Discover the magic of this vanilla bean ice cream recipe
I’ve tried many a vanilla bean ice cream recipe in my time. A few tweaks to the recipe can produce a wide range of flavours and textures. This recipe I’m going to show you today uses a French vanilla ice cream base. This style of ice cream uses eggs which is why it has a slightly yellow colour.
You’ll need to leave the custard base in the fridge overnight to help infuse the amazing flavours of the vanilla bean. But the wait is definitely worth it. It’s hard to beat vanilla bean for flavour and the eggs yolks create a softer, creamier texture.
If you prefer a lighter, less intensely flavoured ice cream base then this vanilla recipe may work better for you. It’s works well with a lot of different add-ins, is quick to make and is preferred by kids most of the time.
On the topic of egg yolks it’s worth reading up about the role egg yolks play in ice cream. I recommend you test out different quantities of yolk to see what you like best.
Here’s a quick reference for using eggs in ice cream
The less eggs used, the more icy and faster to melt. The more egg yolks used, the creamier, chewier and slower to melt. However, increased eggs leads to a heavier, more eggy ice cream which may not be to everyone’s liking.
A quick rundown on vanilla beans
The vanilla bean isn’t exactly the most inspiring looking spice in the kitchen. It’s a dried up looking brown pod with a slightly waxy outside layer. But slice into the pod and you’ll discover thousands of little black specks of flavour-filled deliciousness.
At the time of writing this recipe, vanilla was the second most expensive spice on the market – the most expensive being saffron. But don’t let this stop you from using them! A little goes a long way and the flavour is a world away from using vanilla essence.
Once you have your vanilla bean ready to use in the ice cream, you simply take a sharp non-serrated knife and slice into the pod lengthways. Then you scrape out the black insides and it’s ready for your perfect vanilla bean ice cream recipe.
Don’t throw out the outer pods – they’re full of flavour too. You can use these in two ways:
- Toss them into your ice cream base when you’re heating up the milk then discard just before churning the ice cream.
- Add them to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry location for later use.
A cheaper alternative to vanilla beans
Vanilla beans are quite expensive and the cost can add up if you’re using them frequently. If you want a cheaper option, but don’t want to use vanilla essence, consider using a vanilla bean paste. This option offers a similar flavour profile to the bean, however, you don’t get the same intensity.