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The Perfect Vanilla Ice Cream

February 19th, 2009

Homemade ice cream should only come in one flavor. Eggs should be in a chicken, not your ice cream! Anyhow, here is the Perfect Vanilla Ice Cream recipe:

This is for a Six quart size maker:

  • 1 Quart Shamrock Whole Milk

  • 1 Quart Shamrock Half & Half

  • 1 Quart Shamrock Heavy Cream

  • 1.5 Cups Vanilla Sugar (made by storing a whole vanilla bean sealed in the sugar for a week. See pic below)

  • 1 Teaspoon red mined salt (use a little less if table salt)

  • The powdery insides of a real vanilla bean

  • Enough Molina Mexican brown vanilla to change the color (about 3 tbsp, to taste)

Warm the milk, half and half, and cream in a sauce pan and stir the sugar in. This gets the sugar granules all dissolved, and makes everything play nicely together. You want to stir it constantly and avoid scorching. The ideal temp is just before bubbles form on the outside edges. This is nowhere near boiling, like 140 degrees. You would not want to put your finger in, but if you did you could not keep it in. Remove from heat.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients and cool the whole thing half an hour. If you are pressed for time, just warm the milk to melt the sugar in and mix the half and half and cream in cold.
Try these for variety: A tiny pinch of cinnamon, a very small pinch of clove powder.
Another variation: Scorch only the sugar until it caramels just a bit. Maybe add a little lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon in. (This WILL curdle milk, so be careful! I add it right before churning) As risky as lemon would be a dash of tea Masala (Chai). The fresh ginger is the danger here; it will overpower if stored for any amount of time. Finish it off!

A hint about the vanilla, If you do not like Mexican Vanilla, skip it. Put the husk of the scraped Vanilla bean in the milk when you warm it and let it get very hot. (Just avoid a rolling boil.) More flavor will leak out and more bits can be scraped out of the bean.

I use a full 20 lb bag of ice and about two cups of rock salt for the maker. (Get the blue big Morton’s bag of softener salt, after all you are not consuming this.) The more ice and salt you melt the faster it will harden. I use a dasher to poke down into the ice all the time it is running. If the mix churns too long it will make butter bits. You can gain a couple minutes by pouring a cup or two of water over the ice when you first load the maker. (The water connects the cold of the ice to the metal of the maker)

Adjust for four Quart maker:

  • 3 Cups Milk

  • 2 Cups Half and Half

  • 3 Cups Whipping Cream

  • 1 Cup Sugar

  • .5 Tsp Salt

  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla

I know the ingredients as listed are not cheap, but if you cared about money that much you would just grab some Dreyer’s Rocky Road or Dreyer’s Cherry Vanilla. (I have not found this recently, but try Dove’s Cherry Courtship. Wow!) At some point you must decide, “Are you making cream, or are you making art?”

The sugar soaks up all that yummy Vanilla.


  1. Jesse English
    March 12th, 2009 at 15:59 | #1

    Sounds good, I will have to try this. By the way, I just tried to email you about your restaurant reviews page and your email isn’t working.

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