My French Vanilla Ice Cream is smooth and impossibly creamy! It is bursting with warm vanilla flavor and it is perfect by itself or as a compliment any dessert!
Plain vanilla. Who started the horrible rumor that vanilla ice cream is plain? Probably Hershey's.
However, there is nothing plain about this rich, creamy French Vanilla Ice Cream! I used a whole vanilla bean plus more vanilla bean paste to amp up the vanilla flavor and it Shines!
This is the kind of vanilla ice cream that is special enough for a celebration!
What are we celebrating?
Well I’ll let you in on a little secret that I have been holding inside until I’ve practically burst…
I’m going to CULINARY SCHOOL!!!
…in 15 days
…in New York City!
On January 20th I start the Pastry Arts Program at the International Culinary Institute in NYC, and I am so excited that I can barely sleep! I can’t wait to share this incredible experience with you and pass along all of the skills that I learn.
I also happen to love New York City. It is seriously like a dream come true.
But enough about me! More French Vanilla Ice Cream!
This ice cream is rich and creamy from the combination of heavy cream and 4 egg yolks. I wanted to use enough egg yolks to create a thick, rich custard base without having a hint of yolk flavor. This is less than the 5 yolks in my rich chocolate ice cream, but chocolate is a much more powerful flavor than vanilla and it could mask that yolky flavor.
It is rich enough to enjoy by itself or with a little fruit, or it makes a magical pairing on apple or pear crisp, apple pie, pecan pie, or just plain with chocolate fudge sauce the way my Dad likes it.
Or straight from the container which is how my husband likes it!!
No matter how you eat it, it is anything but plain!
French Vanilla Ice Cream
- Make sure you have pre-frozen your ice cream maker’s mixing bowl or you will be sad!
- Place a fine sieve strainer over a medium bowl and place that medium bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice.
- Using a pairing knife, split the vanilla bean in half and scrap out all the seeds.
- In a heavy saucepot combine milk, cream, ½ cup sugar, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla bean pod and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugar and until steam appears. The milk should be hot but not boiling.
- Remove from heat, and in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining ¼ cup sugar. While whisking constantly, slowly pour ½ cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Repeat with another ½ cup of cream, then pour the egg mixture into the saucepot with the remaining cream. I like to whisk constantly while combining them as well. Think of it like an insurance policy against scrambled eggs!
- Return the pot to the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and will coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes.
- Pour through the sieve into the bowl nestled in ice. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and cool at least 3 hours or overnight if you want to make it ahead.
- Follow your ice cream maker’s manufacturer instructions to make the ice cream.
- Place in 1 quart container and cover in plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic is touching the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. Refrigerate at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
*You can also use 3 cups half and half in place of all the cream and milk. Yield: 1 Quart