The third U.S. president is credited with jotting down the first American recipe for this treat. No vanilla bean on hand? Substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Just stir the extract into the cream mixture after the ice-water bath. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2 quarts heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine cream and sugar. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife, scrape seeds into pan; add bean. Heat cream mixture over medium heat until bubbles form around side of pan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; return all to the pan, whisking constantly.
- Cook over low heat until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and temperature reaches 160°, stirring constantly. Do not allow to boil. Immediately transfer to a bowl.
- Place bowl in a pan of ice water. Stir gently and occasionally for 2 minutes; discard vanilla bean. Press waxed paper onto surface of custard. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Transfer ice cream to a freezer container; freeze for 4-6 hours or until firm. Repeat with remaining mixture. Yield: 2-1/4 quarts.
Originally published as Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream in Taste of Home June/July 2012, p74
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