My joy knew no bounds when the ice cream attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer arrived. I wanted to hug the FedEx man (boy, wouldn't he have been surprised if I'd followed through!). Since that auspicious day we have tried a few different recipes, but keep going back to "plain" old vanilla. May I just say, there's NOTHING plain about this ice cream!
Maybe it's because I've been living overseas for over three years and haven't really gotten much in the way of decent ice cream during that time. Ice cream here is too sweet for our tastes; excessively sweet and generally fruity in flavor whether it's a fruit flavor or not. Call me crazy but to me there's just something WRONG about chocolate tasting fruity.
Which may be why I received more than a nod of approval from my husband for the purchase of said ice cream attachment. I think it's the first time I've ever seen him downright enthusiastic about a kitchen item!
Anyway, back to the vanilla ice cream. You do have to plan ahead since the mix has to be cooked, cooled, then chilled (preferably overnight) before you toss it in the ice cream maker. But not allowing for instant gratification is the only hard thing about this recipe.
2 cups half & half (or one cup heavy whipping cream and 1 cup milk)
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 t. vanilla
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring half & half to scalding point (the milk begins to foam up around the edge of the pan). Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, in a large stainless steel bowl beat egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Gradually pour hot half & half into yolk/sugar mixture, beating constantly so eggs don't curdle. If any lumps form, strain before cooking.
Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, cook until custard thickens enough that it coats the back of the spoon (170 degrees F/ 77 degrees C).
Immediately remove custard from heat and continue to stir a few minutes so it does not overcook.
Add the vanilla.
Cover and let cool to room temperature.
Refridgerate until completely cold (4-6 hours, or preferably overnight).
Make according to your ice cream machine instructions.*
Put into a container with a lid and freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up. Although if you have absolutely no self-control, you can eat it right out of the ice cream maker. It's like soft-serve at that point.
*With our KitchenAid attachment, it typically takes 15-20 minutes, depending on heat and humidity.