It’s already the end of July and the ice cream maker has yet to make an appearance. Sure, when I first got it, it was my best friend. Every week last summer I’d be churning out a different frozen treat for the family. What’s happened, have I gotten lazy. Is a freezer full of commercial ice cream laced with propylene glycol and ethyl acetate suddenly acceptable. I think not!
I am a lover of classic comfort food, and to me nothing is more classic than strawberries and cream. One of my favorite ice cream recipes, is the Williams-Sonoma Vanilla Bean. C’mon people, no chemical additives here, just sugar, eggs and cream. Pure and simple. I like to top the ice cream with a fresh strawberry sauce and some chopped pistachios, and call it a day.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
From Williams-Sonoma “Ice Cream”
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk and 1 cup of the cream. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and then add the vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
- Next, combine the egg yolks, sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of cream in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.
- Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean.
- Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days before serving.
Makes 1 quart
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
- 4 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and chill. If there’s too much liquid in the mixture, then just spoon some off.
- Spoon over your homemade ice cream and top with a few chopped pistachios for a little crunch.
Leave the ice cream out on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving, to make it easier to scoop.