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Monica's favorite gear for
making Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
My recipe uses Jeni's simple tips and surprising ingredients that result in an amazingly smooth and creamy texture. This cookbook has lots of great flavors and tips.
I LOVE this thing! It is so easy to use. Pre-freeze the insert, add ingredients, and turn it on. Approx. a half hour later, the ice cream is ready to eat.
This is a vanilla syrup with real vanilla bean specks--an easy, less expensive way to add this authentic flavor and look to your ice cream.
Also available: vanilla beans
This handy gizmo is like having two extra hands to hold open a ziploc while pouring in the ice cream mixture. I use it frequently when filling ziplocs with a variety of foods.
I love these for storing homemade ice cream in the freezer. They keep the ice cream fresher, and it stays frozen longer when it's out of the fridge.
This is my go-to mixing bowl. Love the handle and lid for fridge storage, when needed.
This is another tool that gets lots of use in my kitchen. I used the 10" whisk for the ice cream base mixture and the smaller 6" whisk (link below) for combining the corn starch and milk.
Also available: 6" whisk

Smooth and Creamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

By Monica              makes 5-6 cups
This is based on a recipe from "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home" with simple tips & surprise ingredients that give it a silky smooth texture seldom found in homemade ice creams. From TheYummyLife.com #vanillabean #icecream #jeni's #theyummylife

This is based on a recipe from "Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home" with simple tips & surprise ingredients that give it a silky smooth texture seldom found in homemade ice creams.

Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; OR 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste; OR 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons (2-1/4 oz.) cream cheese, softened

Directions
In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup milk with cornstarch; set aside.

In 5 quart pan, combine remaining 2-3/4 cups milk, cream, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vanilla (paste, bean, or extract). On medium-high heat bring mixture to rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in the corn starch/milk slurry. Return to heat and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes; it will thicken slightly. Remove from heat.

Add cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, pressing cream cheese against sides and bottom of bowl until it is smooth. Add 1/2 cup hot ice cream base liquid to cream cheese & whisk until smooth. Gradually add and stir in remaining hot mixture; whisking until smooth after each addition. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours until completely chilled.* May be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

*TO QUICK CHILL mixture for making ice cream right away: Fill large bowl 3/4 full with ice cubes and add water. Pour hot milk mixture into 1 gallon freezer Ziploc bag, seal and immerse in bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes until mixture is completely chilled; add more ice as needed.

TO FREEZE ICE CREAM: Pour chilled mixture into ice cream freezer and freeze according to instruction of your ice cream maker. (Note that this makes 1.5 quarts. For 1 quart ice cream freezers, make in 2 batches.) When finished, transfer frozen ice cream to a plastic container and press a sheet of parchment paper on top. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours until firm. If it's frozen too hard to scoop, let ice cream soften at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before scooping and serving.


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Good vanilla ice cream is a versatile classic. With this basic recipe, you can enjoy the simplicity of plain (yet fabulous!) vanilla ice cream or add whatever toppings or mix-ins that appeal to you. Vanilla ice cream is also the perfect complement to so many desserts, especially pies and cobblers "a la mode". 

I adapted this recipe from my favorite ice cream cookbook, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Jeni originally had several hugely popular ice cream shops in Ohio; the mothership is in Columbus. Later they expanded to other states, and we are lucky to have one of her shops in St. Louis. Jeni's ice creams are simply the best, and in her cookbook she shares how we can replicate them at home. Instructions are provided for using Jeni's techniques for creating ice cream flavor combinations of your own. That's right up my alley. You can check out my recipe for Mango Ice Cream that begins with Jeni's vanilla base.

Uncommon ingredients, uncommonly delicious results
What's unique about Jeni's approach is some uncommon homemade ice cream ingredients (small amounts of cream cheese, corn starch, and corn syrup) that lead to an uncommonly smooth and creamy texture and rich flavor. At least they're uncommon to me--I'd never made ice cream that included those ingredients. Another surprise is achieving such rich flavor without eggs; this is not a custard-based recipe. Jeni uses these same base ingredients in every ice cream recipe in her book, even her frozen yogurt.

I've made many batches of this recipe for consistently smooth, creamy, delicious results every time. King-Man (the resident ice cream lover) can't get enough of this stuff.

You'll need an ice cream freezer. If you don't have one, here are two that I have and can recommend:

  • Cuisinart 2-quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker -- I used this economical model for years. You have to plan ahead a day and place the freezer bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before making ice cream. It works great! This one is pictured in use further down in the post.
  • Cuisinart 1.5 quart Compressor Ice Cream Maker -- After years of making ice cream, I splurged on this pricier option. Because it has a compressor, you can make back-to-back batches without needing to freeze the insert. It's bigger and heavier than the cheaper model, but it's so convenient if you make a lot of ice cream and want to make multiple consecutive batches.

 

Step-by-step photos for making
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


Step 1. Assemble the ingredients

  • milk and heavy cream
  • sugar
  • corn syrup
  • cream cheese
  • kosher or sea salt
  • corn starch
  • vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla bean

ingredientsIMG_5391resize.jpg

3 ways to incorporate vanilla into the recipe:

  • Use one whole vanilla bean, cut it open lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. These are pricey; if you can afford them, the flavor can't be beat. Many grocery stores carry these. Or, you can get them from Amazon.
  • Use vanilla bean paste. This is a vanilla syrup that contains vanilla beans (see photo on the right below). It's available at specialty cooking stores and in from Amazon. Still pricey, but not as much as the whole beans. This is what I use in this recipe and some baked goods. It's an easy, less expensive alternative to the whole beans. I like having it on hand in my pantry.
  • Use vanilla extract. Not quite as good, but you can get great flavor from a good quality vanilla extract. This has the advantage of being more available and less expensive. Of course, you won't get the vanilla bean specks in your ice cream if you use this. 

collage_vanilla_bean_paste.jpg

Step 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch with some of the milk. Set that aside.

view on Amazon:  small whisk

collage_cornstarch_slurry.jpg

Step 3. In a 5 quart pan, combine the remaining ingredients, except the cream cheese. Add a vanilla pod and scraped-out beans, if using. Use medium-high heat to bring them to a rolling boil. (NOTE: A "rolling boil" means it is boiling/bubbling vigorously all around the surface, and you can't stir away the bubbling.) Boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 4. Remove from heat, and whisk in the corn starch/milk slurry.

Step 5. Return to heat and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes; it will thicken ever-so-slightly.

view on Amazon:  10" whisk

collage_cooking_base.jpg

(If you're using a whole vanilla bean pod, remove the pod from the mixture and discard it now.)

Step 6. Add softened cream cheese to large bowl, stir with a rubber spatula, pressing it against the sides and bottom of the bowl until smooth and no lumps remain.

Step 7. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot liquid into the cream cheese; whisk until smooth and no lumps are left before adding more liquid. Continue gradually adding and whisking hot liquid until all is combined and smooth.

Step 8. Cover and chill completely for 8 hours or overnight. (This base may be made and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead.)

view on Amazon:  Mix-n-Measure bowl with lid

collage_mixing_base.jpg

HOW TO QUICK CHILL MIXTURE TO MAKE ICE CREAM RIGHT AWAY.  If you want to freeze the ice cream ASAP and avoid the overnight chilling time in the fridge, here's the way to chill the hot liquid quickly. Pour it into a 1-gallon ziploc freezer bag. I use a baggy holder rack to hold open the bag while I pour. Zip the bag shut--make sure there aren't any leaks.

Fill a large bowl 3/4 full with ice cubes and add water (it needs to be heavy on the ice cubes). Immerse the bag of hot liquid into the ice water. Chill it for approx. 30 minutes until the liquid is cold throughout, adding more ice cubes if needed.collage_chilling_mixture.jpg

Step 9. Time to freeze the ice cream. Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker. I removed my freezer bowl from the freezer (it had been there for the required 24 hours), inserted it into my machine, turned it on, and poured in the chilled ice cream mixture. view ice cream freezer on Amazon

24IMG_4294.jpg

In my machine, it takes about 25 minutes for the ice cream to freeze completely. You know it's ready when the ice cream is pulling away from the sides of the canister. The finished ice cream has a soft-serve consistency. It's smooth but slightly grainy at this point. The texture gets smoother/creamier/better when you put it in the freezer for a few hours.

collage_freezing_icecream.jpg

Step 10. Transfer the ice cream to a container. Tap it on the counter to remove any bubbles and level it. Cover the surface with a piece of parchment paper (or use wax paper; but, don't use plastic wrap--it can stick in the folds of the ice cream and be hard to remove). Put an air-tight lid on it.

You can use any plastic container with a lid.

collage_parchment_paper.jpg

If you make ice cream frequently, I high recommend these insulated ice cream tubs, pictured below.

view on Amazon:  insulated ice cream containers (I love these!)

collage_plasticcontainer.jpg

Step 11. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 4 hours.

TO SERVE: When it's time to serve the ice cream, remove it from the freezer & peel off the parchment paper. If it's too hard to scoop, let it sit out for 5 or so minutes--that will soften it enough to be scoopable. Reapply the parchment paper to the top of any leftover ice cream before returning it to the freezer. (This keeps the ice cream fresh and free of ice crystals.)

Look at those tasty vanilla bean specks.

IMG_4370square_TM.jpg

Try adding some berries or other toppings. Here are four of my favorite toppings (recipes in previous posts).

collage_toppings.jpg

collage_fruit_sauces.jpg

This creamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is totally delicious all by itself, too.

square37IMG_4374_tm.jpg

Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
By Monica              Servings: makes 5-6 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; OR 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste; OR 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons (2-1/4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
Directions
In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup milk with cornstarch; set aside.

In 5 quart pan, combine remaining 2-3/4 cups milk, cream, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vanilla (paste, bean, or extract). On medium-high heat bring mixture to rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in the corn starch/milk slurry. Return to heat and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes; it will thicken slightly. Remove from heat.

Add cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, pressing cream cheese against sides and bottom of bowl until it is smooth. Add 1/2 cup hot ice cream base liquid to cream cheese & whisk until smooth. Gradually add and stir in remaining hot mixture; whisking until smooth after each addition. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours until completely chilled.* May be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

*TO QUICK CHILL mixture for making ice cream right away: Fill large bowl 3/4 full with ice cubes and add water. Pour hot milk mixture into 1 gallon freezer Ziploc bag, seal and immerse in bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes until mixture is completely chilled; add more ice as needed.

TO FREEZE ICE CREAM: Pour chilled mixture into ice cream freezer and freeze according to instruction of your ice cream maker. (Note that this makes 1.5 quarts. For 1 quart ice cream freezers, make in 2 batches.) When finished, transfer frozen ice cream to a plastic container and press a sheet of parchment paper on top. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours until firm. If it's frozen too hard to scoop, let ice cream soften at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before scooping and serving.
Print this Recipe   Share this Recipe

Check out this easy chocolate ice cream recipe--no machine required!
Individual Chocolate Dream Ice Cream Cups 

ThumbnailIMG_4478.png

This updated post was originally published July 19, 2011.



Posted on Friday, July 6th, 2018
Tags: Desserts

Looking for holiday gifts for the foodie in your life?
Here are a few gift guides I made to help:








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