|Lighter Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream|
There’s a running argument within my family about which member of our family loves ice cream the most. We recently took my dad out of the running when he confessed that he actually likes yogurt better than ice cream. Us four siblings all really love it (I recently impressed—or rather, shocked—my male coworkers when on a business trip I completely out-ate them all in ice cream one evening!), but at the end of the day, it’s my brother Quinn who wins for biggest ice cream aficionado. I’ve seen him put down quantities of ice cream that would make the average person absolutely sick (we won’t mention the time I did see him get sick from too much ice cream) and few people, aside from our family of course, have the same kind of glee and jubilation over the frozen concoction of milk and cream and sugar! I’ll never forget the year our family went on a cruise and Quinn literally hit up the soft serve machine for a cone at least six or seven times…a day!
All of us tend to prefer fancy flavors, as you probably realized from the array of ice creams I’ve made in the past. Cinnamon Ice Cream with French Toast Chunks? Maple Whiskey with Candied Bacon? Plain ‘ol vanilla is a far cry from these. Sometimes you just can’t beat pure vanilla ice cream, especially when you’re serving it atop a warm piece of pie, as we did with this batch of ice cream. I opted to use vanilla beans to get the purest vanilla flavor, and it amplified it enough to make it anything but boring!
Even if vanilla ice cream isn’t your thing, this “lighter” version from Cooking Light would make a great base for whatever mix-ins you fancy!
1. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the half & half, 1/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, salt, and evaporated milk. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds along with the bean to the milk mixture. Heat mixture to 180F, or until tiny bubbles form around the edge (don't allow to boil).
2. Remove pan from heat, cover, and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to pan and cook over medium heat until 160F, stirring constantly.
3. Remove pan from heat and pour through a sieve, discarding vanilla bean. Chill mixture thoroughly, at least four hours or overnight, before freezing according to ice cream manufacturer instructions.
From Cooking Light June 2013