Vanilla ice cream

So many things about this are ridiculous.

My little town has been socked in with fog for the past 6 months. Ok probably only two weeks but it FEELS like six months. The temperature gets up 30 F which is ridiculously low for the Willamette Valley. And yet I felt the need to make ice cream. What?

Homemade vanilla ice cream- rich and creamy.

I’m on a tight budget these days. Really tight. It is good really. I am learning how to cook frugally and I am hardly ever throwing away food anymore. It is quite satisfying. However, while shopping for the ingredients for ice cream, I found myself having to make the choice between a quart of heavy cream or a really tasty looking 22 oz bottle of beer. I really wanted beer. I really wanted to make ice cream. So no beer for me that day. Who have I become?

I had a healthy breakfast, chickpea and avocado salad for lunch, went to yoga, went on a run (in 28F), then stuffed my face with full fat ice cream. Seriously? Who does that? I had such a sugar crash not long after. That did not feel good at all.

Homemade vanilla ice cream- rich and creamy.

But you know what does sound good? This ice cream with a shot of espresso dumped over it. I’m fairly confident that is what I will be doing later this afternoon.

So yes, it is cold outside. We need to be eating healthy food to make up for the holidays. I don’t care. I got my ice cream maker for Christmas and by golly I’m going to use it. That way when peaches are in season and it is sweltering outside I will be an ice cream master and can whip it the most amazing ice cream in nothing flat. You will want to move in with me. I promise.

Even if we don’t have AC.

Homemade vanilla ice cream- rich and creamy.

Vanilla Ice Cream (makes about 1 quart)
from David Lebovitz

Over the course of the coming months I will be making many batches of ice cream. I decided to start with a basic vanilla to figure out what I do and don’t like.

1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula (175-180 F). Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Homemade vanilla ice cream- rich and creamy.

Amazingly simple. Delicious topped with a bit of homemade strawberry jam.

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