Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard

Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard.jpg

Once a decade. That’s how often I’m wrong about something. At least that’s what I told my kids when they were little — that they should make a note of it because it’s that rare. It’s not, of course, I’m wrong all too often, like any other human being. I made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream a year or so ago, and my family liked it better than Vanilla Frozen Custard. I disagreed; to me, Vanilla Frozen Custard was the gold standard. After all, Abbotts doesn’t use vanilla beans, do they? No, they don’t. But maybe they should! I discovered the error of my ways while I was preparing for Meatfest last July.

Meatfest has become such a tradition for our family that it’s pretty much reached Holiday status. Its beginnings were humble. My sister and I wanted to get together for dinner, but it was a spur of the moment thing. So rather than either of us spending a beautiful summer day trekking to the grocery store, we both just brought whatever we had on hand. It turned out we each had plenty of meat, so we ended up with way more than we needed: hamburgers, chicken, sausages — it was a real smorgasbord and loads of fun. The overabundance of meat was, of course, behind the name Meatfest. At some point over the twenty-some years since that first time, my sister started bringing steaks, and it’s been beef ever since. Now that the kids are all grown, it can be a challenge to find a weekend when everyone can get together. We start kicking dates around months in advance.

This year, we had thirteen adults, two children, and four dogs. We used the porch table, the kitchen table, and two card tables, which took up most of the length of the porch. Since my sister brings the meat, I provide the side dishes and dessert. This year we had Potato Salad With Bells On, Confetti Slaw, and Sourdough Dinner Rolls (coming soon.) There’s always got to be some sort of bread to sop up the steak juice!

For dessert, I went with classic chocolate and vanilla ice creams this year. I wanted to make a double batch of vanilla bean ice cream, partly because everyone else seemed to prefer it, and partly so I could get photos to post it for those of my readers who might like to try it. Then I discovered I only had one vanilla bean! No way was I driving all the way to West Stockbridge, MA to get more from Baldwin’s (my favorite source for vanilla beans and extracts), or even a half hour to the nearest Penzeys. No, in the spirit of Meatfest, where beautiful summer days are not for shopping of any kind, I made do. That meant one batch of Vanilla Bean, and one batch of Vanilla made with extract, which in turn meant the opportunity for a head-to-head taste test, which in turn meant I got to find out I was wrong. I don’t think anyone even noticed that there was more than one kind of vanilla, probably because my niece brought cake. I love Vanilla Frozen Custard, I do. But I honestly don’t think I’ll ever make it again unless I run out of vanilla beans. And I’m going to try very hard not to let that happen! This is the vanilla ice cream that proves once and for all that “vanilla” doesn’t have to mean “boring.” It’s magnificent!

Ingredients:

0 vbic.jpg

2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk

⅔ cup (132 g) sugar

⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

6 large egg yolks

2 vanilla beans

Preparation:

1.) Make sure to freeze your ice cream maker bowl a day or two ahead of time.

2.)  Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife.

 

3.) Mix the seeds and pods with the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a pot over medium-low heat. Whisk well to break up any clumps of seeds. Bring just barely to a simmer, & stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved. This only takes a few minutes. Remove from heat.

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4.) Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly pour about a third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. (There aren’t any seed specks in this pic because it’s from Vanilla Frozen Custard. I somehow forgot to get one this time, so I included this one just to show the step.)

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5.) When you have it well blended, pour it back into the pot with the cream, whisking constantly. (No specks here either, same reason.)

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6.) Return the pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). If you swipe your finger along the spoon, the mixture should be thick enough to not immediately try to run in & fill the gap you made. Remove from heat, and let steep for 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

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7.) Strain into a clean medium bowl. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature, uncovered, for about a half hour. Cover, and refrigerate until cold (at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.)

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8.) Churn the ice cream mixture in your ice cream machine. Mine calls for 30-35 minutes of churning; yours may differ. Serve now if you like it soft, or pop it in the freezer for a few hours to harden.

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Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard

Ingredients

2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk

⅔ cup (132 g) sugar

⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

6 large egg yolks

2 vanilla beans

Directions

1.) Make sure to freeze your ice cream maker bowl a day or two ahead of time.

2.)  Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds.

3.) Mix the seeds and pods with the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a pot over medium-low heat. Whisk well to break up any clumps of seeds. Bring just barely to a simmer, & stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved. This only takes a few minutes. Remove from heat.

4.) Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly pour about a third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks.

5.) When you have it well blended, pour it back into the pot with the cream, whisking constantly.

6.) Return the pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). If you swipe your finger along the spoon, the mixture should be thick enough to not immediately try to run in & fill the gap you made. Remove from heat, and let steep for 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

7.) Strain into a clean medium bowl. Allow to cool at room temperature, uncovered, for about a half hour. Cover, and refrigerate until cold (at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.)

8.) Churn the ice cream mixture in your ice cream machine. Mine calls for 30-35 minutes of churning; yours may differ. Serve now if you like it soft, or pop it in the freezer for a few hours to harden.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathleen Jo says:

    I can’t wait to try this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      You’re gonna love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks yummy! Too bad I brought the ice cream maker I got for Christmas back to the store! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Go get another! This is divine 😉

      Like

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