A few months ago, a friend on facebook asked for a vanilla ice cream recipe and I realized, with all the ice cream I've made, I've never made a plain vanilla. I have a go-to vanilla recipe that I've used as a base for other flavors, but hadn't made it by itself yet.
Maybe that's because I've never been one for vanilla much myself. But boy, is it growing on me, especially when it is flecked with those real vanilla bean specks.
I've now made this recipe a couple of times and it so creamy and delicious that it could never be called boring. The first time I made it, we had it to accompany this delicious Meyer Lemon Cake and then last week I made it again for Gigi's 4th birthday party (more coming on that soon!).
This recipe is printable but if you're in an email or reader, you may need to click over to print it.
Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
adapted from Jeni Britton makes around 1 quart
2 cups whole milk 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened (I use whipped) 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 2/3 cup sugar (organic cane juice sugar) 1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped pinch of salt
1. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch (adorable mini whisk optional for this step). In another large glass bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth (this is really easy with whipped cream cheese).
2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the cream, sugar, brown rice syrup and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the milk to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture gradually. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.
3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in an ice water bath (a larger bowl with ice water) and let stand or refrigerate until cold.
4. Strain (optional) the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Pack into container and freeze until firm (about 4 hours or so). Go ahead and lick the spoon, because it's darn good!