Food & Drink Magazine

The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

By Thedreamery

The Best Vanilla Ice CreamSo I’m going back to the very first recipe I posted on this blog, which so happened to appear exactly one year ago today. And to no surprise, of course it was ice cream. Now the recipe for this classic vanilla ice cream was and is amazing. It most definitely holds up to its name, it really is one of the best vanilla ice creams I’ve had, but my photos just didn’t do it justice.

After four years of blogging and improving my food styling and photography skills, this year I decided I wanted to revisit some of my earlier recipes, and give them an updated, and well, a more appealing visual. I think my fellow bloggers are with me when we look back at our earlier works and think how far we’ve come. Since this past weekend we celebrated National Ice Cream Day, I had to whip up a batch of the classic, and most beloved frozen flavor, vanilla.The Best Vanilla Ice CreamAnd just like four years ago, it was one hot day when I made it this time around too. So instead of creating a whole new post and repeating myself, I’ll just leave you with my original words of this rich and delicious vanilla ice cream….

I can’t begin to tell you how HOT it is today. It’s the perfect day to lounge around doing nothing by the ocean, lake or pool. Having been inspired by my new ice cream cookbook from the founders of Bi Rite Creamery in San Francisco, I decided to embark on a summer long ice cream making-capade. Is that a term, if not I’m totally coining it! It’s only fitting, since it is by far my favorite food, along with a slice of pie. Plus, my sweet icy concoction making skills could use some fine tuning, you know, for when I open my own ice cream pie shop sometime in the future.The Best Vanilla Ice CreamThere were so many flavors that I could’ve started with but decided with the king of all ice creams…Vanilla. In the words of Kris Hoogerhyde and Anne Walker

…to us vanilla is the true litmus test of a great ice cream maker. Vanilla gives you a pure sense of the quality of ingredients…as well as the skill of the ice cream maker.

Bi Rite Creamery is known for their organic and local products, and that’s what makes not only their ice cream, but all their products popular amongst San Francisco. You can say they’re pretty much a big motivating factor in visiting San Fran. Their book Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones not only has their famous recipes, but they offer great tips and advice for ice cream makers of all levels. I highly recommend having it in your cookbook collection.The Best Vanilla Ice CreamSo this summer, stay cool and indulge in some homemade ice cream!

And can I just say, how excited I am that my best friend just got engaged!!! I can’t wait to be a part of her special day! {Update, my best friend has been happily married for over two years and it was the most beautiful wedding beneath a stunning magnolia tree overlooking Lake George}The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients {Makes 1 quart}

1 3/4 cups – Heavy Cream

3/4 cups – 2% Milk

1/2 cup – Organic Cane Sugar

1/4 teaspoon – Salt

1 – Vanilla Bean {I used Madagascar vanilla. There’s also Tahitian + Mexican. Take note of which you use because each has a distinctly different flavor}

5 large – Egg Yolks

2 teaspoons – Pure Vanilla Extract


To make the base, stir the cream, milk, half of the sugar {1/4 cup} and salt in a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half and use your knife to scrape the seeds from the inside of the bean. Add the seeds and bean to the pan, and heat over medium-high heat. When the cream mixture begins to bubble around the edge, remove it from the heat and cover. Allow it to steep for 30 minutes.

In a heat proof bowl, whisk the yolks to break them up, then add in the remaining sugar and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Uncover the pan, and return back onto medium high heat, just until it reaches a slight simmer, then reduce to medium heat. Slowly ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the yolk mixture, while whisking quickly. Add another ladle of the hot milk mixture to the yolks, making sure to whisk quickly to not curdle the eggs. With a clean spatula, stir the cream mixture as you slowly add in the tempered egg-cream mixture to the saucepan.

Cook the ice cream base over medium heat, stirring constantly until it has thickened, and the mixture coats the back of the spoon, holding a clear path when you run your finger through {about 1 to 2 minutes}. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container, over an ice water bath. Using a clean spatula, stir the base frequently until its has cooled to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, directly onto the surface,  and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Freeze the ice cream, by adding the vanilla extract to the chilled base, stirring until combined. Pour the base into your ice cream machine and freeze following your manufacturer’s directions. While the ice cream churns, put the container that you’ll keep your ice cream in the freezer. The ice cream is ready once it reaches the consistency of soft serve, and the paddle creates a distinctive path as it churns. {Be careful NOT to over churn it, since there’s no fixing it. How long it takes to freeze your ice cream will depend on your machine and the conditions of your kitchen}

Enjoy right away, or freeze at least 4 hours for a firmer consistency.

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