Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Happy Humpday Fellow Foodies!

Recently, my very good chef friend was telling me about a new ice cream that he has developed: Candied Bacon and Bourbon Ice Cream. The conversation had me thinking about how long it has been since I made fresh ice cream. I do not think that (not did I make) candied bacon and bourbon ice cream is for me and my family. If you feel the need to try it, go to Anson St Cafe on Anson St. in Charleston, SC for a taste of Mikey Mount's brilliant (and dare I say), divinely inspired cuisine.

The more I thought about fresh Ice cream this week, though, the more I wanted some. If you have never had ice cream right out of an ice cream maker, then you are missing out on a wonderful part of life. I can recommend to everyone who reads this, that if you don't have an ice cream maker, you should!

There are lots of different models out there for every price range. My home model is a little Hamilton Beach that holds about 1.5 quarts. It cost about $30 from Wal-Mart. I have seen ice cream makers on sale for as little as $20, and I have seen some high-end home models for around $399! When choosing an ice cream maker, please keep in mind how much ice cream you eat. Then estimate 30-40% of that. That is the amount you will probably make for yourself. Thus, I an telling you not to spend tons on a high-end model from a pricy specialty store, or a restaurant supply house. All ice cream makers basically do the same thing. The expensive models have their own electric freezing elements. The cheaper models use a gel based container that you freeze for about 24 hours before using.
Mine is the gel container model pictured above. I don't eat a lot of ice cream, as it is considered a treat in my home, we only consume it once in while. If you think you'll make a lot of ice cream then you may want to purchase a more expensive ice cream maker that has its own electric freezing element such as the one from Cuisinart:
With all that said-I made a Tahitian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream yesterday....and it was AWESOME!!! Here is the recipe:

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 vanilla beans
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar

Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, scrape the seeds into a saucepan, and add the bean pods along with the seeds. Pour in the cream and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While the cream mix is heating whisk the egg yolks and sugar together.

Continue whisking until the cream boils. Remove the cream mix from the heat. Add the cream mix to the yolk mix 1/2 cup at a time-whisking vigorously while adding the cream. Once about 1/2 of the cream mix is add to your yolks, pour the now tempered yolk mix into the remaining cream mix on the stove. Place over very low heat, and gently stirring with a rubber spatula, warm gently to about 160 degrees F. You will know the custard is done when it coats the rubber spatula thickly.

Place the saucepan into a large ice bath and stir gently with your rubber spatula until chilled to about 40 degrees F.

Refrigerate for about 24 hours. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Once done, transfer into a container and freeze for a few hours to firm your ice cream up a little more before serving.
Eat and enjoy!!!

NOTE: to turn your vanilla bean ice cream into chocolate; remove the beans, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/4 cup cocoa powder to your cold milk mix and procede as directed.
For strawberry ice cream; remove the vanilla bean, reduce your whole milk to one cup and add one cup of fresh strawberry puree. when the ice cream is done, fold in a few chopped strawberries to finish.

If you'd like any advice on any ice cream flavor, please feel free to message with your questions. I'll try my best to answer you in a timely fashion. Cook Joyfully!

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