I’ve owned an ice cream maker for about 5 years, and am ashamed to admit that I have not used it once. For some reason, I’ve been intimidated to make my own ice cream, especially when I love the stuff you can get in the stores. This vanilla bean ice cream has totally changed my mind! July was national ice cream month, and I kept seeing all these wonderful ice cream concoctions that people were posting on their blogs and got inspired! Patrick and I eat ice cream almost every night. I love to have something sweet at the end of the meal, and ice cream, especially in the summertime, really hits the spot.
Do you see those beautiful black flecks of vanilla bean in there? That’s one of my favorite parts. Plus, I love that there are only 5 ingredients.
3 cups half and half, divided
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix 1 cup of the half and half with the sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and drop in the vanilla pod. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 cups of half and half and the vanilla.
Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is well chilled (I chilled mine overnight). Remove the vanilla bean before churning. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It will have a softer consistency straight out of the ice cream maker, but will harden upon freezing. You might have to leave the container out on the counter for 10-20 minutes before serving if your ice cream gets really hard.
I ordered my vanilla beans from here. It’s a lot of beans, but it’s much cheaper than buying 1-2 beans at a time and you can share with your family/friends, or store it in the freezer for later use.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Favorite brands in the stores?
I used to love mint chocolate chip and cookie dough the best, but this summer I’ve been gravitating to strawberry and peach as my favorite flavors.