When you look in the frozen food aisle of the supermarket there are hundreds of different flavors of ice cream, same when you go to the ice cream shop. How many of you ever order vanilla? Not very many I imagine and I also have to admit that I rarely if ever order vanilla ice cream when I go to out for a scoop. However, at home you will always find vanilla ice cream in my freezer. I love the versatility, on pie or cake, a black and white ice cream soda or shake, vanilla ice cream will always be my flavor of choice. My preference after trying many brands is Haagen Daz if not making my own. It’s simple to make ice cream but to be perfectly honest when you can get good ice cream at the store why make it yourself? Well, here is why, the flavor of homemade ice cream in my opinion is far superior to anything store bought, it’s definitely worth the effort and highly recommend giving it a try. I use an ice cream maker but you don’t have to, no churn ice cream is just as creamy and delicious.
I am appalled at the price of vanilla extract. Truth be told a friend told me that vanilla would be going up in price because of a problem with the crop, weather related I think almost 2 years ago, I stocked up at that time but have used all of my reserve including homemade extract (2 bottles) I am now plowing through vanilla paste and after that I will have to break down and buy some. Vanilla is crucial in baking, you can’t not have vanilla in your pantry. I have to check Costco, I hate going there, the lines are horrible and everything is so big, maybe their vanilla is less expensive and if so I will brave a trip there. Has anyone bought recently from them, do you know how much it is?
The recipe I used is custard base (uses eggs) but you can make without eggs using corn starch to slightly thicken the milk/cream it also has a small amount of cream cheese in it and is delicious. This custard or ice cream base can be adapted or made into many other flavors. Add a ripple or swirl, use some brown sugar along with the white to add depth and a caramel flavor, add fresh fruit, strawberries or peaches. You can add cream cheese for a cheesecake flavor, instant espresso, chocolate or nuts. This is a basic recipe you can have fun with, let your imagination go wild.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes slightly less than one quart
1 1/2-2 cups heavy cream
1-1/12 cup whole milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
Separate your eggs and whip the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. In heavy non reactive saucepan heat the milk, cream and sugar until scalding. Slowly pour about half into the beaten egg yolks whisking while you pour. Pour back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat stirring constantly until it becomes thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon, run your finger making a line, if it stays intact and doesn’t run back together its done, it will be quite thick. Pour through a sieve into a heat proof bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until it reaches a temperature of 40 degrees or less. Note: I used 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk but you can use 1/12 of each.
If using an ice cream maker follow manufacturers instructions. Freeze until scoopable at least 4 hours.