Happy Thursday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. I took Tuesday off work, so I’ve been feeling like it’s the weekend for the past couple days. I’m seriously off my schedule. Unfortunately, Joe came down with a really bad cold and sore throat on Monday, and it reached it’s worst on Wednesday. Jake and Baylen were both under the weather on our visit last week, so I’m not totally surprised. Consequently, our 4th consisted of a lot of couch time watching Downton Abbey. We did manage to get outside for a while in the afternoon, but it was so hot I didn’t really mind being indoors. Did you do anything fun?
Let’s get back to Ice Cream Week, shall we? People, including myself, tend to go a little crazy about ice cream mix-ins and flavor combinations. But sometimes all I really want is a bowl of pure, refreshing vanilla. When given the choice, 9 times out of 10 I would choose vanilla over chocolate. David Lebovitz created this brilliant recipe, and if you’re looking for another great ice cream book, I would highly suggest his book, The Perfect Scoop. David is often seen as an authority on ice cream, and with good reason. This man knows his frozen desserts. This ice cream is no exception. It’s rich and decadent without being overpowering and satisfies my sweet tooth in just a small serving, which is saying something! If you can’t find vanilla beans, or don’t care to purchase them, I think you could get by with using 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in its place. I’m pretty positive the flavor wouldn’t be quite as rich and amazing. But as someone who grew up in a town that didn’t stock things like vanilla beans on a regular basis, I understand that vanilla beans might not always be an option.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe from David Lebovitz
*1 cup whole milk
*Pinch of salt
*3/4 cup sugar (this ice cream is pretty sweet, so if you want to cut this back slightly, I think you could)
*1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
*2 cups heavy cream
*5 large egg yolks
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, salt and sugar. Heat over medium heat. Scrape the seeds from the bean with a small knife into the milk mixture. Then, add the bean pod to the milk mixture, too. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for an hour.
*In a bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk mixture and gradually pour some of the milk into the egg yolks. Then, whisk the egg mixture into the milk mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly as you add the egg yolks.
*Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-proof spatula. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula or a wooden spoon.
*Strain the custard into the heavy cream, which removes the bean pods and any flecks of egg. Whisk to combine and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight.
*Place the chilled mixture in the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.