I’m not a kitchen gadget person, but I do adore my ice cream maker. Homemade is far superior to the store-bought kind – without added preservatives or stabilizers, or air whipped in to add volume – and cream is cheaper. The problem, I find, is having to make an eggy custard, strain it, and wait for it to chill before I can transform it into ice cream. Most days I’m not that patient. And so when I discovered a delicious ice cream base can be stirred together in under a minute, and poured directly into the machine to freeze? Sold.
This is classic vanilla, but makes an easy blank canvas you can add most any ingredient to – swirl in mashed or pureed strawberries, chocolate syrup, roasted peaches, a spoonful of sour cream – use your imagination and create new flavours all summer long.
Easy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream, chilled
2 cups half & half, chilled
3/4 cup sugar
1 fresh vanilla bean, or 2 tsp. real vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, half & half and sugar. Split the vanilla bean with the tip of a sharp knife, scrape out the seeds, and stir them in too. (Or add your vanilla extract.)
Pour into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 2 L.