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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Philadelphia-style Vanilla Ice Cream

Apparently there was once a time near Philadelphia there were so many dairy farms that people needed encouragement to use up all the cream and milk produced. Eggs, it seems, were less abundant. Someone figured out a good recipe for vanilla ice cream without a custard base. I like both kinds of vanilla ice cream but this takes less time since the chilling step is shorter (no custard cooking and cooling). I use this recipe when I'm in a hurry.

I love the book this recipe comes from and trust the author to provide reliable recipes. I recommend you find this book at the library and take a look at it. There is a sterling recipe for avocado ice cream that is the creamiest ice cream ever.


Philadelphia-style Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop  by David Lebovitz
Yield: about 1 quart

3 c heavy cream or 2 c heavy cream and 1 c whole milk
1/2-3/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 teas vanilla extract

Pour 1 c cream into a heavy medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining 2 c cream (or the remaining 1 c cream and milk) and the vanilla extract.

Cool the mixture and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly 4-6 hours or more. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod rinsing and reserving it for another use (such as vanilla sugar--stick it in a jar of sugar and leave for a month or so). Freeze the ice cream base according to the directions for your ice cream maker.

When you are finished, either eat as soft serve ice cream or pack in small freezer containers (the more opening and shutting of a container you do, the more ice crystal formation takes place which compromises the texture of your ice cream over time). Also,I find that a sheet of plastic wrap helps reduce the formation of ice crystals.

Notes from Colette:

I don't know what to tell you to do if you don't have a vanilla bean. I procured a large supply from the spice souk in Dubai (thank you, Tom). I encourage you to use real vanilla extract and suggest you double it if you don't have a vanilla bean. Try it and let me know if you think it has proper vanilla flavor.You may, once you've made vanilla sugar, use it in this recipe, making it so you can skip the vanilla bean from time to time.

You see a fairly large variation in the amount of sugar. I find 3/4 c sugar much too sweet but I think most people won't. Although I love sweet things, too much sugar is distasteful to me unless I can cut the sweetness with something salty or tart or with dark chocolate (not milk chocolate). I lower the sugar in all the recipes in this book, except the avocado ice cream, I think.

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