After spending several weeks making a variety of ice cream and sorbet flavors, I decided that it was about time that I made some plain old vanilla. To be honest, I’m typically not a big fan of vanilla. Most of the time it just tastes flat, plain, and has no character. But over the years I have come to realize that when you get to taste a good scoop of vanilla ice cream, made with real vanilla beans, and fresh ingredients, there is nothing like it. And put it on top of something warm and delicious (like apple cake or pumpkin pie) it’s even better. I made some vanilla bean ice cream for a NOLA Eats pot luck a few weeks ago and it was a big hit! Try out the recipe and see what you think. Enjoy!
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Recipe by Jeni Britton Bauer, Food and Wine Magazine, June 2008
Makes 1 quart
2 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 ½ oz. cream cheese, softened (3 Tbsp.)
2/3 cup cane sugar
1/8 cup light corn syrup
1 8″ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I prefer Madagascar vanilla)
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup, and vanilla bean and seeds in a large saucepan. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 4 minutes (must be exact for correct consistency).
Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute. Carefully remove the vanilla bean. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
Once chilled, pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.