This is one of the most versatile ice cream flavors–ideal as a topping on chocolate soufflé cake, fruit pies, and cobblers. Or mingle tiny scoopfuls in a tall glass with bittersweet chocolate and coffee ice creams or fruit sorbet. Flecks of vanilla bean imbue this creamy ice cream with an exotic flavor that surpasses vanilla extract alone.
- One 4-inch vanilla bean
- 2 cups half and half or milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
Prepare a large bowl or pan of ice water.
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the black seeds into the top of a double boiler. Add the vanilla bean and half-and-half, and heat over simmering water until steaming.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, then whisk in the sugar. Whisk in about half of the hot half-and-half and pour the yolk mixture into the pan of half-and-half. Stir and cook over simmering water until the custard coats the back of a silicone spatula or spoon, about 10 minutes.
Immediately place the custard pan in the ice bath and stir the custard occasionally until it cools to room temperature.
Transfer to a container and stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.
When you are ready to freeze the mixture, remove the vanilla bean with a fork.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.