Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I have always been intrigued by recipes using actual vanilla beans.  I have always wanted to try making something  with them, but had never been brave enough to try.  One Christmas when my step Sister Christine was staying at my place, she gifted me a bag of real vanilla beans.  I have one of those cuisinart automatic frozen Ice Cream Makers.  Derek and I were given it as a wedding gift many moons ago.  This recipe came with the ice cream maker, but had never given it a try.  However, with my newly acquired vanilla beans I could think of no better christening than vanilla bean ice cream, so I pulled out the ol’ ice cream maker and we made it that weekend.   Honestly, I think this recipe would really be considered more of a custard because it has eggs in it.  Whatever it is…it’s good, but honestly best if you let it ripen for a good 2 hours in the freezer before serving.

VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C whole milk (or 2% is what I usually have in the fridge)
  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean (about 6 inches in length)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 C sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan.  Using a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Use the blunt edge to scrape out the “seeds”.  Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk/cream mixture.  Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat until the mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow in color, about 1 1/2-2 minutes.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk/cream mixture.  Pour out 1 cup of the hot liquid.  With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the egg mixture in a slow steady stream.  When thoroughly combined, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and stir to combine.  cook, stirring constantly, over medium low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Transfer to a bowl, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap placed directly on the custard, and chill completely (I usually put it in the freezer until it is good and cold, but still liquid).
  4. Turn the machine ON, pour the chilled custard into the freezer bowl and lex mix util thickened, about 25-3o minutes.
  5. Let ripen in the freezer for 2 hours.

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