Friday, September 10, 2010

French Vanilla Ice - Cream


4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or more to taste
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
Pinch of salt


Beat the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla together in a small bowl until smooth and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Set aside 1/2 cup of milk. Combine the remaining cream and milk with the salt in a medium saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it begins to simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or more.
Bring it almost to a boil, but do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and set aside. Prepare an ice bath by placing 2 handfuls of ice cubes in a large bowl and filling with ice water to cover. Set aside.
Whisking constantly, very gradually pour the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then pour the egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan and, again stirring constantly, cook over medium-low heat until thickened, 5-10 minutes. When the custard will coat the back of a spoon, it is thickened perfectly. Remove it from the heat and stir in the reserved 1/2 cup of milk to stop the cooking process.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and immerse it in the ice bath. Stir until the custard is completely chilled. At this point you can freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions, but the ice cream really benefits by a 4-hour stint in the refrigerator.


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