Thursday, January 12, 2012

Week One: Vanilla Bean

When trying to decide what flavor would be best to start this venture off with, I had quite a few thoughts floating around in my head. I though perhaps I'd start with one of my favorites. But then I thought it might be more fun to make something exciting that I'd never tried before. I finally decided that as the new year starts, leaving us all with a blank slate, perhaps I'd pick a flavor that mirrored that notion...the classic Vanilla Bean. (Ice cream metaphor!) Delicious on it's own, Vanilla Bean is a beautiful blank canvas for an endless list of possible additions: swirl in some mixed berry compote and a bit of granola, or perhaps a bit of caramel mixed with toasted almonds, or a simple handful of chocolate covered peanuts thrown in at the end of the churning.

Now I don't know about y'all, but I would eat all of these. At the same time, if given the option. But for now, I decided to keep it simple and classic. And I was quite happy with that decision when, at 10am yesterday morning, I was tasting my wares while in my pj's watching Once Upon a Time. ('Cause yeah, I watch that.) And I have a pint left that will be making it's way into someone's freezer soon...I think I have the perfect taste-testers picked out for this first batch!

And so here it is, Vanilla Bean:

(adapted from Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream)

1.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
0.5 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 vanilla bean

1. Combine the milk and 1 cup of cream in a heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat for five minutes.

2. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar and remaining 0.5 cups of cream. Whisk until smooth.

3. Remove the milk mixture from heat and slowly add some of the egg mixture, stirring until smooth. Now add egg mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. *Don't let the mixture'll be ugly!*

4. Strain the mixture into a heavy duty ziploc bag and toss the vanilla bean. Submerge the bag in ice water until cool and then stick the bag in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.

5. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn away! Transfer the finished product into a freezer safe container (like one of these that my brilliant husband bought me for Christmas!) and wait a few hours before indulging.

6. Grab a spoon and enjoy!


  1. Yum! Looks delicious! If you ever make that sweet potato one again, feel free to send it my way :D Or any other decadent concoctions you happen to mix students are definitely the best taste testers!

    1. You got it, Amanda! I'll have to plan a trip to Philly to visit and I'll bring some ice cream for you crazy college kids!

  2. I dont know why but when i read what you said about eating all the mix in suggestions at one time, a distinct picture came to my ice cream party we went to in first grade i think and you did just that...mixed in everything!! I believe i have a picture somewhere ; )

  3. sadly, this sounds exactly like something i would have done...and yes, would still do. was this the party in the place in gunning river mall? because i was JUST talking about that party with my mom. weird!

  4. I'm eating it as I type. It is outstanding.