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drive-by shootings

Recipe: vanilla ice cream

Daring Bakers: My darling DBers, I had to punt this month’s challenge. Between surgery, recovery, several visitors, and the fall shoot, I completely blanked on the lavash. See you next month, kids!


Yes, drive-by shootings, but I am talking about the good kind. We have been logging several hundred miles, getting out of and back into the car, clambering up steep slopes, hiking, lodging all manner of thorns and seeds in our hair and clothes, and walking narrow road shoulders along cliffs to see and capture the glorious fall in Colorado. We aren’t getting much sleep and I can’t process the really stunning images properly on the laptop – so all of that will have to wait until we get back home. In the meantime, I will share a few photos from the past two days.

favorite road sign

at the big shoot this morning

golden up and down

spectacular reds

Our days have been of the feast and famine nature. We got up this morning at 4:45 and scarfed down a slice of carrot cake at 6:00 am before shooting pre-dawn. We didn’t get lunch until 4:00 pm and then had dinner at 8:00 pm because the sun doesn’t wait, the weather doesn’t wait, and there is a lot of ground to cover. We’re resting up tonight in the hopes of getting more than 5 hours of sleep. It is absolutely breathtaking out here.

I’m not going to leave you without a recipe, but I’ll have to answer the last post’s comments when I get home. A few months ago, I ordered approximately 140 vanilla beans at a great price based on a recommendation from the awesome Jaden.

my vanilla stash

i’ll bet you brilliant people know where this is headed

Upon receiving my order in the mail, I began to grasp the folly of my ways. I couldn’t possibly use these up in a timely manner. Best to share the love with people who would give these beans a good home. Even with my remaining beans, I didn’t touch them for a while because I got ill and even *forgot* to use them instead of vanilla extract because I wasn’t in the habit of using whole beans yet.

steep the beans and seeds in the cream

oooh, sunshiny egg yolks

When I first began making ice cream recipes from David Lebovitz’ awesome The Perfect Scoop, I went for some fruity concoctions, but eventually gravitated toward the custard-based recipes. The standard supply of ice cream flavors in our freezer is a rotation of matcha green tea, chocolate, and/or coffee. Those are Jeremy’s three favorites and I don’t generally eat the stuff because it makes my tummy hurt. After making the buttercream frosting for Jeremy’s birthday cake, I had leftover egg yolks. Time for ice cream.

tempering egg yolks with hot cream

strain the custard

At last, I remembered that I had a wad of vanilla beans languishing in my pantry. A great opportunity to try one out. I announced to Jeremy that I was going to make vanilla ice cream. I noticed the lack of glee in his expression and couldn’t discern if that might be because he wasn’t thrilled with vanilla or because he had overdosed on so much cake the entire week preceding.

that isn’t dirt, it’s pure vanilla bliss

just out of the ice cream machine

It didn’t matter if Jeremy wasn’t enthused about the vanilla ice cream before, because when he tried it out of the ice cream machine he declared it was The Best Vanilla Ice Cream he had ever tasted. That in itself might not mean much, but he had it for dessert every night until we left on this shooting trip. That’s quite the compliment, but I have to pass the kudos along to Mr. Lebovitz who has renewed my faith in homemade ice cream with his bomb-proof recipes. Uh… yum!

you’ll never say “plain” about vanilla again

Vanilla Ice Cream
[print recipe]
from the Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar (wups! I used 1 cup, but it still tastes GREAT!)
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream, and salt in medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover and remove from the heat. Let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pour the remaining cup of cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs yolks. Slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and stir it constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula until mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour custard through strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture completely in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean (rinse it and reserve it for another use) then freeze the mixture according to the ice cream maker’s instructions.

40 nibbles at “drive-by shootings”

  1. cindy says:

    YUM! I have to get on the stick and do a vanilla post! Coming soon to a blog near you! Needless to say, my bean gift has made me very happy. :)

  2. micka says:

    wow, your photos are a great build-up to the final product,
    I really enjoyed that! Funny, I just ate some coffee ice cream,
    now I want vanilla.

  3. Kitt says:

    I have an awesome stash of beans thanks to Jaden, too! I won her raffle, and ended up giving away many handfuls to happy friends. And DL’s ice cream recipes rock. Every one I’ve tried has been a winner.

    Where were you shooting? RMNP? I’m kicking myself for not getting up to the mountains this weekend. Your pictures are kicking me, too. Beautiful shots.

  4. Manggy says:

    When I was in college I took a Pteridology elective, so naturally the picture with the ferns on the floor just screams gorgeousness to me. They have a wild, prehistoric beauty and grace about them. Awesome. (I wonder if that made sense?)

    Jeremy, ice cream is an entirely different animal from cake! Heh heh :) I don’t have the finest palate and I would gladly eat standard vanilla-flavored ice milk, but I have to say, true, dense vanilla bean ice cream made with fresh cream and eggs is one of the finest simple luxuries :)

  5. Cynthia says:

    We had a black lab all during my childhood. I remember she went everywhere with us and when we got ice cream cones, so did Dixie.

  6. Rosa says:

    Your corner of the world is just simply heavenly! Those colors are amazing and extremely beautiful! Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures with us!

    What a delicious ice cream! Homemade ice creams are NEVER plain!



  7. enza says:

    even if you miss the challenge is a real pleasure enjoy your shots the nature in and out the kitchen.

  8. Mrs Ergül says:

    If this kind of REAL vanilla ice-cream is what I can get it here, I will give it equal chance like Chocolate.

  9. Bridget says:

    This is certainly the best vanilla ice cream I’ve made as well.

    The photos are amazing! I can’t wait to see what else you’ve taken.

  10. Margie says:

    Awe dang-it, the keyboard is wet with drool again. ;)

    I WANT an ice cream maker. I MUST have an ice cream maker. I WILL get an ice cream maker.
    Shame on you, Jen, and double shame on that cutie-pie, David. Paris has corrupted him and now he spreads havoc on home ground. For shame, for shame! I AM ordering an ice cream maker. I guess this also means I’m PURCHASING that ‘sweet dishes’ ice cream book. I guess it could be worse, I could have seen THAT recipe for those brownies again. (Nick and David are in cahoots over those things. What ever you do, DON’T bake them. Your life will NEVER be the same. ;)

    Early Christmas. :)

  11. Andrea says:

    The fall colors are gorgeous. We have to wait a few more weeks here in VA, but by mid-October we’ll be able to enjoy it. I hope you are feeling better, and I’m sure David’s ice cream helped. There really is no substitute for homemade ice cream. I think it’s a great mood lifter. Huz bought me an ice cream freezer this year, and it gets a workout. :-)

  12. Judith says:

    God, that looks fantastic. Soon as I move (trying not to accumulate more stuff this year!) I’m getting an ice cream maker and doing all of David’s recipes.

  13. Tartelette says:

    Wonderful fall colors! Can’t wait to see the pics! Everytime I make vanilla custard when I am home visiting my brother, my niece wants to drink it…just like milk. Can’t even save enough to make it to the ice cream machine!! Looks wonderful Jen!

  14. susieshomemade says:

    Those falls colors look almost as good as I am sure that the ice cream tasted!!

  15. Anita says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of vanilla beans…but I’m sure you’re going to put them all to good use. I should do the same…I always seem to run out of vanilla way too fast!

  16. Gabi says:

    Beautiful shots Jen- I have the vanilla bean stash too hehe! I started being really lavish with them (3- 4 in my sugar bin instead of used remnants) and sending them to friends as well! Your Fall colour looks as beautiful as what we have up the mountains here- so beautiful! Hope you’re enjoying these crisp days and your snow sense is tingling xoxo

  17. Fiona says:

    Yum! I made about 20 ice creams this summer, most from DL’s book. Every single one worked. To me, that’s a miracle, and his is the only book I’m buying this year.

    [cookbook, I mean. I’ll buy about 20 history books, not counting the ones I “borrow” from the library for 6 months. I have a problem with the library.]

    Your photos make me jones for Colorado. We might get out there in March for skiing, but by then it will be far, far too late (and too early). Oh, well.

  18. Rebecca says:

    That looks fantastic! If there was only one ice cream book in the world that I was allowed to buy it would definitely be David Lebovitz’s. I actually made the butterscotch pecan today for the second time and it’s absolutely amazing.

  19. Kathy says:

    What gorgeous pictures!!! Ice cream looks good too ;)

  20. Mollie says:

    I just adore the speckledy look of home made vanilla ice cream. Yummmmmmm indeed!

    I know all about a tasty stash too. :) Glad you’re having fun shooting!

  21. Holly says:

    Okay, I -need- to get me an ice cream maker! What kind do you use, Jen?

  22. Asianmommy says:

    Love the road sign. Your ice cream looks spectacular!

  23. Debbie Green says:

    Your photos are absolutely beautiful. I really enjoy them and your recipes…..

  24. peabody says:

    I am blown away by that picture…those colors, it just screams everything that I believe to be Fall.
    And ice cream, well that just speaks for itself.

  25. Sonya says:

    I love your blog !!

    A tag from my blog


  26. Sarah says:

    Delicious! I use my vanilla extract in *everything* & have been wanting to buy some actual vanilla beans. That and the lack of an ice cream maker are the only things standing in the way of me making this recipe. ;)

  27. Nate says:

    That’s it, I have to get an ice cream maker for my birthday!

  28. Sarah @ Sweet Endeavors says:

    I am placing my vanilla order today! Those prices are amazing!!!

    Your photos make me want to go to Colorado so bad!!! I have been twice. I want to move there someday.

  29. tipperella says:

    I have to agree that this is the BEST vanilla ice cream I have ever had/made. I made it for the 4th of July. Mmmm! I’ll have to check out the place to buy vanilla beans as I’m sad to say I spent far too much at Williams Sonoma.

  30. Candice says:

    I have your page bookmarked because I love your pictures. They often look like paintings and usually give me the chills. Don’t stop!

  31. Allie says:

    Have you tried making your own extract with several of your remaining beans? I’ve been using up some that way (as well as used pods; just rinse the ones that’ve been in cream well), and also I store many in sugar so I always have a huge supply of vanilla sugar too. Didn’t know if you were doing that, so I thought I’d toss it out there.

  32. brilynn says:

    There’s nothing plain about vanilla bean ice cream, it’s delicious!

    I love the golden shot of the trees.

  33. jenyu says:

    Cindy – yes, please! I want to get your recipes :)

    Micka – ha ha!

    Kitt – lucky you!! That’s a great bunch of beans too. I was shooting in SW Colorado – all over the place: Aspen, Telluride, Crested Butte…

    Mark – it made sense :) I think Jeremy just can’t handle so much fat and sugar all at once. He doesn’t have a lot of mass to handle it all!

    Cynthia – awwww, that is so sweet!

    Rosa – why thank you, dear!

    Enza – thanks!

    Mrs. E – it’s gooooood stuff!

    Bridget – thanks! I love this ice cream too – the flavor is awesome.

    Margie – I love my ice cream machine :)

    Andrea – thank you, I *am* feeling better! Lucky you for getting an ice cream freezer! I love DL’s book.

    Judith – that’s a great goal.

    Tartelette – oooh, I would love to drink custard (my MIL has a great boiled custard recipe – I’ll post it this fall).

    Susiehomemade – ha ha, thank you :)

    Anita – I had to stash them in a tight glass jar b/c the odor permeated EVERYTHING :) They are lovely.

    Gabi – thank you. I need to have a dedicated container for vanilla sugar. What do you do with the vanilla sugar? I am hoping for good snow this winter (as every winter!)

    Fiona – Colorado is awesome any time of year, but it is quite spectacular right now! I think DL’s book is phenomenal.

    Rebecca – ditto!

    Kathy – thanks!

    Mollie – me too, vanilla bean is so dope!

    Holly – we just have a cheap (?) cuisinart brand ice cream machine. I got it for $40 years ago. Easy peasy!

    Asianmommy – thanks!

    Debbie Green – I’m so glad! thank you :)

    Peabody – it’s never too cold for ice cream, no?

    Sonya – thanks! Thank you for the tag too, I hope it’s okay if I don’t follow through with it. I never have the time!

    Sarah – go for it girlfriend!

    Nate – if you love ice cream, this is the way to go!

    Sarah – aren’t they? It’s incredible! Colorado is a sweet place (if you pick the right town!)

    Tipperella – oh I know, even in normal grocery stores it costs too much!

    Candice – thank you :)

    Allie – thanks for the tips! I love this sort of stuff :)

    Brilynn – thank you, sweetie!

  34. gina says:

    you take such beautiful photos!
    & i would do anything to be where you are right now! Such beautiful sceneries

  35. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I NEED to buy an ice cream maker. Or not. I could get addicted, couldn’t I?
    This is fabulous.
    Jen, may I ask you something? How long do you keep your yolks in the refrigerator? I know it’s a silly question, but it will help me a lot. Tks, darling!

  36. jenyu says:

    Gina – thank you :)

    Patricia – making ice cream is fun even if you don’t eat it (I generally don’t). I can typically keep the yolks in the fridge (covered or sealed well) for up to 4 days – then they tend to dry out some, which isn’t so good. Ever since I began to learn more egg white and egg yolk recipes, I try to coordinate them so I don’t waste whites or yolks. More sweets! :)

  37. jai says:

    fantastic shots. next best thing to actually being there. thank you. rock on jen.

  38. jenyu says:

    Jai – aw, thanks hon!

  39. tastybytes » Blog Archive » Helado de vainilla con galletas oreo says:

    […] Receta de Use Real Butter […]

  40. alice says:

    wow your site has never steered me wrong. i just made this vanilla ice cream and it is incredible. thanks so much for posting and for your lovely pictures!

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