Vanilla Ice Cream

Owning your own ice cream machine is a decadent pleasure. There are so many ways to make delicious ice cream. My cats love this recipe. French Vanilla Ice Cream begins with a custard base. The secret to speedy ice cream is cooling the custard to 40°. After the ice cream has been frozen in the ice cream maker, keep it in the freezer bowl, then put it in the refrigerator freezer so it freezes completely in about an hour. If you prefer, you can use a whole vanilla bean and add it to the custard as you are cooking it. Remove it at the last minute before you freeze the ice cream.

    1 cup whole milk
    1 cup whipping cream
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    2 large egg yolks
    Pinch salt
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Set a 1 ½-quart double boiler with ½ inch water in base
     over medium heat. Water should come to a gentle boil and   
     should not touch the upper pan.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk milk, cream, sugar, eggs and salt in
     large mixing bowl; strain into the top of double boiler.
     Simmer over medium it reaches 200°. Add vanilla.
3.  Cool custard by pouring all the water out of the base of the
     double boiler; fill with 1 tray ice cubes and enough cold water
     to cover them. Replace pan with custard and stir occasionally.
    You may also use an extra ice cream maker bowl to cool the
     thin custard in about 5 minutes.

4.  Set up your ice cream maker; pour custard into freezer bowl.
     Freeze for 30 minutes, then place in refrigerator freezer.

     Variation 1: Stir in a crushed candy bar. Try peppermint
     crisp from

     Variation 2: Sandwich a spoonful of ice cream between     
      fudge-striped cookies or graham crackers.

     Variation 3: Top scoops of ice cream with sautéed banana       
      slices and caramel sauce.

     Variation 4: Top with sliced strawberries in vanilla syrup.         

    Variation 5: Fresh peaches are also a real treat.

     Variation 6: Chocolate-flavored syrup and butterscotch syrup
     can't be beat.

     Variation 7: Make a rocky road sundae by topping with
    chopped nuts, mini-marshmallows and chocolate syrup.

     Variation 8: Toast 2 tablespoons pistachios in a 350
    for 3 minutes. Add to warm custard after it reaches 200
. Add
     a few drops green food coloring and ¼ teaspoon almond extract.
     Freeze as directed above.

     Variation 9: Stir in 2 tablespoons halved candied cherries     
       and ¼ teaspoon almond extract after freezing.

      Makes 6 scoops