Let’s face it. There are some topics on which taking a position is unavoidable: Republican or Democrat? Dog person or cat person? Or, perhaps the most divisive of them all, chocolate or vanilla? And as long as I can remember, I have been firmly rooted in camp chocolate, particularly where ice cream is concerned. Until I had kids.
Sure, I still love chocolate ice cream, but there’s something about spending a half hour Shouting out a set-in chocolate stain on a brand new BabyGap shirt (ed. note: how are such tiny shirts so darn expensive?!) that will really help you see the vanilla light. Left to my own devices, I’ll still pick chocolate every time, but I’ve come to see the merits of vanilla.
Anyway, this homemade vanilla bean ice cream is super tasty. Dress it up with chocolate sauce, serve it a la mode on a piece of apple pie, or just enjoy it’s sweet deliciousness. Seriously, this is like my favorite vanilla thing on the planet.
Okay, okay. My second favorite vanilla thing on the planet. What can I say? I’m a 90s kid.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the milk and 2 cups of the whipping cream in a large saucepan. Score the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add both the seeds and the empty pod to the milk/cream mixture. Heat until mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from heat. Let mixture steep while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and mix with a hand mixture on low to medium-low speed until light and pale in color. The mixture will begin to fold into ribbons as you're nearing the end of the mixing, about 1½ to 2 minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of warm liquid from the milk/cream/vanilla mixture and slowly add it to the egg mixture to temper the eggs. You want to do this at a slow, steady pace to gradually warm the egg mixture. Adding the warm liquid too fast could cause the eggs to cook or curdle.
- Once the eggs are tempered, slowly pour the eggs into the saucepan with the milk/cream/vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Next, pour the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Place a wire mesh strainer over the top and pour the warmed custard through the strainer. Remove the strainer and mix the custard and cream until well combined.
- To help the custard cool faster, place the large mixing bowl in an ice bath and continue to stir until cool.
- Cover with plastic wrap by pressing down against the custard, then adding a second layer directly over the bowl. Refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.
- To make ice cream, discard the vanilla bean pod and pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. Churn per the manufacturer's directions.