Mr. Stacy and I went on vacation over this last week. We don’t get to do big vacations very often, so when I approached the idea I went to his bucket list (yep. He keeps a bucket list) and picked Mount Rushmore. Didn’t quite have the ring that Scotland did, however, it fit into the budget. Besides, we love road trips. Even stopping in the middle of storm on the side of the highway and taking a lunch break till it’s clear enough to continue on is our idea of fun. Also, fun fact, four days later, it stormed again and we were forced to stop… again. Thankfully though, our day out to Mount Rushmore and being about the town, it was sunny and warm.
It was when we went up the monument, look at the faces, the exploded bits where Thomas Jefferson’s first head had been, I just wanted… ice cream. Honestly I was wanted sunblock, but ice cream is always a good idea on hot day. So at the café there, they have the vanilla ice cream that’s based on this recipe right here:
It’s called TJ Vanilla, and it costs a dollar more than the other flavors. I thought “What kind of racket is this?” Then I realized that if they were following this recipe, the ingredient list was a bit more expensive for an all cream and vanilla bean French custard base. Of course, we got a cup. And we split it because it was generously portioned. My first impression was very rich, more eggy than I was expecting, tiny flecks of vanilla bean here and there. But it was so good. Mr. Stacy is not typically into vanilla, but he liked this. I instantly knew I needed to make my own.
When we got back we bought an ice cream maker just for this. Through this journey I have found that making ice cream is messy when you are going at it from scratch basis. It’s not hard, but it is messy because something splashes over, drips, drops, and there are never enough bowls for separating eggs, straining mixtures, making a HEAP of ice cubes, plus the bowl to ripen the ice cream. Don’t let this scare you, but do your bowls as you go and it will be less scary. Mr. Stacy feels that this recipe has stronger and fuller flavor, and the eggy of it is much more subtle and overall is pretty damn good ice cream.
So, it currently ranks a solid 10 on the you have to try this at home scale.
Presidential Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes 2 quarts
- 2 quarts of heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 pound of sugar
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 6 egg yolks
In a heavy pot, mix cream and sugar together, split your vanilla bean and toss in. Clip in a thermometer and heat mixture over a medium low heat to about 130F, or till very warm. Whisk occasionally, never let mixture boil.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks till light. Once mixture reaches 130F, take a ladle full and while dribbling into yolks, whisk quickly to temper the eggs and avoid curdling them. Repeat for three more ladles of mixture.
Pour egg mixture into pot, whisking the entire time. Continue to whisk while cooking the custard. Cook till mixture is thick, about 175F, or coats the back of spoon.
Remove from heat and pour through a strainer to remove the vanilla pod and any egg clumps to ensure a perfectly smooth ice cream. Using either plastic wrap or cutting parchment to about a half inch larger circle than the bowl, press it down on top of the custard as barrier so a skin does not form.
Place bowl in refrigerator and let set for several hours or overnight. Custard should be well chilled to create a smooth ice cream, also the flavor will bloom overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream maker directions the next day.
Ice cream will be soft set, you can enjoy right away if you don’t mind it melting a little quicker. Otherwise, pack into your storage vessel and place into freezer for a few hours.
I would not hesitate to serve this with huckleberry or strawberry topping, or even hot fudge. Especially the hot fudge. Just the hot fudge. Hot fudge.