Happy Monday, everyone!
Today I have a wonderful vanilla treat for you. While some think vanilla is synonymous with plain or generic, I think it is marvelous, particularly in the form of a well crafted vanilla ice cream. When I tasted today's dessert, I was smitten.
The ice cream has an absolutely luxurious mouth feel, one that the recipe's author credits to the use of dry milk powder. It is so amazing that I am tempted to start incorporating the use of a small amount of milk powder into all of my ice creams. The custard and vanilla will remind you of an excellent french vanilla ice cream but the addition of brown sugar sets it apart, giving the ice cream character and richness.
The ice cream is perfect, unadorned by the bowlful. It also pairs wonderfully with fall pies, between chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies, or in just about any situation where a good vanilla ice cream is needed.
So... do also have some news for my readers.
To Bonny, Cynthia and Linda who guessed my scatterbrained kitchen antics last week might be due to a pregnancy, well... you're right. It came as quite the surprise to everyone involved but yes, I am expecting another little Humble in roughly 7 months.
Like many expecting mothers, I'm tired and experiencing more than my fair share of pregnancy induced absent mindedness. This means I'm not quite as handy in the kitchen I usually am.
I was whipping up individual raspberry gâteau st. honoré pastries last night, and while each component came together without issue, I ran out of steam after the marathon of choux, puff pastry, and raspberry pastry and diplomat cream. The final assembly was, quite frankly, sub-par. Like a biscuit colored Furby dipped in pink glaze. Horrific.
Alright, let's get down to this ice cream I'm so enamored with...
Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream
from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
yields one scant quart
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup firmly packed golden or light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry skim milk powder
5 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean bean, split and scraped, reserving seeds and pod
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Prepare a bain-marie by gathering a large pot and a heat-proof bowl. Fill the pot with several inches of water, taking care that the water level isn't so high that it touches the bottom of the bow. While the water is heating, combine all of the ingredients in your heat proof bowl. Whisk together the ingredients until completely combined.
Place the bowl over the pot of water and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly until the custard reaches 180-185°F or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, removing the vanilla bean and any undesirable egg bits. Place the mixture into an ice bath to cool and then refrigerate, covered, until very cold (at least 4 hours or overnight).
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer the soft, fresh churned ice cream to a container and freeze.
After four hours, or an overnight in the freezer, the ice cream will be firm enough to scoop and serve.
Enjoy! (With or without pickles)