Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I Love Ice Cream!

I’ve been experimenting with ice cream for a few months now.  I have been trying to find the perfect vanilla recipe and am hoping to use that as a base for exploring other flavors.  Over thanksgiving I think I found my perfect vanilla.  It was served alongside a pumpkin cheesecake pie and paired perfectly well.  Today I made some for our monthly queer dinner potluck.

This is not a quick recipe, it takes a bit more time than the simple ones and requires preparing the ice cream at least 24 hours in advance of serving it.  Although it is a bit more work my taste testers and I have decided that it is worth the wait!

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Ingredients:

2 cups Whole Milk

2 cups Half and Half

1 cup Sugar

1 Vanilla Bean, cut in half with seeds removed

5 Egg yolks

A pinch of Salt

 

Some recipes call for heavy cream–I found that this can give the ice cream a greasy texture and that the added fat is not necessary for the flavor so I have been going with a 50/50 whole milk with half and half mixture.  You can play with the balance of this for your own tastes.

IMG_1162Carefully Cut Vanilla bean and scrape out seeds.

IMG_1164Slowly heat the milk with the vanilla bean, stirring and watching closely to ensure that it does not fully boil.

IMG_1165Beat the 5 egg yolks.

IMG_1167Temper the eggs by slowly adding in the hot milk.  Add about a quarter cup at a time stirring constantly with each addition of milk.  IMG_1168Make sure you dont cook the eggs, there should be no eggy chunks.

 

IMG_1170Reheat the mixture to nearly boiling.

IMG_1171Now strain out the bean and any seeds that got into the batter (alternatively you can just take the bean out and leave the seeds in).

Let this mixture cool in the refrigerator for as many hours as you can bear it and then pop it into your ice cream maker.  Enjoy immediately for soft serve, or freeze for at least 12 hours for harder ice cream!

Potatoes going Strong

The potatoes I planted from started potatoes about a month ago are doing really well.  I planted them in about 3 feet of good quality dirt and peat moss inside of this deep potato bed that I made myself.  I hope that the door will work to fetch the potatoes without having to dig up the plant!IMG_0798

Winter garden going strong

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Potatoes are doing well so far!

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Spring tomatoes are in!

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Big Chard, Small Tomatoes

Big Chard, Small Tomatoes

Peek-a-boo Spring Potatoes

Peek-a-boo Spring Potatoes

Winter Garden Bounty

Winter Garden Bounty

How to Cook Kohlrabi Greens

This year about half of the plants in my garden came from the nursery dumpster.  I regularly get up early in the morning or stop by just after they closed to see what was in store for me.  I ended up with some plants that I am less familiar with, including kohlrabi.  I had bought Kohlrabi at the farmers market before, but it never came with the greens on it.  The greens are totally edible and when prepared well they are delicious!

Here’s how to cook the greens:

1. pull the greens off of the bulb

2. remove the stems by cutting or ripping the green part away from the woody stems

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3.  Cook the greens for 2-3 mins in boiling water to soften them.

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3. Remove the greens from water, drain well, place in pan for sautéing, add oil of your choice–I used Toasted Sesame Oil here.

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4.  Add spice and seasonings of your choice.  I added some pine nuts.  Salt also goes a long way!

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5. Serve warm or add to a cold salad.

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Winter rain garden boost

The LA rains gave the winter garden an extra boost kale and kohlrabi are ready to eat! White beets and more chard coming soon.

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