Mother of Pearls & an Emerald

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Best Basic Vanilla Ice Cream Base for Homemade Ice Cream August 7, 2008

Ahhh, ice cream, the sweet taste of summer! Who doesn’t love ice cream? The sweet, creamy coolness, the myriad of flavor and topping choices… Can you tell how very much we love ice cream in this house? So much so that when I found this sweet Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Makerat the thrift shop, I had to snap it up. Now in addition to “Popcorn Night” Thursdays, we’ve added Homemade Ice Cream to the menu as well. Since getting it, we’ve been experimenting with all different kinds of ice cream base recipes. There are literally hundreds of different combinations of amounts of heavy whipping cream, half and half, Vitamin D Milk, Skim Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk and so on to create just the ice cream base.

So far, for texture, consistency, taste, and ability to stay fresh in the freezer without forming alot of ice crystals, the cooked egg recipes have proven to be superior. I did find a very easy one in that you toss everything in the saucepan & heat to 160 degrees instead of tempering and alot of other labor intensive prep. This Taste of Home recipe below is the perfect base for our many creations. The Pearls are purists, so we usually scoop out some plain Vanilla just for them. Then Father of Pearls and I add whatever mix-ins we like, usually heath bar or other crushed candy. Or you can try this fabulous Strawberry Pretzel Dessert ice cream recipe that a friend shared recently! The prep was a bit labor-intensive, but, TRULY it was worth it, right Kristine?! Hey, if we could make it with 4 kids running underfoot, anyone can, slaves to the ice cream that we were! And isn’t Heather’s blog lovely? Look at those darling vintage-looking recipe cards she created for us to print! Swoon, a gal after my own heart that’s for sure! Now if I could just get all of my printed recipes organized…

Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
2-1/4 teaspoons Watkins vanilla extract

Directions: In a heavy saucepan, combine the first five ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches at least 160°. Remove from the heat; cool quickly by setting pan in ice and stirring the mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze immediately. When ready to freeze, pour custard and vanilla into the cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Yield: about 1-1/2 quarts.

Some cook’s notes for the base: I’ve learned it’s best to make these cooked ones well ahead of time, so you have alot of time to get the mixture back to a very cold state, as is preferred in our ice cream maker. Plan ahead and make it the morning of or the day before you plan to serve.

And some notes for the Stawberry Pretzel Dessert recipe: Check the size of your ice cream maker against the amount in her base. It was almost double ours, so we halved the recipe. When we make it again, we’d up the cream cheese amount, maybe add a bit of Watkins Strawberry extract, and either use the frozen strawberries as the recipe calls for or really sweeten up some mashed fresh berries. We used sliced fresh & they just needed something more!


2 Responses to “Best Basic Vanilla Ice Cream Base for Homemade Ice Cream”

  1. Kristine Says:

    Delicious ice cream! We’re making some tomorrow to my great thrift find from you!! yes, the Strawberry Cream Cheese Pretzel is to die for 🙂

  2. Kristine Says:

    I just saw this strawberry ice cream recipe, and check out the info about eggs at the bottom of the comment section.

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