Vanilla Custard Ice Cream with Homemade Vanilla Extract

by Daisy

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I have been trying to decide on the perfect recipe for trying out my homemade vanilla extract which has been steeping for several days now. The vanilla extract is on the right and the glass on the left contains brandy only, so you can compare before and after. Quite a bit darker and more vanilla extract-like than the hue of the original brandy before the vanilla bean went in:

I want to see how it tastes in some kind of dessert. After some deliberation I have chosen:

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

I want a neutral backdrop to showcase the pure flavor of the vanilla, and as the mercury is nosing up toward 100 degrees, ice cream seems the logical choice. If a blackberry cobbler in need of a scoop happens to show up, we can deal with that, too.

I leafed through a few cookbooks and think I have found a winner. It is The Southern Living Cookbook’s

Vanilla Ice Cream Spectacular.

5 cups milk

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 T. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

5 eggs, beaten

4 cups half-and-half

1 1/2 T. vanilla extract

Heat milk in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat until hot. Combine sugar, flour, and salt; gradually add sugar mixture to milk, stirring until blended. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Gradually stir about 1/4 of hot mixture into beaten eggs; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute; remove from heat, and let cool. Chill at least 2 hours.

Combine half-and-half and vanilla in a large bowl, add chilled custard, stirring with a wire whisk. Pour into freezer can of a 1 gallon hand-turned or electric freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Let ripen 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Yield: 1 gallon.

Packed and ready to freeze:

We have ice cream!

I made one alteration to the recipe; I used only 1 1/4 cups sugar instead of 2 1/4 cups sugar. Then I followed the rest of the directions except while the custard cooled some of it mysteriously evaporated. Hmm. I refrigerated it overnight.

The next day I added the half-and-half and the homemade vanilla extract and did indeed follow the ice cream freezer manufacturer’s instructions. It was plenty sweet without the extra cup of sugar and the homemade vanilla extract was just right. Overall, in a word, delicious.

This link is for a no-freezer method of making ice cream complete with photo tutorial and lesson on how ice cream freezes.

Here one can travel back in time to Monticello and try out Thomas Jefferson’s Vanilla Ice Cream.

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