Clara Gluten Free

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Ice cream is probably my favorite thing to make right now. The texture is fascinating to manipulate, the flavor options are endless, and even when it doesn't work the way I want it is super yummy. Kind of the perfect thing to experiment with. And then eat. 

To develop the texture, I did lots of reading into ice cream structure...and determined that, basically, it is    basically thick, frozen whipped cream. I tested New York ice cream recipes (a.k.a American or Philadelphia ice cream- all egg-less)  and I liked the lightness, and custard (egg-based) recipes and liked the way they didn't get the icy bite the New York ice cream did. So I compromised- a few less egg-yolks than most recipes, I got a lighter, but rich, and ice-less texture. Then I went after taste- a vanilla beans for the flavor,  without the harsh note from the extract, but with a bit of vanilla extract to boost the flavor. But the secret: dark brown sugar to underscore the vanilla. Because I don't think flavor can ever be intense enough. And especially not for ice cream. 

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream- makes 3 cups base, 1 1/2 quarts churned

1/2 c sugar
2 tbs dark brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
2 c whipping cream
1 c half-and-half
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

1- In a medium saucepan, combine sugars, salt, vanilla bean, and the creams. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. 

2- Once the cream is boiling, temper the yolks. To do so, first, pour about 1/2 cup into the egg yolks and whisk until combine. Repeat this two more times. Then, pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan (there should be none- or very few- egg solids). 

3- Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow for the base to thicken a bit, or become foamy (whichever comes first). Whisk in vanilla extract. Remove from heat promptly. 

4- Strain the base through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or quart-sized wet ingredient measuring cup. 

5- Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 more hours, or until chilled. 

6- Churn according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions. When completed, transfer to the container you wish to serve the ice cream from. Cover the surface tightly with plastic wrap (reduces ice crystallization), and allow to solidify in the freezer four 2-3 hours. Serve cold, with toppings or with other desserts. 

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