It was my birthday last week and it came after a 3 week trial of little/no added sugar. My conclusions from that little experiment was – 1. I was eating way too much sugar. 2. I could never give up sugar for any length of time. 3. However, when I do have sugar it should be worth it.
So, I don’t think it was a coincidence that on my birthday the lovely J gifted me with the icecream-maker attachment to my Kitchen Aid. In my opinion, homemade icecream = totally worth it.
I’m not going to lie here – icecream making is a time-consuming process. Particularly your first time. You have to make the custard, chill the custard, chill the icecream-maker, churn the icecream, freeze the icecream. I hope I haven’t lost you yet! I do think it’s worth the labour – a lot of it is not time you’re actively doing anything – just waiting around.
Although I started fairly basically, there is something so wonderful about true vanilla bean icecream that I knew it was the right choice. My imagination is already somewhere down the road, thinking of all the fantastic and interesting flavours I can make – the kind you can’t buy in a supermarket. I’m thinking – fig and pistachio, pecan and burnt caramel, basil, coconut icecream, coffee icecream, dark chocolate icecream, chocolate and chilli icecream, hazelnut… the list goes on…
But I’m here to talk about vanilla bean icecream. As a child, I was always more interested in chocolate, in strawberry, in that crazy triple swirl icecream that is no colour or flavour naturally occuring on this green earth… As an adult, I have come to appreciate the subtlety of vanilla, particularly good (real!) vanilla.
I have it on good authority that David Lebovitz is the king of icecream. I already have my eye on his book, The Perfect Scoop. I was able to find his recipe for vanilla bean icecream online, and it is adapted below.