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Creamy Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream

Vanilla bean ice cream

You all know that I’ve recently got an ice-cream maker! Yay baby – an ice-cream maker (a big strike through on my wish list).  To honour my new ice-cream maker, I made my lil’ one’s favourite Green Tea ice-cream which, was a huge hit with the family.  Then, hubby made a special request for vanilla ice-cream, the most basic well-loved flavour.

Vanilla bean ice-cream

My mission has been spelled out clearly.  WHAT? It’s to find a creamy, delicious and very very Vanilla ice-cream recipe to impress my hubby.  I love vanilla ice-cream too.  Good vanilla ice-cream has a simple taste that can’t be masked by any other flavour.

I sorted through many recipes but some of them fell short of the creaminess and the very very vanilla flavour I was looking for, until this recipe on will cook for friends, whose recipe was adapted from the ice-cream king himself, David Lebovitz.  I really like the use of good quality vanilla beans as the base – there’s something evocative about vanilla beans that comes from their beautiful perfume smell and exotic flavour, which gets you all dreamy 🙂

Creamy Vanilla Bean Ice-cream (adapted from will cook for friends)

Serves 1.2L

Equipment:
Ice-cream maker
Airtight container or bread tin wrapped with aluminium foil, chilled

Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream (>35% fat)
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:
1. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat.  Then cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the vanilla beans from both sides with the tip of the knife.  Put the vanilla beans and the pod into the saucepan together with a pinch of salt.  Stir occasionally until the mixture is steaming, not boiling.  Cover, remove from the heat and set aside for the flavours to infuse for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and smooth.

3. On low heat, warm up the milk mixture.  Once it’s warm, slowly ladle the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking at constant motion so as not to scramble the eggs.  Follow the same motion until the milk mixture is completely exhausted into the egg yolk mixture, continuing to whisk all times.

4. Return the combined mixture to the stovetop over medium heat.  Cook and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it starts to take the form of custard.  Once the custard thickens and coat the back of your wooden spoon (usually at 79-82 celsius), remove immediately from the heat.  Do not let it boil.  While stirring, always scrape the bottom of the pot to remove lumps.

5. Strain the custard over a strainer into a bowl that is sitting in a large bowl of ice water.   The strainer is used to remove lumpy custard and egg yolks that may have formed during the cooking process.  Put the vanilla pod back into the custard.

6. Gently stir the custard over the ice bath until cool.  Then add vanilla extract and mix well.  Remove from the ice bath, cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or until it’s completely chilled.

7. Hours later – Remove the chilled mixture from the fridge and take out the vanilla pod from the mixture.  Remove the ice-cream bowl from the freezer.  Remember – only remove the ice-cream bowl from the freezer right before you churn the ice-cream.  Power on the ice-cream maker and slowly pour the mixture into the ice-cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Wait and watch 🙂

8. Once the ice-cream has reached a soft, ice-creamy texture (about 20-25mins), stop and transfer it into a pre-chilled airtight container.  Freeze for at least 3-4 hours before serving.  If you prefer a firmer texture, freeze the ice-cream overnight.

Enjoy!

Note: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have an ice-cream maker.  You can still make delicious home made ice-cream by following the steps here

Vanilla bean ice cream

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