This vanilla ice cream was a birthday request from the boy, and who am I to deny birthday requests? I did ask him what he wanted, after all! His reply was vanilla ice cream with some sort of warm chocolate cake. The vanilla ice cream turned out fabulous; the Aztec chocolate lava cake only turned out alright.
Vanilla ice cream is
Because of vanilla ice cream's simplicity, you can top almost any dessert with vanilla ice cream and make it exponentially better. Apple pie is great, but add a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream to warm pie, and it makes people swoon.
Want to make some crazy ice cream concoction, or new flavor? Start with vanilla ice cream. Vanilla can take fruit, chocolate, jimmies, cookies, candy, wine, beer, tea, flowers, herbs, vegetables, and even meat (?). Anything, really.
The following recipe is a custard-style ice cream, meaning that it has egg yolks and requires cooking for the mixture to thicken before you churn the ice cream. Custard-style ice creams are rich and creamy.
A simpler type of ice cream to make is Philadelphia-style ice cream (Philly loves to claim things – I've got a whole book on things that happened first or originated in Philly – It's quite amazing), which does not have egg yolks, so does not require cooking. Philadelphia-style ice cream is lighter and chewier than custard-style ice cream. Simply remove the egg yolks from the recipe below, skip the cooking to thicken, and you’ve got Philadelphia-style ice cream; great for when you’re in a hurry.
As I type this, I am making another batch of ice cream. I can feel ice cream coming on strong like it did last summer, so forgive me, and bear with me. I have a list a mile long of ice creams I want to make, including the one I meant to start this season off with, and a vegan ice cream that fell through the cracks last year. I'm (not seriously) thinking of changing the name of my blog to something like Cream Queen, or maybe I Scream, because, believe it or not, I do know that Mac & Cheese is a really stupid blog name. Meh, I’m horrible at coming up with names.
Vanilla Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Warm milk, cream, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape the seeds into the warm milk, and also add the bean. Cover, remove from heat, and steep for 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Remove the vanilla bean from the warm milk, and slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan.
- With a heatproof spatula, stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan . This is a “slow and low” process, to avoid cooking the egg and getting cooked egg bits in your custard.
- Pour the custard through a mesh strainer. Add the vanilla extract, and cool before churning.