Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: makes about 1 1/2 quarts
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2 vanilla beans

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs


  1. With a knife halve vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape seeds into a large heavy saucepan and stir in pods, cream, milk, and sugar. Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally, and remove pan from heat. In a large bowl lightly beat eggs. Add hot cream mixture to eggs in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into pan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickly coats the back of a spoon, or until a thermometer registers 170 degrees F. (Do not let boil.) Pour custard through a sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl in a large bowl of ice water and let the custard chill, stirring occasionally. Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker, in 2 batches if necessary. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.
  2. Variation 1: To make chocolate ice cream, put 1/2 pound of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl, and pour the hot thickened custard over the top. Let sit for 1 minute, and stir until smooth. Chill and freeze as above. Variation 2: To make strawberry ice cream, hull and slice 1 pound (1 1/4 pints) fresh strawberries, puree in a food processor. Transfer the puree to a bowl, stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and chill. Add the puree to the chilled custard and freeze as above.