Summer sun. Warm breezes. Beach time. Gardening. Fresh fruits and veggies. These are a just a few of my summer loves. In between work hard at my day job and promoting the cookbook, I like to take time to enjoy what summer has to offer. And nothing is more satisfying on a warm summer night than a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream topped with fresh fruit. The other night I enjoyed a big bowl of ice cream and peaches. Heaven.
So to that end, I realized that I have never actually posted my original recipe for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. For years, I used Jeni’s tried and true recipe, which remains a great ice cream, but I have since developed my own recipe. I keep Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in my freezer most of the time, as it works well as a topping to pretty much any dessert but espeically warm summer crisps. Super simple and super satisfying. Enjoy!
The Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I prefer Madagascar vanilla)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.
Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean & seeds in a large saucepan. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.
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 a medium bowl. Whisk in salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Chill overnight.
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.