Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I always get these crazy ideas at 3:30pm when I think I have more than enough time to do said task, but then I don’t read through the recipe to see how long it actually takes, so I don’t have enough time… because it needs to cool overnight, or something. So it was Father’s Day, our milk was about to go bad, so I thought, I’ll make some ice cream! And then I found this Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe, that I had to tweak… and it manages to be lower in calories because I used 2% milk instead of whole milk + heavy cream. Major bonus points for that happy accident!

Low-Cal Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Servings: about 14 1/2-cup servings

4 2/3 cups 2% milk
1 whole vanilla bean (about 6” long)
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 1/8 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used a tad under 1 tsp. I feel like in ice cream, the flavor and chemically taste gets amplified…take it easy on the extract)

Pour milk in medium saucepan. Use a sharp knife to split DSC09508the vanilla bean in half length-wise. Use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk. Bring mixture to a slow boil over medium heat, reduce the head to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a medium bowl. Use hand mixer on medium speed to beat until the mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow – about 2 minutes.

Remove vanilla bean pod from the milk and discard. Measure 1 cup of the hot milk liquid. With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. When thoroughly combined, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, DSC09516over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to a bowl, stir in vanilla extract, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap placed directly on to the mixture, and chill completely. Mine was a little lumpy looking at this point, and I was getting worried. I left mine in the fridge overnight and once I put it in the ice cream machine, it was smooth.

Pour the chilled mixture into the freezer bowl, turn the ice cream machine on, and let it mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. If you want it firmer, transfer to an airtight container, and freeze for 2+ hours.

For extra fun, I picked up some cookie dough and decided to make ice cream sandwiches using my fancy vanilla bean ice cream.

I bought extra large cookies, but didn’t want extra large ice cream sandwiches, so… I cut them:
Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Half an hour later, my cookies are ready and my ice cream is thoroughly frozen.

Cookies! Assemble!

A lovely little ice cream sandwich for around 300 calories!
Two cookies = 170 calories
The ice cream using heavy cream and whole milk was 257 calories per serving. Pretty sure we knocked that at least in half by using 2% milk. And it’s just as tasty and creamy!

I don’t think this dude cares about the caloric intake… but I think he approves:

Nothing says SUMMER like shirtless ice cream sandwich eatin’!

I made Blueberry Ice Cream last summer, and I think I’m going to make it again for some ice cream sammies with sugar cookies. How good does that sound?!

Are you a homemade ice cream maker? What are some of your favorite flavor combos? I think we’re going to get crazy this summer with the ice cream maker. I’m feelin’ some chocolate banana…


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