SMiLes by Meg

Vanilla Ice Cream

It’s Labor Day weekend. Classes start on Tuesday. All signs are pointing to the end of summer. So, naturally, I had to squeeze out one more truly summer recipe before the invasion of pumpkin spice.

And there is nothing more classically summer than a cone of vanilla ice cream. Plus, when I decided to make it, I had also just made a loaf of banana bread, thinking they would be great together. However, I managed to seriously overestimate how much time it would take to consume that loaf of banana bread, and by the time the ice cream was frozen, the bread was gone. Oh well.

If you’ve made any of my other ice cream recipes, you know that you’ll need an ice cream maker. There is such thing as no-churn ice cream, but I think it’s a sad substitute for the real deal.

First, heat the half and half over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot and steaming, but not yet boiling. I test this by dipping my pinkie into it periodically to check the temperature.Vanilla Ice Cream - 1Remove from heat and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on low speed for about 30 seconds, until blended and thickened.Vanilla Ice Cream - 2Vanilla Ice Cream - 3With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in the half and half and mix until blended. Pouring slowly prevents it from scrambling the eggs, so you actually do have to be patient with this one.Vanilla Ice Cream - 4 Vanilla Ice Cream - 5Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbles form at the edges and mixture is steamy. You’ll probably have to be more focused on the steam than the bubbles, since the top will be foamy when you pour it into the pan to begin with.Vanilla Ice Cream - 6Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the whipping cream, vanilla, and salt.Vanilla Ice Cream - 7 Vanilla Ice Cream - 8Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours, to chill thoroughly.

The next day, set up your ice cream maker and churn according to maker directions, about 20 minutes. If plain vanilla isn’t your thing, add whatever floats your boat in the last 2 to 5 minutes as a mix-in.Vanilla Ice Cream - 9 Vanilla Ice Cream - 10Freeze for a couple hours before serving.Vanilla Ice Cream - 12It was 11am when I decided to write this post, which felt a little too early for ice cream, so my pictures involve a single scoop.Vanilla Ice Cream - 11Obviously, in real life I would want more than this, maybe a warm brownie, and definitely some hot fudge. That’s the beauty of vanilla ice cream – it can top anything and anything can top it.Vanilla Ice Cream - 13Full disclosure: I did eat this single scoop at 11am. No shame.

Enjoy!Vanilla Ice Cream - 10

Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the half and half until hot and steaming, but not boiling. Stir frequently. Remove from heat.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar on low speed for 30 seconds until thick and blended.
  3. With mixer still running, slowly add warm half and half to egg mixture, beating until well combined.
  4. Pour mixture back into medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbles form around edge of pan and mixture is steaming, but again not boiling.
  5. Pour mixture into large bowl. Whisk in whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt until well combined.
  6. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to churn, do so according to ice cream maker instructions for about 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  8. Freeze for an additional couple of hours before serving.

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