In 2016, when I started my journey to create the best possible ice cream, I felt that I had to have a great vanilla. It needed to have its own identity and not just be a white creamy something that sits next to the chocolate cake. After many, many trials, here it is from me to you. This recipe also acts as my base (with some tweaking) for the majority of my ice creams.
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 2/3 cup of sugar separated
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup skim milk powder (I use Bob’s)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon)
Get a medium-sized metal pot (I have tried Pyrex, and the ice cream can burn if you don’t stir enough). Pour in the cream, milk, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved - otherwise the sugar will burn. Once the sugar has fully dissolved, turn on the burner to just below medium to heat the cream mixture slowly. Stir every two minutes or so, but don’t fret if it is not every two minutes – in table-top batches, it should not matter that much, and you should be having fun!
In between the stirrings, separate three egg yolks and put them in a bowl of a stand mixer (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can probably try a hand mixer or whisk the hell out of it by hand). Add the skim milk powder and the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. With the whisk attachment, increase the speed over a few seconds until all the ingredients have mixed, then mix on high for 90 seconds (this gets the consistency I like).
Are you still stirring the cream mixture? Good, but don’t stress out if you don’t do it every two minutes – remember about the fun part of making ice cream? When the cream mixture starts to steam, turn off the heat.
Now, slowly (a quarter of a cup at a time) add the cream mixture to the eggs mixture and whisk, whisk , whisk. This is called tempering the eggs. This part can lead to some stress and the ice cream books make this seem like a big deal, but again, in these small batches, just add, whisk, add, whisk, until about half of the cream mixture has mixed with the eggs and the consistency is smooth. Now add the cream/eggs mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the cream and stir until it has all incorporated.
Turn on your burner again to just below medium. If you have a candy thermometer, heat until you get to 160°F, then turn down the heat to low and keep stirring for about five minutes – do not let it boil. If you don’t have a thermometer, just keep heating until you see small bubbles form at the edges, then turn down the heat and keep stirring for about five minutes. At the end of the five minutes, stir in the vanilla paste.
Now, online ice cream makers make a big deal about putting the saucepan in an ice bath in the fridge, pouring it in a Ziploc bag, then ice bath… in a batch as small as this, it does not make a difference in my experience. Ice bath or no, you do need to let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least six hours until it is cool. I let the saucepan stand uncovered in the fridge to let more of the liquid out.
Once the mixture is cool, pour into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions in your manual. If you have the Cuisinart like I do, scrape the sides of the bowl with a knife every five minutes or so, so that you don’t get really hard bits at the end.
Spoon the ice cream out and freeze, or eat straight from the bowl (like soft serve!)