Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Since I now have an abundance of vanilla beans from a great Amazon deal, the first thing I wanted to do after making Vanilla Extract was make ice cream. Vanilla Bean is and always will be my favorite flavor. Nothing beats feeling those seeds between your teeth and the crunch they make when you bite them just right.

For this recipe I went to my hero, Alton Brown.

This makes the perfect amount of ice cream for my small Panasonic ice cream maker at 3 cups of liquid.


2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons peach preserves (not jelly) I didn't use this
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped


Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to inside of pan. (see note below) Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture overnight to mellow flavors and texture.

Freeze mixture in ice cream freezer according to unit's instructions. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 to 3/4 times, and reached a soft serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.

NOTE: If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat. Do not let it boil.

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