French Vanilla Ice Cream

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As an accompaniment to the Thanksgiving pies, I thought I would make some ice cream. Technically, this recipe is for custard since it uses eggs. This was the first time I used actual vanilla beans in a recipe, finding some at a local bulk foods/candy store. I used Tahitian, but as the link suggests either Bourbon or Mexican would also be fine. The result was fantastic, richly vanilla ice cream on par with the incredible chocolate ice cream recipe I’ve also prepared from this source.

FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM
Based on recipe found here.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks (use up to 3 more large egg yolks for a richer custard)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture, then add the whole bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let the bean infuse for approximately one hour.
  2. Set up an ice bath by placing a two quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks.
  4. Rewarm the milk mixture, then gradually pour some into the egg yolks, whisking constantly (this is important since the eggs need to be tempered before being added to the warmer milk mixture). Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
  5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly (literally low heat and constantly or else may end up with scrambled eggs) and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens, coating the spatula.
  6. Strain the custard into the heavy cream (leave in the vanilla bean). Stir over the ice water bath until cooled, then add the vanilla extract. Refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
  7. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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