Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I'll be the first to admit that I have been a bad blogger. I expected to be posting at least once a week while on my Christmas break, yet I only posted once. I did bake, but I just didn't take photos and make posts about them. I take my photos with natural light and, since it's winter, the light goes at about 3pm. I tended to do a lot of baking in the afternoon or evening, meaning no light for photos. I also baked many of my favorite things which have already been posted on this blog, so it's not like I could put repeats up! I know those are poor excuses... 

In any case, I made ice cream over the holidays and that is something that I can share with you! I received an ice cream maker for my birthday (November) and have used it twice. First try didn't turn out so well, but that was entirely my fault. Second try was amazing! Very simple, although a little time consuming. But the result! Woah. Probably the best ice cream I've had. Ever. And I've had a fair bit of ice cream in my time.

As I said, making ice cream is time-consuming, but only because you have to freeze/chill various things overnight, so it ends up taking two days or so. But it's not like you're doing much for the entire three days. It's basically a crème anglaise put into an ice cream maker. Crème anglaise is a thinner consistency custard than regular custards, so much so that it is pourable.

My ice cream maker bowl has to be frozen for 15 hours before it can be used, so check your ice cream makers instructions. The crème anglaise itself has to be chilled for a few hours or overnight before churning and then overnight again after churning. This is one of those things you have to plan ahead, just a little bit, rather than just throw together at the last minute. 

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Recipe from Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

2 cups heavy cream (473 mL)
1 cup whole milk (236 mL)
2/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
8 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make the crème anglaise, combine the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Keep the seeds aside and put the pod into the milk mixture.

Over medium-high heat, scald the milk, stirring occasionally. The milk is scalded when tiny bubbles appear around the edges and it's steaming, not boiling. Take the saucepan off the heat.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla bean seeds until it is pale yellow. Slowly add a ladle of the scaled milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. Pour the warmed egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the milk and return to medium heat, stirring constantly. When the crème anglaise is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, take it off the heat. Immediately pour it through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding the pod and seeds that the sieve caught. You will still have vanilla bean seeds in the custard, though. Stir in the vanilla extract. Set up another bowl with ice water and put the bowl with the crème anglaise over it to cool it. When it is cool, cover it and refrigerate for at least a few hours, or overnight.

Churn the custard in your ice cream maker according to their instructions (which should be in the manual, hope you kept it!). The ice cream will be very soft and it will need to be frozen again. Put the ice cream in an airtight container and freeze for several hours, or overnight.

Enjoy with salted caramel sauce or a chocolate tart!