Thereï¿½s nothing quite like a bowl of sweet, homemade vanilla ice cream during the long, hot summer.
Even on the most sweltering of days, vanilla ice cream can help cool you down and make you feel human again, while at the same time providing a treat to tame your sweet tooth. Rather than buying your ice cream from the store this summer, try this simple homemade vanilla bean ice cream recipe from Epicurious. Once youï¿½ve tried it, youï¿½ll never go back to store-bought again.
2 vanilla beans
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Experiment with different flavors once you have the vanilla bean ice cream recipe down. Some options include chocolate (add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate), strawberry (add 2 cups mashed fresh strawberries) and mint chocolate chip (add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract to the mixture while cooking, and 1 cup mini chocolate chips 10 minutes into the freezing process).
Try out different additions to your vanilla bean ice cream, such as plain chocolate chips, chunks of cookie or brownie dough, or even swirls of melted chocolate and crushed-up graham crackers.
If youï¿½re not keen on the idea of raw eggs, leave them out of the mixture. The resulting ice cream will be less creamy, since the fat in egg yolks helps ice cream reach its desired consistency, but it will be delicious nonetheless.
Halve the vanilla beans lengthways with a sharp knife, dispensing the seeds into a large, heavy saucepan. Add in the vanilla pods, heavy cream, whole milk and sugar. Heat mixture over a medium-high heat until it reaches a boilï¿½the slower the betterï¿½stirring the entire time. Once your mixture reaches boiling point, remove the saucepan from the heat.
In a separate large bowl, crack the three large eggs and beat them lightly. Very carefully, add the hot cream mixture to the eggs while whisking constantly; take care not to add the mixture too quickly or youï¿½ll end up with scrambled eggs. Enlist a helper to whisk while you pour, or vice versa, to make the process easier.
Once everything has been incorporated, add the mixture back to the saucepan and cook the custard over a low-medium heat, stirring constantly. You want the mixture to reach 170 degrees Fahrenheit, so use a thermometer to make sure you donï¿½t overheat it. The important thing here is to not let the mixture come to a boil.
When the custard reaches approximately 170 degrees, pour it through a sieve into a clean bowl. Allow to cool, then cover the bowl with wax paper and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours, or up to one day.
Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and run it until it has the consistency of soft-serve. Transfer the ice cream into an airtight container and put it in the freezer to harden until itï¿½s time to eat it. (If you donï¿½t have an ice cream maker, pour the chilled custard into an airtight container and put it in the freezer. Stir vigorously every 30 minutes until the ice cream is frozen through. This will retain the creamy texture and prevent the ice cream from becoming too hard.)
While you might initially feel intimidated by the idea of preparing fresh homemade ice cream, youï¿½ll find that itï¿½s well worth the extra effort. Experiment with recipes like this vanilla bean ice cream one this summer, and your friends and family will be begging you to share your secret.
This article is presented by Kundert Volvo in Hasbrouck Heights and Englewood, NJ.