This Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is rich, creamy and soft. It has a deep complexity from the vanilla bean that can’t be imitated! One bite and you’ll never go back.
My dad will tell you that there is no better dessert than a scoop of vanilla ice cream covered in fudge sauce. My professional opinion begs to differ but my inner-child totally agrees!
There is something so comforting in its simplicity.
If I am going to eat vanilla ice cream sans pie or cobbler or crisp, it better be the best and it better have real vanilla beans in it!
Now I know you would expect nothing less than the best around here because that is how I roll. Lindsey Farr does not do mediocre. Hard pass.
This is the vanilla bean ice cream to beat all vanilla ice creams. It only relies on quality vanilla beans for its flavor which means it is rich and unctuous. You can use Tahitian or Madagascar bourbon beans. Sometimes I can only get one or the other at the restaurant, so I have tested it with both!
There is a subtlety to ice cream made by infusing real vanilla beans: it has a depth of flavor and complexity lacking in ice cream using extract or vanilla bean paste. If you make this same ice cream and use Tahitian vanilla bean paste, it will taste amazing but it will lose a bit of the complexity.
You can also make this ice cream with just “spent beans”, which just means that you already used the beans for a different purpose. I use the beans for applications where there is no time for infusing. In order to get the most mileage from the whole beans, the beans need time to infuse in hot liquid.
So without further ado, go put your ice cream maker’s canister in the freezer and make it this weekend, or, you know, on Thursday. Bonus points if your canister is already in the freezer! 🙋🏼♀️
Pre-freeze your ice cream canister along with the container you are going to put the ice cream in. It should hold a quart.
In a large pot combine milk, cream, salt, half of the sugar, and vanilla beans and pods. Heat the cream mixture on medium-high heat just until it comes to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk the egg yolks with all the remaining sugar until lightened to a pale yellow. Once the cream mixture begins steaming, I add the sugar to the yolks and them whisk them together. I don’t like to let the sugar sit with the eggs too long or it will denature the proteins and you’ll get those hard little pieces of yolk that look like scrambled eggs.
Once the cream comes to a boil, slowly pour it into the eggs while whisking constantly.
Return to the pot and cook until the base reaches 85C or 180°F, stirring constantly with a spatula.
Pass through a chinoise or strainer into a bowl and cool in an ice bath (lots of ice with a little bit of water). Cover the surface with plastic wrap and poke a few holes. You will get the thickest base and creamiest ice cream if you cool it over night in the refrigerator but technically you can spin it as soon as it is cold to the touch.
Pour into your ice cream machine per the manufacturer’s specifications. Freeze until the volume increase by about 1/3 and the ice cream pulls away from the sizes and holds its shape when scooped out.
Pour into pre-frozen container, place plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid ice crystals from forming or the ice cream absorbing any flavors from the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours, but preferably over-night. Letting the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before scooping and serving will make it easier!