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Jun 20, 2005 09:40 AM

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  • m

Have a cooking question...
I received a new ice cream maker as a wedding present and I tried it out for the first time last night...
Since I had some delicious Tahitian Vanilla beans, I made some Vanilla Ice cream.
Anyways, I followed the recipe that was enclosed with the maker...and the consistency was perfect. However, it tasted a bit "egg-y" to me. Is this because when I made the custard I cooked it too long? Or, not long enough? OR, was the recipe incorrect and I should have used less eggs?
I've made lemon bars before so I know the whole "cook and stir" egg yolks until it coats the back of the spoon trick and my lemon bars never tasted "egg-y".

Any ideas??


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  1. Personally I prefer Philidelphia-style ice cream which is usually completly eggless. I'm not fond of homemade custard-style ice cream. If you want a really good eggless vanilla bean ice cream, Alton Brown has one on Food Network site. He uses the pectin in a couple tablespoon of fruit preserves to add creaminess. You can't taste the fruit at all in the end. Try it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Becca Porter

      I'll definitely have to try it!

    2. To the horror of most people I know (except my husband) - I make my vanilla ice cream without cooking the eggs and it comes out amazingly - no egg-y taste.

      It's no different than real caesar dressing or eating the chocolate chip cookie dough, ya know? I'm very sensitive and never had a problem with uncooked eggs. If you need the recipe I'll pass it along.

      15 Replies
      1. re: krissywats

        Care to share a particular recipe? That sounds delicious! I kinda like raw eggs (steak tartare?)

        1. re: nooodles

          Yes - please share the recipe! I'm definitely in the hunt for the perfect vanilla ice cream!

          1. re: nooodles

            So simple it'll break your heart:

            1 cup milk
            1 cup heavy cream
            (or, obviously - two cups of half and half, honestly I've found the fat free half and half makes the very best consistency but alas, has HFCS so I can't use it, but feel free to enjoy it for me!)
            2 eggs
            1 cup sugar
            1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            1 pinch salt

            Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in sugar, then continue whisking 1 minute, until completely blended. Add the cream,milk, vanilla, and salt; whisk. Cover, chill, and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.

            If you wanted to make it chocolate - melt 4oz of chocolate and gradully pour in milk (or 1 cup of half and half), let it cool and then follow the recipe as written. I've added butterscotch chips, too and it was wonderful. Or you could just scald the milk and use vanilla beans, too. Just make sure it's all good and cold before you put it in the machine.

            And just because I like you all so is my favorite all time orange sherbet recipe:

            Orange Sherbet

            Makes a double batch for our ice cream maker.

            1 1/2 T. grated orange rind
            1 1/2 C. sugar
            1/4 C. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
            1 1/2 C. fresh-squeezed orange juice
            1 t. vanilla
            4 C. very cold (low-fat) milk

            Stir together grated orange rind and sugar. Stir in lemon juice, orange juice and vanilla and continue stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add milk.

            Put mixture in ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

            We were absolutely over the moon for this sherbet.

            1. re: krissywats

              If you like sherbet,(or even if you think you don't), you have to try Cooks Illustrateds recipes. Orange, lime, or rasberry. It's in my top five recipes I've ever got from them. It is out of this world.

              1. re: krissywats

                Okay, krissywats, I had a lot of time on my hands today and have already tried your recipe.

                Yum! It's the first vanilla ice cream I've made that tastes as good or better than storebought. I always had the eggy problem too.

                I admit that I can never leave well enough alone, and ended up changing the recipe. I used what I had in the fridge and ended up with:

                2 eggs
                1/2 cup sugar
                1 1/2 cups canned evaporated milk
                1 Tbs vanilla paste
                1 large pinch of kosher salt

                I guess it goes to show that this recipe leaves a lot of room for creativity. I think getting the eggs fluffy and using them raw are the big keys here.

                I put a little extra salt because I thought it would be a nice change of pace (anyone else read the salty/sweet foods post?) and it was great! The kosher salt didn't really disslove, and lent the ice cream a caramel-and-fleur de sel quality. It was lovely, I thought, but I would put the salt in at the end next time to enhance that particular quality.

                The vanilla paste, of course, distributed black flecks throughout the ice cream. They don't show up well in the photo, but they're kinda pretty.

                Thanks, krissywatts! This recipe is a real winner. The only reason there's any left is I really want to see what it's like after setting up in the freezer for a few hours.


                1. re: nooodles

                  Wow, looks yummy, nooodles. I think you get the award for the fastest turnaround ever (w/ a bonus for the photo)! How would you compare the texture to cooked custard recipes? Also, is your vanilla paste from TJ's? Been curious about does it compare to whole vanilla beans?

                  BTW, I've never used egg whites in my ice creams so this is a bit of a revelation too. Forget avocado ice cream for now, I'm moving back to the basics...May do a test among cooked, uncooked, and eggless. Can never have enough vanilla ice cream...

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    The crazy thing is, I've only tried a custard-based vanilla ice cream once, and it was much too eggy and icy for my taste. I started sticking to sorbets, sherbets, and more unusual flavors. The flavors were used more as a coverup for mediocre bases. Heck, I even made yamaimo ice cream hoping the texture of the potato would keep the ice cream from freezing so solid. Mixed results on that one.

                    To answer your, let me run to my freezer...okay, the texture is now perfect after a few hours in the freezer. You know that texture you get when you scoop up ice cream that's the perfect texture, where it looks like the ice cream is perfectly dry? The little ridges that form in the ice cream left in the tub? The evanescent texture that makes ice cream photo shoots a photographer's worst nightmare? Well, I've achieved that for the first time. It's so beautiful I could cry. FWIW, the photo below does NOT illlustrate what I mean. That's ice cream of the past; I'm writing of ice cream of the future.

                    Your other question: I used Nielsen Massey vanilla from Williams-Sonoma (I've seen it elsewhere, but it is surprisingly cheaper at W-S). I wish the flecks were a little bigger so they'd crunch a bit. As is, it's basically the same as a good extract. Since it costs a little more than the extract of the same brand, I reserve it for things where I can actually see the flecks.

                    This is the first recipe that I think would be a great base for my flavor experimentations, like the red bean ice cream below. Mmmmm, ice cream.

                    For those of you curious about red bean ice cream, just find your favorite vanilla base, cook up 1/2 a cup of red beans (that's 1/2 cup dry, more like 1 cup cooked), simmer until there's hardly any water left, mash is up (completely optional), cool, and add to your base. You won't regret it.


                    1. re: nooodles

                      Thanks for your reply, nooodles. Surprised to hear that custard-based ice creams were too icy for you. As long as I use half-and-half (and not something lower fat), then I've found it to be rather creamy, not icy at all. Of course, it does get icy after prolonged exposure in the freezer, but I usually have no problem finishing if it's good. I liked the Martha Stewart recipe I linked earlier on the thread; however, w/ 6 egg yolks it may be too eggy for you.

                      All this vanilla ice cream talk got me excited and had me in a tizzy at TJ's yesterday evening. Bought a quart of half and half and some vanilla beans. Considered buying the vanilla paste, but still not sure. Bottle said to sub paste for extract 1:1. I believe 1 tsp. paste equals about 1.5" of vanilla bean. If I get into a vanilla ice cream groove, I may get it to try out.

                      1. re: Carb Lover

                        Defintely post back about how you like this ice cream. Like I said, I've only tried the custard once, and the recipe came with my Cuisinart machine. Based on your comparisons I'd be willing to put 6 eggs in a tub of ice cream (hey, why not. You only live once). Y

                        I'm going to try this recipe again with half and half, to see if there's a difference between using that and evaporated milk like I did.

                        To sort of vindicate Cuisinart, their lime sherbet recipe in the book (concentrate and half/half, if i recall correctly) is great.

                        1. re: nooodles

                          I know this sounds crazy, but at some point, just for laughs (and if you are ok with the HFCS) try the fat free half and half. It so far is absolutely the best consistency I've found. Let me know when and if you do, I'd be curious to see if you have the same outcome I did.

                          1. re: nooodles

                            Thought I'd mention that I made ice cream tonight - same recipe except only used 1/2 cup of sugar and added in about a cup of Cadbury's drinking chocolate (heated one cup of half and half in the microwave, stirred in the cocoa mix, cooled, added it to egg/sugar mix). I also added extra salt as you mentioned and WOW!!! This was fantastic. Who knew I could make a really great chocolate ice cream with essentially hot cocoa mix?

                            Because it's a drinking chocolate, it's richer and less sugary so the ice cream came out almost bittersweet. I'm guessing that any of the ground sweetened cocoa mixtures (William Sonoma, Ghiradelli, etc) would work. The consistency was wonderful.

                            1. re: krissywats

                              Hey there, krissywats, I'm still paying attention here! Thanks for your update and original recipe. After seeing nooodles' post, I promptly ran out to Trader Joe's to get a few ingredients to try your recipe myself! I've never made uncooked ice cream before.

                              So below is a photo of my result, and I'm sad to say it didn't quite turn out as I hoped. Feel free to give me any feedback on my technique or ways to improve, but I'm also thinking that it may be that I prefer more egg yolks and no whites in my ice cream. I also think that simmering the custard adds some body and depth of flavor that I missed here. The distinct flavor of steeped vanilla beans was also missed, as I only used extract.

                              My mods: 1/2 c. sugar; 2 tsp. vanilla extract; generous pinch of sea salt. I think even a touch less sugar would have matched my tastebuds better.

                              The good: Recipe so easy. Nice how you don't have to deal w/ the heating up and constant stirring. No cool down period so it gets into ice cream maker more quickly. Easier to satisfy a sudden craving or unexpected company.

                              The bad: After about 15-20 min. in my ice cream maker, I put into tupperware and tasted it. Texture was very light, evaporating quickly in my mouth. Slightly icy, not so creamy. Flavor was def. vanilla and liked the perk of salt, but not the same depth of flavor I achieve from using more yolks and applying heat. (Maybe I'm an "eggy" kind of gal.)

                              The ugly: Well, it's hard for vanilla ice cream to be too ugly. The pic below was taken after it was in the freezer for a couple of hours. You can see the grainy texture, and by then it was even more icy and had a slightly greasy finish. Maybe I beat the eggs too much by hand or churned for too long in the machine?

                              Thanks for inspiring me to try something new, but as of now, the Martha Stewart recipe I linked in my response on this thread is still the one for me. I'm going to try the eggless (Philadelphia-style) that someone else mentioned in a peach or strawberry ice cream next. Can't imagine my vanilla w/o eggs.


                              1. re: Carb Lover

                                Hmmm - I don't have any answers. Maybe Nooodles can help.

                                What I do know that I didn't mention is that I either keep beating the eggs until the sugar is melted or I use powdered sugar. Also, if you feel like trying it again, you might try scalding a bit of milk (or half and half, whatever you are using) and steeping a vanilla bean, letting that cool, and then mixing everything together.

                                You might be an 'eggy' person, so maybe try the same recipe with an equivalent amount of yolks?
                                And cut down the sugar a bit. Just a thought. Keep me posted!!!!

                                1. re: krissywats

                                  Thanks for your input. You did say to beat the eggs til the sugar had dissolved, which I made sure to follow. The thing about beating the eggs that much is that I think that may have contributed to the fluffy as opposed to denser, creamy texture.

                                  I really like that Martha Stewart recipe I've used before, although I would like something a tad "healthier" (ie, less than 6 egg yolks). I may just tinker w/ that recipe to see how it works w/ 3 or 4 yolks.

                    2. re: nooodles

                      OOOOH, you are good. That looks fantastic! I'll have to try with the evaporated milk and more salt. Sounds like a winner!!!

                      And I love that you can't leave well enough alone - that's fantastic!

              2. I thought my first attempt at vanilla bean ice cream was too eggy, so I cut out some of the egg yolks until I hit the balance of richness we wanted: for us, it's 3.5 cups of cream to 7 egg yolks.