Recipes: Ice cream and gelato

  • Updated: July 24, 2013 - 2:30 PM

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream √

Makes about 1 quart.

Note: Vanilla is still America’s favorite flavor — and the use of both bean and extract could make this doubly popular. Vanilla beans are often sold with spices at the supermarket. They aren’t cheap; get the most out of them by washing the pod, laying it on a plate to dry, then burying it in your sugar bowl to make vanilla sugar. Or the vanilla pod can be simmered a second time in a fruit compote or jam. Adapted from “Living the Sweet Life in Paris,” a blog by pastry chef David Lebovitz.

• 1 c. whole milk

• Pinch of salt

• 3/4 c. sugar

• 1 vanilla bean (see Note)

• 2 c. heavy cream

• 5 egg yolks

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract


Heat the milk, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Meanwhile, lay the vanilla bean on a cutting board, split it lengthwise with a paring knife, and use the edge of the knife to scrape the seeds from the bean. Add both bean and seeds to the milk in pan. Cover pan, remove from heat, and infuse for an hour at room temperature.

When milk has infused, make an ice bath by partly filling a large bowl with ice and water, then placing a smaller bowl (2-quart) inside it. (Ice should come most of the way up the side of the interior bowl; just don’t let it splash inside.) Place a mesh strainer over the small bowl, and strain cream into the bowl, reserving vanilla bean.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks. Rewarm the milk slightly then whisk 1/2 cup or so into the yolks to temper them. Slowly pour the rest of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the yolk-milk mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over low heat, scraping the bottom of the pan with a heatproof spatula and stirring constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the spatula. Strain custard into the heavy cream, stir in the vanilla extract and add in the reserved vanilla bean, then refrigerate to chill completely, preferably overnight.

To make the ice cream, remove the vanilla bean and process the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s directions. For a firmer texture, transfer to an airtight freezer container and freeze for 2 hours or more.

Nutrition information per 1/2 cup serving:

Calories 332 Fat 26 g Sodium 59 mg

Carbohydrates 22 g Saturated fat 15 g Calcium 87 mg

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