I like my ice cream rich and creamy. And homemade, too. Nothing compares to the fresh taste and smooth texture you get by making it yourself. And my favorite part, you can eat the decadent warm custard (to make sure it tastes okay, of course) before freezing it.
It’s nice to have a basic homemade ice cream recipe in your back pocket. Once you have a base, you can change up the flavor and add whatever ingredients you’d like. I sometimes make a reduction of wine or bourbon to add to the custard. Maybe even a fruit syrup (just combine some fruit with sugar and let sit for a few hours before straining the sweet liquid) to swirl in at the end. The possibilities are endless. Don’t just look to the store for unique combinations, create them yourself.
Now if you don’t have an ice cream maker (which I didn’t for the longest time), I have a little trick. Make the ice cream base and pour it into a zip lock bag. You may need a few bags if you’re making a lot. Flatten the bag out and place it in the freezer. After a few hours it should be hard but still pliable. Use your hands to first break the sheet up slightly by bending it back and forth. Drop the frozen custard into a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a container and freeze again. Easy as that.
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 9 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the half & half and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the pulp. Add the bean along with all of the pulp to the pan. Heat this mixture over medium-low heat until just simmering (do not boil). While it heats up, whisk the egg yolks vigorously in a mixing bowl until pale yellow. Add the sugar and brown sugar, whisking until incorporated. Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding about 1/3 of the heated cream mixture into the bowl. Once incorporated, pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture. Cook until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes over medium-low heat. Transfer the custard to a bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool slightly before refrigerating and cooling completely. Pour the cooled custard into an ice cream maker and process according to the machine’s instructions. At this point, it will be at the soft-serve stage. I personally like eating it just like this. You can also transfer it to a freezer container and freeze it for a couple of hours before scooping out. (If you don't have an ice cream maker, check out the writing above.)