Ever since I came across an article promising 3 ice cream makers for every budget I’ve been riding a churning high. It’s been a month since I splurged on this mid-priced model (only 5 bucks more than the low-budget choice), and I’m happy to share my favorite recipe.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Vanilla, or as my Mom is calling it “Dina-Bell Homemade Vanilla.” Yes, that’s an homage to Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla ice cream, hands down the best vanilla ice cream ever. Keep in mind this is a low-fat, low-sugar version, but by no means does that mean it lacks in flavor or sweetness. If I just look at the full fat ice cream I gain 15 lbs. Raise your hand if you’re with me…
Makes a little less than a quart of ice cream, about 6-1/2 cup servings. You could probably double the recipe, but beware you might have to churn the ice cream in 2 separate batches according to the size of your ice cream maker.
1 1/2 cups Half-and-Half
12 oz can Fat Free Evaporated Milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 T cornstarch
1-2 T vanilla paste*
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
Notes: I used *Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Paste, bought at Whole Foods for a cheaper price if you have one in your area. If you use vanilla extract, the measurement is 1-2 teaspoons. You can also try using fat free half-and-half to make it more healthy. Keep in mind, the quality of ingredients will determine if your ice cream comes out good or great. I use organic products whenever I can and lactose-free milk because I’ll suffer otherwise. ;P
• Measure out 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half in a small bowl and mix with the cornstarch until it forms a paste then set it aside.
• Pour the rest of the half and half as well as the evaporated milk, brown sugar, vanilla paste, and salt into a medium-sized pot and stir over medium heat until the sugar melts (about 5 minutes). In the meantime, take a large bowl and fill it half way with water and ice. (This is to cool the custard down once it’s done cooking.)
• Stir in the cornstarch mixture and watch it thicken over medium heat another 3-5 minutes.
• Take the hot milk mixture off the heat. Separate egg yolks into a medium-sized bowl and gradually whisk the hot milk in one ladle at a time. This is called tempering the eggs.
• Once you have about 4-5 ladles whisked in, stir the egg mixture into the pot of milk and put it back on the heat set for medium or medium-low. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. As it thickens test the custard by swiping a finger across the back. Once the trail remains visible, it’s time to take the pot off the heat (around 5 minutes).
• Strain the custard into a heat safe bowl and place in the ice bath. Once the custard is cool enough, place a piece of saran wrap over the surface. Refrigerate the custard for 4 hours to overnight.
• Freeze in your ice cream maker according to its instructions. Voila! I dare you not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. You can enjoy it soft-serve style right out of the ice cream maker, or freeze it in this ice cream container for a few hours for a harder consistency.
Some of you might have some great ice cream recipes of your own. I’d love to hear about them so I can try them out and share them in a future post.