No matter how much I like something, it’s hard for me to make it twice… especially twice in the span of a single week.   The recipe has to be special… very special.  And it has to be good… very good.   And even so, there are bazilions of recipes for the same thing so why make one of them  multiple times?  Why not try other recipes for that same thing and perhaps find something {gasp!} even better?   One of the exceptions to this, of course, is Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake.  I’ve made that countless times… it’s THAT GOOD.  Truth be told, right now I’m pretty darn full from dinner but could easily eat a slice of it right now… it’s THAT GOOD.  But… I digress ;)  I’ve been making quite a few ice cream recipes lately and loving them all.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to try out a recipe for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  I remembered how good things turned out when I used the David Lebovitz recipe for chocolate ice cream and searched his archives for a vanilla one.  No lie… David Lebovitz can make ice cream.  And I’m not talkin good ice cream… I’m talking fantastic, terrific, amazing, best-you-ever-had, jump-back-and-kiss-yourself, so-fabulous-that-you-make-it-two-weekends-in-a-row ice cream.  Ice cream that’s so good it moved me to post an open letter about it on Twitter… something dorky like “Dear David Lebovitz, your vanilla bean ice cream is amazing… Love, Em”.   Yeah, I toldja… dorky.  But what can I say?  This vanilla bean ice cream is so good I had no shame… I was moved to tweet about it!  It’s THAT GOOD!

If you’re not familiar with the David Lebovitz book The Perfect Scoop, I strongly urge you to click the link and check it out.  It in that book which I discovered the amazing chocolate ice cream recipe I used here and it’s also where I found this vanilla bean ice cream.  I don’t know what it is but his ice cream recipes are just fabulous.  The use of quality ingredients coupled with outstanding techniques results in premium ice cream that far exceeds what you can buy in the store.  The first time I made it I knew right away I was going to post it here on my site.  Only problem was that we ate nearly all of it by the time I got around to photographing it.  All that was left was a single scoop… just one single scoop out of an entire quart.  And actually… I lied… “we” didn’t eat all of it… I did.  Yes, I know!  I admit it!  I ate an entire quart of this ice cream.  Not in a single day… though I easily could have.  It took me about 5 days but sure, yeah, yup, uh huh… it was juuuuuuuust me… and I ate the whooooooooooole thing!  So I made it again, juuuuuuuuuuuust so that I could share it with you.  And this time it’s lasted over a week… and I’m damn proud! LOL!!

Here’s the recipe direct from David’s site.  The only change I made was to use twice the amount of vanilla beans :)

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Recipe from David Lebovitz

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To show I’ve gotten over my dorky lil open-letter on Twitter… and sweeten this up just a little… I’m giving away a copy of David’s book The Perfect Scoop. This time, the winner will be randomly chosen from among my blog readers who also follows me on Twitter.

The rules are pretty easy:

1) enter a comment to this post telling me A) your favorite flavor of ice cream, B) what recipe you’d love to find in David’s book and C) your username on Twitter (so I can verify you follow me)

2) follow me on Twitter

3) that’s it!

Open to US residents only… and… if you win but are not among my Twitter followers, another winner will be chosen.

Entries must be received by 11:59pm PDT on Monday August 31, 2009

You can’t win if you don’t enter… soooo… whatcha waitin on… ENTER!!

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70 Responses to "Vanilla Bean Ice Cream… and a giveaway"

  1. Danielle says:

    A) My favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip. Not sure it is in his book, but I have made his mango sorbet and it is out of this world! It is my go to summer staple!

    B) I would love to find something with an unexpected twist. There are so many “vanilla” recipes that I would love to try something outrageous!

    C) my twitter username is missshybtafly

  2. Dragana says:

    Favorite icecream: Pistachio
    I would love to find a dark chocolate semifreddo (does that qualify as icecream?)
    Twitter name is: Draganabakes

  3. Jennifer says:

    Well unfortunately, I don’t have a Twitter account and I’m just not getting one on principle so I can’t follow you. But I’m sharing my favorite ice cream flavor because it’s interesting and SO surprisingly good… Basil. Yup. Basil. Too good to pass up. I just discovered it and it’s my new favorite. I found it at the blog and I think it’s amazing. I just wanted to pass along that little jewel. Basil ice cream… seriously. Try it!

  4. Molly says:

    My favorite ice cream flavor is coffee . . . my twitter username is longview_molly

  5. Annette says:

    A. My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip. Don’t get me wrong I love to try the unusual flavor every now and then, but I always come back to the basics.
    B. I would love to find something unusual in his book. I have an ice-cream maker but the only flavors I’ve made so far are chocolate and vanilla. I would love to try somethng different.
    C. My twitter name is annbr17.

  6. Karen says:

    favorite is butter pecan – like to find something like watermelon. @fantasia64

  7. Carrie says:

    a. my favorite ice cream is chocolate with chunks of stuff in it
    b. i’d love to see a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream recipe
    c. my twitter username is @carrieactually

  8. Amanda says:

    My favorite ice cream is spumoni. There’s something magical about chocolate, pistachio and cherry ice cream together :) I checked out the book from the library and haven’t had any room in the freezer for my ice cream canister! I finally have a little room so you have inspired me to make some.

    I have a question (hoping I can subscribe to the comments), what do you keep your ice cream in when you make it? I’ve just been using a plastic container with a lid, but wondered if there’s something better.

    Oh, on twitter I am @amandascookin.

    • Em says:

      Hi Amanda,
      I use a plastic tupperware-style container. Nothing fancy but it seems to work :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. [...] forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of the David Lebovitz book The Perfect Scoop… you can’t win if you [...]

  10. My favorite ice cream: Vanilla w/ candy chunks in it

    What I’d like to see in David’s book: Unique ice cream ideas that I haven’t thought of myself

    I follow you: RecipeGirl :)

  11. Brittany Owens says:

    A. My favorite flavor of ice cream is definitely cookies and cream
    B. I would LOVE to have a recipe for dulce de leche ice cream…yummy!!
    C. My twitter username is bowens919 and i’m following you :)


  12. Mr Crank Pants says:

    A) your favorite flavor of ice cream

    B) what recipe you’d love to find in David’s book
    CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW ICE CREAM (that is easy to make)

    C) your username on Twitter (so I can verify you follow me)

  13. [...] forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of the David Lebovitz book The Perfect Scoop… you can’t win if you [...]

  14. I messed up a fairly simple vanilla ice cream recipe last week, so perhaps I should try this more complicated but yummy-sounding one this week!

    My fave ice cream: vanilla!
    What I’d like to find in David’s book: praline pecan ice cream (omigosh my mouth is watering from just typing that)
    Me on twitter: sherrybaker

    Love this blog!

  15. Di says:

    I’m not sure if I can pick a favorite. Usually I’d say plain chocolate, but I recently made DL’s vanilla ice cream and I agree that it’s fabulous. I used a combination of Tahitian and Bourbon vanilla beans. Yum. As for what I’d like to find in the book, mainly just new ideas. I seem to be stuck in a chocolate and vanilla rut. =) On Twitter I’m @diskitchennotes.

  16. [...] and thanks to all my twitter followers for entering my last giveaway! I want to congratulate Karen for winning the copy of A Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz… the [...]

  17. Xocai says:

    I must be allergic to chocolate. It breaks me out in fat… but at least it doesn’t hurt! Thanks for the great post!

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