Rich and creamy Vanilla ice cream – without an ice cream maker

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While we’re enjoying the end of this summer I keep experimenting with ice cream and sorbets, learning about techniques and having lots of fun. I am not using an ice cream maker yet, I want to learn the old-fashioned way first. The second recipe I tried is a plain, luscious and basic Vanilla ice cream. Check out my other attempt on a sorbet : Strawberry and spiced chai Sorbet.

Growing up, my mom used to make this vanilla ice cream, quite often. I decided to adapt it to revive this old taste of my childhood. I still remember the smell of vanilla in the air while she was cooking the base and at age 10 or so I had quickly learned how to make it. I remember making it all through those summers, over and over. Some times my sister and I couldn’t wait for the second freezing and processing and we would dig in the trays as it was, eating frozen milky icicles in the heat of those Brazilian summers.
I was completely blown away when I found the original recipe in my very first recipe’s book and couldn’t resist to take a picture of it. Sorry, it is in Portuguese, but it is kind of cute to see a little girl’s letter, and this first cook book.

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I had to reduce the sugar amount – how could we take so much sugar in those days? – I also used heavy cream and way more egg yolks to make it richer. I also used good quality pure vanilla that I had bought in Mexico and was saving for a special occasion.

Needless to say that I enjoyed every minute of cooking the base, smelling the rich vanilla aroma that was filling the whole house. And we loved the result! A creamy and fragrant vanilla ice cream, rich and cool that didn’t last in the freezer at all. I served right after the 4 hours of freezing and the consistency was perfect. Next time I will process the base twice, during these 4 hours, as in other recipes I’ve searched. It’s more work but it might be well worth it. Maybe after that I will be ready to make my mind about the ice cream maker.

It is a time-consuming project, but not difficult at all and you can complete in 2 days, instead of one, which might be more practical.

This time I haven’t substituted the sugar by any artificial sweetener – I always cook in a diabetes friendly mode – since I know the sugar crystals play an important role in the freezing consistency.
It is a rich dessert, high in calories and fat, only for an occasional treat here, but wow, was super delicious!!
I am not a fan of ready-made toppings, we had it with berries.

Vanilla ice cream

2 to 4 portions

6 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups whipping cream, (35%)
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla

In heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk egg yolks with sugar until combined. Whisk in cream, milk and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick enough that a trail remains after your finger is drawn across back of spoon, about 15 minutes.

Strain through a fine sieve and pour into a 9-inch (2.5 L) square metal cake pan (or a loaf pan) and place a plastic wrap directly on the surface. Chill in the fridge for about 1-1/2 hours. At this point you can transfer to an airtight container; place plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

It is time now to put in the freezer until firm but not solid, 2 to 3 hours. Finally you get to the fun part: scrape the ice cream into your food processor and purée until smooth. You will see the beautiful consistency coming together! Pour into freezer container. Add other flavourings if you want, freeze until firm, about 4 hours. (Or freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions if you are using one).

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

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