Friday, May 1, 2015

Frozen Vanilla Bean Custard

Ice cream season is upon us. The weather is warm enough that I've started making ice cream regularly. I have recipes that I like, and I also like creating my own recipes. But I also like trying new recipes from cookbooks.

When I got the book, The Perfect Egg, I realized that the frozen custard was perfect. It calls for a lot of egg yolks - a full dozen of them - which is exactly what I had after making a batch of macarons.

I've made plenty of ice creams that used egg yolks, but usually it's a lot less. Maybe four or even six. Never a dozen for this amount of ice cream. I wondered if it would be overkill. I wondered if the ice cream would taste "eggy."

I shouldn't have worried. The finished ice cream was definitely rich and had a lovely yellow color, but it didn't taste like eggs.

If you're looking for something with a little more flavor than a vanilla custard, there are eight other variations of the ice cream: Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Coffee, Matcha & Black Sesame, Cake Batter, Raspberry & Coconut, Stracciatella, and Blackberry & Merlot.

For more about The Perfect Egg, check out my review.

Frozen Vanilla Bean Custard
Adapted from The Perfect Egg by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park

2 cups cold heavy cream
1 cup cold half-and-half
1 cup superfine sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
12 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the cream, half-a-half, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Scrape the seeds from half of the vanilla bean using the back of a knife, and add the seeds and that half-bean to the saucepan. Heat on medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolved and bubbles start forming around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until the eggs are pale yellow and fluffy.

Slowly pour about a cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture, while constantly whisking or stirring the eggs.

Add the now-warmed egg mixture to the cream mixture in the saucepan, while constantly stirring or whisking the cream mixture. Turn the heat back on to medium low, and cook, stirring or whisking constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon - this means that if you dip the spoon in the mixture and run your finger across the spoon, the line will hold.

Prepare an icebath with a bowl on top of a second bowl that's got ice and some cold water in it. Make sure the top bowl can't actually submerge in the water, even after the ice starts melting. Strain the hot custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the top bowl. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the second half of the vanilla pod and add the seeds and bean to the custard mixture.

Let the custard cool, stirring occasionally, until it's no longer warm. Cover the top of the custard with plastic wrap (to avoid the chance of it forming a skin). Refrigerate until fully chilled - 8 hours is good, but I usually leave it overnight.

Remove the vanilla bean and churn the mixture in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer to a storage container and freeze until firm.

I received this book from the publisher at no cost to me.