Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Gourmet Cookbook's Ice Cream #1 {The Most Amazing Vanilla Bean Ice Cream}

I am in my Ice Cream Era at the moment. It's summer y'all and I am going through some ice cream. I happened to be looking through my tome of a cookbook, The Gourmet Cookbook, and I found SOOOOOOO MANY ice cream recipes I wanted to try; namely, Burnt Orange Ice Cream (made with a caramelized orange sauce); Cream Cheese Ice Cream; Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream; Raspberry Ice Cream; Lemon Meringue Ice Cream; Maple Walnut Ice Cream; Prune Armagnac Ice Cream; and then even some delicious sounding sorbets like Green Apple Sorbet; Roasted Apricot Sorbet; Kir Royale Sorbet, and many more.

So, I'll see how far I get with all those delicious sounding recipes! But, in the meantime, it's been awhile since I've made ice cream and used my ice cream maker, so I'm starting basic with Gourmet's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream! 

Making custard can be tricky as we don't want to overcook or boil the cream and we definitely don't want to scramble the eggs, but I succeeded on the first try and the custard base was thick and tasty. If you're a first time ice cream maker, or even if it's been awhile since you've made ice cream, I suggest buying extra cream and milk, just in case things go astray and then you can just start over and try again!

This Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is total perfection! It is smooth and rich and thick and creamy and velvety with lots of vanilla bean flecks throughout and just the right amount of vanilla flavor. I think it may be the best ice cream I've ever made! We all loved it.

Things are off to a great start, can't wait to see how next week's ice cream turns out! 

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

by Ruth Reichl

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise*

2 large eggs

Equipment: an instant read thermometer and an ice cream maker

*Note: If you don't have vanilla beans, use 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

Combine cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a 2- to 3 quart heavy saucepan. With tip of a knife, scrape seeds from vanilla beans into cream mixture, then drop in pods. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large metal bowl. Add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, then pour mixture into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170-175F on thermometer (Note: my ice cream mixture was already at 160F when I added the egg and hot cream mixture back into the pan - it did not take very long at all for the mixture to come to 170-175F - just a minute or two); do not let boil.

Pour custard through a fine mesh sieve into cleaned metal bowl; discard pods. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Note: I have a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and it took 20 minutes to freeze up and harden. With my Cuisinart machine the ice cream usually has to finish sitting up overnight to harden completely. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

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