Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I’ve never made anything with vanilla beans before. Thought they were too expensive to begin with. My friend wanted to place an order for some online and I asked if I could order some too.  The smell was almost intoxicating when opening up the package. The vanilla beans smelled way better than vanilla extract. They’re kind of hard to work with, and you should have a really sharp knife.

I wanted to make vanilla ice cream. The real stuff, with heavy whipping cream, egg yolks, and half and half. Perfect ingredients for an expensive spice! Wouldn’t you say so? My search for vanilla bean ice cream ended when binging (yes I Bing) and there was a recipe for vanilla bean ice cream at my favorite food blog: the Pioneer Woman. Woohoo, this ice cream did not disappoint either.

The first time I tried making this with my ice cream machine the mixture didn’t get cold enough, and I had to wait another day. Then when the ice cream finally was ready it had to set for another day. Booo, it was well worth the wait though. So rich and creamy.You know, I like to try the full fat on version of something before I like to try to and make it lighter. So, even though this may have 6,000 calories per serving be on the look out for a lighter version later on down the road. ;)

I’ve been really obsessed with the sky lightly. I took this picture of Venus and Crescent moon last night. Been trying to get a shot of the Northern Lights lately and on Tuesday I missed a chance. They’ve been really active around where I live for the last couple of nights. Last night was cloudy though.

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Recipe from the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

1 whole Vanilla Bean, Split And Scraped
3 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Sugar
8 whole (up To 9) Large Egg Yolks
3 cups Heavy Cream

Preparation Instructions

Heat half-and-half and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan over low heat, adding vanilla “caviar” to the mixture. (You can also drop in the scraped vanilla bean, just to extract all the flavor. Make sure to discard the bean before moving to the next step.) Turn off heat when mixture is totally heated.

Beat egg yolks by hand or with an electric mixer until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the egg yolks by slowly drizzling into the 1 1/2 cups of hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly. After that, pour the egg yolk/half-and-half mixture into the pan containing the rest of the half-and-half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat (depending on how hot your stove gets) until quite thick, stirring constantly. Drain custard using a fine mesh strainer, then pour into a bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine.

Chill mixture completely, then freeze in an ice cream maker until thick. Place container in freezer to harden for at least eight hours.

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