vanilla ice cream
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Vanilla is really expensive at the moment but there’s no question that no extract matches up to the genuine article. If you can’t afford to purchase such a whacking amount of vanilla (that will be 5 pods for double the amount, not too much if you have a family of ice cream lovers), use the very best, natural bean paste.
I don’t quite know where the derogatory use of the word as an adjective comes from – ‘vanilla’ meaning insipid, bland and ordinary. Vanilla after all is the second most expensive spice in the world in the close company of saffron – and perhaps gold leaf.
If you can get hold of ice cream stabiliser, add half a teaspoon to the sugar used in the recipe; it will make the ice cream smoother and the churning process quicker. This is a fool proof recipe I found absolute ages ago in a magazine or a weekend supplement. Fuss free and so good – perhaps no wonder as its author is Heston Blumenthal.
vanilla ice creamServings: about 2 pints of ice creamTime: 30 minutes plus chilling and freezing
- 2 – 2 ½ whole vanilla pods
- 180g whole milk
- 86g caster sugar
- 420g double cream
Split the pods and scrape off the seeds. Place them together with the pods in a saucepan with the milk, cream and sugar. Bring it slowly to 90C over medium heat.
If you don’t have a thermometer, take it off the heat just before it boils and cool down completely. Chill in the fridge overnight, strain it only after chilling to maximise vanilla steeping.
Churn in the ice cream maker according to the appliance instructions. If the machine is struggling, take out the paddle and break the ice cream with a hand mixer with dough hooks or blender attachment.
Scrape the ice cream into a tub and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before scooping.