the quest to make the best

What better kind of ice cream to begin my quest than vanilla?  I don’t think it’s the easiest, necessarily — in fact, it might be among the hardest.  I think the texture and flavor profile of vanilla has to be superb because it can’t hide behind accessories like nuts and chocolate chunks.

But it’s among my favorite flavors, and I thought it just made sense to go with vanilla.

I used a recipe that came with the ice cream maker, but then veered off a bit and used a vanilla bean in addition to the extract that it called for (and therefore used slightly less extract).  I used both a Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean and Madagascar vanilla extract, so I’d be interested in the future to change it up a bit and use Tahitian or Mexican instead.

The milk, sugar, and salt cooked a little bit with the vanilla, then seeped for awhile.  This is when I realized I probably should have a strainer.  Oh well — a good eye and a spoon would have to do.

Then the vanilla-sugar-milk mixture was added to the heavy cream and vanilla extract.  After all that was mixed, it went into the refrigerator overnight.

Then it went into my beautiful orange ice cream mixer!

Around and around she goes!  It didn’t take long…

I’m sorry… if you don’t think that looks yummy… there’s something wrong with you.

It’s now in the freezer, getting a little harder.  But based on my first taste, it’s fantastic.  It was light and airy,  so definitely not gelato-like … but really delicious.   I was glad I used both the vanilla bean and the vanilla extract, even though the black flecks d0n’t stand out like they do in store-bought ice cream.  It would be interesting to compare it to ice cream only made with extract, because this was definitely a great level of vanilla-ness.

I’m tempted to become a connoisseur of vanilla ice cream and forget all those other flavors! Stay tuned for more ice cream-making endeavors.

UPDATE:  I couldn’t really wait for it to get much harder before I tried a bowl.  My friend Maria and I agreed that it was so light, it was almost more marshmallow-y than ice-cream-y.  I might make a batch with eggs soon and see what I think about that.  In the meantime, I need to work on my adjectives.

PS The bowls were part of my Christmas present too.  Pretty adorable, huh?

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9 thoughts on “the quest to make the best

  1. Jill says:

    Did you open up the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds? I think that’s how you get the little specks. You may have mentioned doing that but i;m too lazy to scroll back up and see. plus i’m typing one handed.

    and if ice cream is made with eggs, it’s technically a custard, right?

    • joanallegretti says:

      Yes, I opened it up and scraped it. But you know that already, because we just talked about it in person.

      Yes, I think it’s technically a custard. But David Lebovitz has a recipe on his website for the best vanilla ice cream, and it calls for eggs.

  2. Jeannie says:

    LOVE the ice cream bowls!! The ice cream maker is very cool too— but I’m personally too lazy for that—- it’s much more convenient to have Schwan’s, Breyer’s, or Edy’s make the Mint Chocolate Chip for me.

  3. Maria says:

    Wow. That is an er,…interesting picture of me. It’s kind of like when you look in one of those fun house mirrors. haha! But in any case, the ice cream was MOST delicious!!

  4. Mom says:

    We used to make the vanilla custard ice cream when you were all little. It takes forever, but it’s so yummy. When it gets warm again up here (it was 8 when we went to Mass this morning), I am going to make ice cream for your dad. He has to eat all of the Schwan’s ice cream first!

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