always my favorite. And while this recipe directs you to freeze your ice cream completely firm before eating it, we loved eating the soft treat immediately from the ice cream maker.
Do you have memories of homemade ice cream from childhood? Do you make homemade ice cream now with your children? If you don’t have the equipment, I suggest adding it to your Christmas list so you can be ready when spring rolls around (not that I don’t make ice cream in the winter ;) ).
Now for the reasons I love this recipe. First, the flavor is over the top. The addition of vanilla bean and vanilla extract ensures that your taste buds will be delighted. It is like Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla but SOOOOOO much better. Next, the inclusion of a small amount of corn syrup keeps the ice cream soft even when completely frozen. This means it scoops easier, no microwave zaps required. Finally, the use of egg yolks to make a custard base creates a rich, smooth, and creamy ice cream that is perfect on its own but would also be a good base for some homemade caramel or hot fudge sauce. And yes, I think this is better than the vanilla ice cream recipe in The Perfect Scoop.
So what are you waiting for? Whip up a batch now and enjoy a scoop!
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With the tip of a paring knife, scrape out the seeds. In a medium saucepan, combine the vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, whipping cream, milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is steaming steadily, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice with a small amount of water in it. Place a small bowl in the ice and set a strainer on top. You will pour your ice cream custard into this ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Whisk the remaining sugar into the egg yolks in a small bowl. When the cream mixture is hot, transfer 1/4 cup into the egg yolks and stir constantly to combine. Transfer a little bit more cream into the yolks, stirring constantly. This will temper the egg yolks to keep them from scrambling. Now, pour the egg yolks into the pan of cream and return to the stove over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon (it will register 180 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat and pour through the strainer into the small bowl in the ice bath. Stir in the vanilla extract and return the vanilla bean to the mixture.
Once the mixture stops steaming (about 10-20 minutes), transfer the bowl to the fridge to chill completely (at least 4 hours). Once chilled, freeze the mixture in your ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the freezer is done, transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm (or eat it right away!).
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated via Dishing the Divine.