VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM RECIPE
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base
10 cups heavy cream
5 cups whole milk
3 cups sugar
3 vanilla beans
24 large egg yolks
Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream:
3/4 cup whole milk
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped in chunks
Strawberry Cheese Cake Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves, no sugar added
1/2 frozen strawberry cheesecake, cut in large chunks
10 large fresh strawberries, halved
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream:
1 tube ready to bake peanut butter cookie dough, cut in large pieces
To make the vanilla ice cream: Combine the cream, milk, salt, and 2 cups of the
sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and
scrape out the seeds with a paring knife; add them to the pot and toss in the
pods for added flavor. Place the cream mixture over medium heat, and bring up to
a simmer; stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Ideally, the
temperature should reach 175 degrees F (just below scalding) for a
smooth-textured ice cream; this should take about 15 minutes. Shut off the heat,
cover the pot, and allow the cream mixture to steep for 15 minutes to further
infuse the vanilla flavor.
In the meantime, combine the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and blend them
lightly with a wire whisk. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and
continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are thick
and pale yellow; about 6 minutes.
Using a large ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by gradually whisking in
about 4 cups of the hot cream mixture. Return this back to the rest of the cream
in the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the
custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you run your
finger across it, about 10 to 12 minutes (do not let boil.)
Pour the vanilla custard through a fine strainer into another pot* and chill
completely in a sink full of ice, stirring here and there; this should take
about 1 hour. Ideally, let the ice cream base "age" overnight in the
refrigerator before churning in an ice cream maker to improve the flavor and
texture of the final product – but it is still good if you decide to process it
right away. Divide the ice cream into quarts** and churn each in an ice cream
maker according to manufacturer's directions. When done, the ice cream will be
the consistency of "soft serve."
To harden the ice cream fully, freeze in plastic covered containers.
Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream: Heat 3/4 up of milk in a pot over
medium-low heat. Add 12 ounces of the chopped chocolate and stir until
completely melted. Pour 1 quart of the strained hot vanilla ice cream base into
the melted chocolate and stir until very well incorporated. Chill and process as
directed in the master recipe. Fold in the remaining 4 ounces of chopped
chocolate after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Churn
another 1 to 2 minutes just until combined.
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: Mix the strawberry preserves into the vanilla
custard just before you start churning in the ice cream maker. Add the pieces of
strawberry cheesecake and fresh strawberries after churning while the ice cream
is in the "soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 5 minutes or
until combined but still chunky.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Add the pieces of cookie dough after
churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for
an additional 1 to 2 minutes until combined but still chunky.