Dorie’s Vanilla Ice Cream

Desserts, Ice Cream, Summer, Tuesdays with Dorie / Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


In honor of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Vanilla Ice Cream, Jeff and I decided to stop deliberating and actually BUY AN ICE CREAM MAKER! 

I’d been making ice cream without a machine for months using David Lebovitz’s old-school method, and I was happy with the results, but they took several hours.

So, we grabbed one of this particular home store’s ever-present coupons with visions of sugar cones dancing in our heads.

We were giddy.

We walked up to the display of ice cream makers, and there it was: The One. The same one we’d lusted over last year. And it was $10 MORE.

In the words of Our Lady Oprah, what I know for sure is that the Lebovitz method works.

See this lovely, creamy, very vanilla ice cream?

I followed Dorie’s recipe to the point where it required a machine, and then I chilled it in a bowl over an ice bath and slipped it into the freezer. After that, it was all my meaty biceps, a big wooden spoon and time.

The chocolate pieces are Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups I stirred in at the last minute – before I could give in to the temptation of lining them up on the counter and snorting them.

So, instead of instant gratification with the $50+ machine, we spent the afternoon at home, slowly tending our ice cream and wrapping up “Torchwood: Children of Earth.”

It was a fair trade.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”

Makes about 1 quart

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 moist, plump vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  1. Bring milk and cream to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. If you are using a vanilla bean, put the seeds and pod into the pan, cover, and set aside for 30 minutes, then bring the milk and cream back to a boil before continuing. If you are using vanilla extract, wait until later to add it.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one-third of the hot liquid. (This will temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle.)
  3. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid.
  4. Pour the custard back into the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. The custard should reach 170 to 180 degrees F.
  5. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and strain the custard into a 2-quart measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl.
  6. Discard the vanilla pod, or if you are using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
  7. Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into the ice cream.
  8. Scrape the chilled custard in the bowl of an ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.

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27 thoughts on “Dorie’s Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. I was lucky. I got mine early in the season on sale. Try again in the fall.
    We also ate our ice cream while enjoying Torchwood. Something about Captain Jack just makes it melt. ;)

  2. i guess i should look into that method! i won't buy an ice cream maker. but then again i might… i just tend to procrastinate. heck i still don't have a tart pan! *slaps own hand*

  3. Gotta give you props for staying old school. The consolation of churning by hand is having the ability work some of those ice cream calories off!

  4. Your rump thanks you for not buying one – your storage space thanks you – and so does your pocket book. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I almost caved and bought one too, but then heard of the by hand method and stopped dead in my tracks. Only problem is – I STILL have NOT made any. I think it's that heavy cream thing that just screams I'm going straight to your keaster!

  5. Looks like the old fashioned way works great! I bought TJ's mini peanut butter cups for chocolate ice cream a while ago and it was hard keeping them around long enough to make the ice cream.

  6. Bummer about the ice cream maker. My Honey bought me one for Valentine's day several years ago after months of making endless batches of ice cream using our 6yr olds play ice cream maker which did indeed make ice cream.

    Good call on the mini PB cups.

  7. I had been having so much success w/ the method you're using that I decided if MY ice cream could be that good, then an ice cream machine's ice cream must be fantasticly perfect. Off to the store for a middle-of-the-road machine. Didn't work for me nearly as well as the Lebovitz method, and it broke the third time I used it so I ended up w/ my hand mixer and a bowl of my creamy concoction in the freezer anyway. I have my eye on the expensive machine still, but my results are so wonderful now that it seems silly to want the other. {shrug}

  8. I use the hand method to, and it works fine. I cant justify the added expense, when I make ice cream once or twice a year!! I'm going to try the vanilla ice cream, since everyone is raving about it! Oh, and the PB cups are pure genius!

  9. Oh god, those mini PB cups – they'll be the death of me! Such a good idea to hide them away in the ice cream :)

  10. I wonder if ice cream makers would be cheaper in the winter? I can't believe you hand churned your ice cream. It looks great! Love those mini-peanut butter cups.

  11. In addition to hating to spend money, I live in a studio…so I'm with you on going with the Lebovitz method! The ice cream still turns out delicious and ice cream-ey!

    Good call on the PB cups! Yum!

  12. Those TJ's mini peanut butter cups are like crack — I simply cannot buy them anymore. But on the upside, I no longer eat Reese's cups, which I've always loved, now that I have tasted perfection. I bet they were incredible in the ice cream. I wish I could buy some and find out!

  13. Wow, kudos to you for making it by hand! It looks phenomenal! Those mini PB cups are totally calling my name. Reminds me that I need to take a trip to TJ's.

  14. The ice cream looks scrumptious. And with the mini PB cups. Incredible!!

    Try ebay for an ice cream maker. Purchased mine several years ago – refurbished – and it works great.

  15. Hats off to you for using the old school method, I had been toying with trying that myself but caved and bought a machine. I did get a great deal on it on Ebay though, even with shipping my almost new Cuisinart was under $40.

  16. Ah, man!! I guess it's disappointing you didn't get the new toy, but on the flip side, good to know that good old fashioned elbow grease still gets the job done.

    Your ice cream rocks!

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