It's been awhile since I last posted ice cream, but I don't want to wait a minute longer to share a wonderful and easy vanilla ice cream. I used the recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz (which, by the way, is a "must-have" if you plan to make your own frozen treats.) The best thing about this ice cream is that it is Philadelphia-style, that is, an ice cream made without an egg-yolk custard base. Although it does require heating cream to dissolve the sugar and steep the vanilla bean, there's no tricky tempering of eggs and absolutely no thermometer involved.
- The recipe calls for a whole vanilla bean, but the beans I have seemed quite long and, call me stingy, but I didn't want to devote an entire bean to a batch of ice cream. I used half of a nice fresh bean - about 2g. worth.
- Lebovitz gives the option of using 3 cups of cream or 1 cup milk with 2 cups of cream. While I know that the all-cream version is bound to be even more wonderful, I was afraid to spoil our taste for the slightly more healthy version with milk so I just went straight to the milk + cream option.
- The first time I made this, the scraped vanilla seeds were very clumpy so I ran the vanilla and cream mixture through a very fine mesh strainer but lost a good many of the tiny seeds in the straining process. My blogging ice cream guru Wendy of Pinkstripes suggested rubbing the scraped vanilla seeds into the sugar and adding them together to the cream to steep. On subsequent batches that's exactly what I've done.
- David Lebovitz says that even when he uses a vanilla bean, as in this recipe, he still adds some vanilla extract because it is his theory that the alcohol in the extract conveys different dimensions of vanilla's flavor. I measured in the requisite amount of vanilla extract and then I added some vanilla bean paste (just a tiny bit), trying to replace some of the lost seeds and make up for the smaller vanilla bean that I'd used!
Vanilla is my husband's very favorite ice cream flavor, and this recipe has become his nightly dessert. I've made custard based vanilla ice cream, but not only is Philadelphia-style easier, we actually prefer way it cleanly conveys the essence of the cream and the taste of the vanilla. I'm pretty sure I'll need to keep a quart of this in my freezer at all times.
This is our stand-by vanilla ice cream.