After almost a year of wanting to purchase real vanilla beans I decided to take the plunge. I ordered 7 beans from Amazon and actually forgot about them. Mark and I make a daily trip to the mail box together and the day these arrived the whole mail area knew it! They smelled wonderful even in a plastic bag in an envelope in the mail box. The first thing I wanted to make was vanilla bean ice cream. Nothing says yummy like freshly churned, homemade vanilla ice cream. It was divine. I am posting the recipe but I warn you...if you eat half of this recipe in a week you will gain 4 pounds. I did and I am paying for it, big time. Extra elliptical time here I come!
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
1 Vanilla Bean, Split And Scraped
3 cups 1/2 & 1/2
2 cups Sugar
8 Large Egg Yolks
3 cups Heavy Cream
Heat 1/2 & 1/2 and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan over low heat, adding the vanilla bean insides to the mixture. Also, throw in the bean for extra flavor. (Remove before next step.) Turn off heat when mixture is totally heated.
Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the egg yolks into the pan containing the half-and-half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat until quite thick, stirring constantly. The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. Drain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer, then pour into a bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Chill mixture completely, then freeze in an ice cream maker until desired consistency. Place container in freezer to harden for at least eight hours.