Spring arrived early here in the South. Actually, some days already feel like summer. Temperatures are in the mid-80’s which means flip-flop season had begun. Or should I say sandal season? Either way it is toes out time. The warm weather also gave me a craving for ice cream. I want something to cool down after mowing the lawn or tending to the garden. A few spoonfuls of a frozen treat sure does the trick.
Ice cream has always meant summer to me. My parents would make it for dessert at our family summer dinners. My father, uncle, brother, and everyone would take turns churning it. It was one of the ice cream makers with a hand crank. I also remember my parents getting an electric model as soon as one was available. It was a whole lot easier only having to add ice and rock salt while sitting and watching it churn all by itself.
My first ice cream maker was one like my parents. It served me well for a long time but was later replaced. I now have one with a bowl you freeze. I keep it in the freezer all the time so it is ready to use whenever. It is awful handy. Plus it eliminates the possibility of getting salt water in your ice cream. Have you ever had that happen? I have and it was awful.
Vanilla bean ice cream is the first batch for this season. The caramel sauce in my fridge was begging to be put on something. It would also be fantastic with my apple dumplings. The recipe is a result of combining about four different ones and years of making ice cream. It has the right texture and does not become rock hard once it is stored in the freezer.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I would like your ideas and suggestions for new ones to make. The season has just begun and I am ready to fill it with all kinds of tasty ice cream.
Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
Using a pairing knife, split the vanilla bean in half length-wise and scrap out the seeds.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the half-and-half and whipping cream to a simmer (do not boil). Add vanilla seeds and pod to the pan. Cover pan, remove from heat, and let sit for 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, and sugar until lighter in color. Use a ladel to add a little of the cream to the eggs/sugar and whisk to combine. Continue adding cream until at least half has been mixed with the eggs. Add the eggs/cream mixture back to the pan and whisk to combine.
Over medium heat, cook mixture until it reaches 170 to 175 degrees F, stirring constantly.
Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl. Cover mixture directly on top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature then chill overnight.
Pour chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a container and place it in the freezer for at least one hour or overnight.
A recipe for old-fashioned vanilla bean ice cream. A tasty frozen dessert made with a vanilla bean, cream, eggs, and sugar.