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Basic French Vanilla Ice Cream
This is from Carl's ice cream recipes. He uses a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker to make really delicious---and rich---ice cream. This is a basic recipe; add the ingredients you like. The instructions say: "You can reduce the number of yolks to four or even three if you like, and still produce quite a rich ice cream. It will not be the ultimate, however. "
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (pure vanilla is best)
- 2 c. half-and-half or milk
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 c. heavy cream, or more milk or half-and-half
- Combine half-and-half and 1/4 c. sugar in small saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until steam arises from the milk; remove from the heat.
- Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat 1/4 c. sugar with the egg yolks until light yellow and thick, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Beat 1/2 c. hot half-and-half into this, then gradually stir this mixture into the saucepan with the remaining half-and-half.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture reaches 175' to 180'F, or is slightly thickened; do not boil. (There will be a thick coating on the back of a spoon, one that will hold the outline of your finger after you pass it through.)
- Strain the custard into a glass or plastic bowl and stir in the cream. Taste and, if more sugar is needed, stir it in while the mixture is still hot. Add vanilla extract.
- Chill to 40'F (you can hasten this process by setting the bowl in a large bowl filled with a mixture of ice and water; stir occasionally), then church in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers' directions. Serve immediately or freeze; use within 2 days, warming in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.
Makes about 1 quart.
Maple-Nut Ice Cream:
Substitute 3/4 c. maple syrup for the sugar. Stir 1 c. chopped (not ground) nuts into the ice cream before freezing. Walnuts and pecans may be used with their skins; almonds should be blanched and peeled; peanuts or pistachios should be unsalted. Nuts may be toasted lightly in a dry skillet before adding.
Chocolate Chip, M&M, Rocky Road, or other chunky ice cream:
Ice cream is a thick custard that can support a great deal of solid ingredients, but don't push it. One cup of any solid ingredient, or combination of ingredients, stirred into the mixture just before freezing, gives you a fairly normal amount of chips or chunks in the ice cream. Two cups is overkill.
Coffee Ice Cream:
In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup milk with 1/2 cup coarsely ground coffee until the milk steams. Turn off the heat, then cover and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Strain and use the milk as part of the liquid component.