I’m sure it’s a bit bizarre to see ice cream recipes popping up during the winter months, but when you are lucky enough to receive the KA ice cream maker attachment for Christmas, there really isn’t an alternative to churning out new ice cream recipes! After a successful Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, I definitely got the bug to keep trying new recipes and after hearing rave reviews, I ran out and picked up The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. For anyone interested in making homemade ice cream, this book is a definite must-have. It is full not only of absolutely fabulous-sounding recipes, but also serves as a wonderful reference that includes a significant amount of background information on the ingredients used for ice creams, methods, equipment, and tips for churning out the best homemade ice cream.
Vanilla ice cream is a classic that just about everyone loves, so mastering it was on the top of my list. A short list of ingredients ensures a rich, smooth, and fresh-tasting ice cream that melts in your mouth (slight pun intended). Using real vanilla beans gives the ice cream robust flavor and infuses it with speckles of vanilla bean, which I just love.
The recipes for classic vanilla and chocolate ice creams are offered in two varieties – one made with a cooked custard involving egg yolks (“French-style”), and another made simply with cream or a combination of cream and whole milk (“Philadelphia-style”). The difference between these two methods lies primarily in the texture achieved – French-style ice creams tend to be smoother and silkier, due to the emulsifying properties of the egg yolks, while Philadelphia-style ice creams tend to be a bit firmer and freeze harder, but are somewhat lighter tasting. A distinct advantage of Philadelphia-style ice cream is how quickly they can be mixed together before chilling and freezing.
Since I was pressed for time, the batch of ice cream I made was Philadelphia-style and I thought it had a wonderful texture and was light and creamy, which makes me even more excited to try the French-style next time and compare the two.
Aside from eating it straight out of the container, my favorite way to enjoy homemade vanilla ice cream:
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk) and the vanilla extract.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.