Sunday, February 19, 2012

vanilla-bean ice cream: sweet memories


It's unbearably hot. The sun is shining down on me. As I race my bike down the street, I think about how great it will be once I'm there. When I arrive, I lock up my bike and step through the gate. 

I see the water glistening, just waiting for me. It's as it always is, full of people but always special. A place where I know I can always be happy. I see my friends and make my way over to them. We all look at each other, and then go for it.

 

CANNON BALL!

My pool, the public pool. It's where I practiced swimming everyday and then came back every evening to play. It's where my friends and I would go to escape and just be silly. It's where I learned how to dive (forward and backward), where I had tea parties under water and did endless water summersaults. It's also where I would spend my allowance: at the canteen.

 
    

Growing up with foreigner parents was certainly different than some of my other friends. When I heard that other kids would get weekly allowances, I asked my mom if I could also have one. Sure, she said. I'll give you five dollars a week.


.....


SWEET.


And straight to the canteen it went. 5 cents candies? Yes, please. Licorice ribbon? Yes. Coke bottle jujubes? Oh baby, yes. But the biggest treat of all...80 cent ice cream sandwiches. I was the happiest person ever when I had one of those.

I can't stress enough how much I love ice cream (although my stomach may not always agree). The rich, creamy taste with its delicate silkiness. Ice cream makes me so happy. But it doesn't have to be reserved just for summer. Ice cream can be served at any time of the year. Now, you might be thinking that it's too cold in the winter. Well, if you live in an apartment like mine that's confused and thinks it's actually in Cuba, then you can have it anytime you want. In fact, I may have some right now. And you should too.
  

Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream

This is another great ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop. It's really easy to follow and results in a delicious vanilla ice cream. This should be a staple in any household. Using a vanilla bean definitely makes a big difference, so try not to skip out on it.

Yields approximately 1 liter
Ingredients

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk (3.25%)
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream (35% whipping)
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Procedure

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature  for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (If you run your finger across the back of the spatula and it leaves a definite trail that doesn't flow back together, then it's done!) Make sure to never let the custard get above 85 C (185 F) otherwise you'll have scrambled eggs! Pour the custard through the strainer and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator at least one hour or more. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use (homemade vanilla extract, perhaps?) and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

You can also make ice cream cookie sandwiches like from my Valentine's post.

8 comments:

  1. That looks so good! I love a good vanilla ice cream and I bet the bean really does make a difference. I got an ice cream maker several months ago, and love making my own ice cream. I love finding great ice cream recipes like this. I found your blog from The Versatile Blogger award you were given from the blog Chocolate Chocolate, and more.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know why it has taken me so long to make my own ice cream, and now I'm hooked! Thanks, Tina :)

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  2. There is nothing better than a good bowl of vanilla ice cream. My fiance says the only "true" ice cream is vanilla. haha ~Megan

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    1. I agree. (although I must admit that the chocolate one I made a few weeks ago might be in the lead) :P
      Thanks for following! Your blog is so pretty.

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  3. Wonderful photos! I love the decorated cup which you serve the ice cream in :) I bet the taste is absolutely amazing, now I'm really sad I don't own an ice cream maker. Do you think it's possible to make it without it?

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    1. Thanks! I love that little mug :)
      Well, people did used to make ice cream without machines so it is possible....just long! You would probably have to do a method similar to granitas, where you would freeze the custard and every couple of hours (or every hour? not sure) go in and mix it around until you have the right consistency. It may not be exactly the same as from a machine and it'll take much longer, but it is possible.

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  4. Most anthropologists believe that cooking with fire was first developed around 250,000 years ago, older than Engineering, Computers, Graphics Design, The Internet and Social Media. Scientists believe that the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution and civilization. The Development of agriculture, commerce and transportation in different regions around the world had offered cooks many new ingredients which have made them creative, with style in cooking, and optimized abilities.

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