Double Vanilla and Brown Sugar Ice Cream
Brown sugar and a double dose of vanilla beans give this homemade ice cream bold vanilla flavor with a hint of molasses. It complements seasonal fall fruits like apples, pears and figs beautifully. For a simple dessert, just sprinkle some fruit with brown sugar and caramelize it under the broiler for a minute or two ~ top with the ice cream and serve!
- 2 vanilla beans (see notes)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and using the tip of a paring knife, scrape the seeds into a large saucepan. Add the milk, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and salt. Scald over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently (do not boil).
While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and frothy. Whisking continually, slowly add a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of the hot milk to the eggs to warm them, then gradually whisk in the remaining hot milk.
Place the custard mixture back in the pan and cook, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the saucepan into a bowl of ice to begin cooling. Stir the custard over the ice for about 3 minutes, add the cream and continue stirring until cooled, about 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the mixture a a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture. Chill thoroughly for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions to freeze the chilled custard in an ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Makes a little over 1 quart
Vanilla beans are a little pricey, so it's a shame to let the pod go to waste once you've scraped out the seeds. To put it to good use, simply pop it into a canister of sugar to impart a subtle vanilla flavor, or cut it into pieces short enough to fit into a bottle of vanilla extract and stuff it in to give your extract extra punch.
If you're interested in making your own vanilla extract read Homemade Vanilla Extract in our Cooking Tips section.