I scream! You scream! We all scream for ICE CREAM!
I treated myself to an early birthday present and it is something that the mister has wanted me to buy for a long time! Hang on a second...isn't this MY birthday present? *smiles* I gave myself an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid and today we decided to give homemade ice cream a try. Oh my!! Mission accomplished. I've never had such rich and creamy ice cream before this.
We decided to make our first batch Vanilla. Since I like trying new things I suggested we make our first batch of homemade vanilla ice cream to be Vanilla Bean ice cream. I have never purchased vanilla beans before so this was a lot of fun for me to do a little research on vanilla beans as to how to use them. THIS is a vanilla bean (actually three vanilla beans) and they came in this clear, plastic wrapped package. After I bought these I have now discovered Vanilla Beans at my local grocery store and they come in clear viles (tubes). Either packaging is fine. The first step in making vanilla bean ice cream is to carefully cut open each bean and scoop out the seeds with the tip of the knife. The seeds are super-duper-tiny! Add the beans to the mixture of heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2, sugar and just a scant of salt that you have mixed together in a pan on the stove top. After you've scrapped all of the beans of their seeds and added the seeds to the cream mixture, drop the bean pods in too. Now it is time to heat this mixture while stirring constantly just until it begins to simmer. In another bowl whisk two eggs. Now pour very slowly and whisk very quickly the cream/vanilla bean mixture from the stove. You want to add the hot cream mixture slowly and whisk constantly soas not to end up with scrambled eggs. Now add the whisked contents of the bowl back into the stovetop pot and heat to about 170 degrees whisking constantly. You don't want this to boil so watch the temperature. Through a fine sieve, pour the hot mixture and you'll be left with a very creamy custard in the bowl. Cover the bowl and chill this mixture in the refrigerator for several hours.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT throw away the vanilla bean pods. Just rinse the pods off carefully and dry them and store them in a cool, dark place. Even though you've removed the vanilla bean seeds, the pods still contain some wonderful vanilla flavor and aroma. You can mix the dry pods in a bowl of sugar for a light vanilla sugar flavor or perhaps grind them up in your coffee grinder and add them to your coffee grounds when you set up your next pot of coffee for a mild vanilla flavor coffee. Definitely reuse the pods. This has been a public service announcement to save the vanilla bean pods. OK. You've twiddled your thumbs for several hours and it is time to take the cold custard out of the refrigerator and put it into your ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream maker manufacturers direction. For mine, I just turned on the machine and slowly added the custard. Twenty minutes later.........VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM!! Yum! Yum! And lots more yum! We had our ice cream in waffle bowls. I had these beautiful raspberries just begging to be placed in my bowl of ice cream. Oh my! So rich! So good! So filling! I confess, my dogs got to eat the waffle bowl because I just couldn't eat another bite. Gabe, Paige and Noah were most grateful!
I improvised on THIS RECIPE from EPICURIOUS for their Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
I know we will be making a lot of different kinds of ice cream and sorbets this summer. Because I have some fresh raspberries and strawberries I think a cool berry sorbet is next in line to be tried.
Until next time,