When it comes to ice cream recipes, Bruce Weinstein’s Ultimate Ice Cream Book is my go-to guide. His Mint Chocolate Ice Cream is a family favorite, but this weekend I needed to use up some egg yolks and decided to make Extra Rich and Creamy Vanilla.
With 7 egg yolks, I worried that it might taste a little “eggy”. It didn’t. It was creamy, smooth and had a deep rich vanilla flavor. While the vanilla bean version would have probably been better, my goal was to use ingredients on hand and what I had was some Watkins vanilla extract I’d bought earlier in the week. I’d never tried Watkins before, but it has a fairly distinctive flavor and I can see why it has a loyal following, but since I’ve only used it in one recipe the jury is still out.
But back to the ice cream.
This was definitely one of the best vanilla ice creams I’ve ever made. Do you have a favorite? After surfing the Internet, I found a few others I’d like to try including David Lebowit’z vanilla ice cream and this one on allrecipes.com which uses whole eggs. One thing’s for sure, and that is I will stick with the custard base as opposed to the no-egg base. Fresh eggs add a little flavor and give the ice cream the perfect texture.
- 1 cup granulated sugar (scant, or a tiny bit less than 1)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 large eggs yolks
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and salt into the egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow. Set aside.
- Bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a heavy medium sauce pan or in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over but not touching boiling water. I used a bowl set over boiling water to ensure that I wouldn't scramble the eggs.
- Slowly beat the hot half-and-half into the egg mixture. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan saucepan, double boiler or bowl set over saucepan and stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
- Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours.