|These blossoms, like a canopy of cotton candy, begged to be photographed.|
|Main ingredients: whole milk with cream, more cream, and Half & Half|
|I added fresh vanilla bean to the main ingredients|
- Place vanilla beans on clean cutting board and split with a sharp paring knife. Using the side of the knife, scrape out the vanilla tiny, oily seeds inside. (See this demonstration of the technique on YouTube.) Put the seeds in a small bowl as they are scraped from the pod.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot, pour in the milk, cream, half and half and add the sugar and salt.
- Turn heat on medium-low; watch and stir frequently as the milk comes to a simmer, but not a rolling boil. (I don’t recommend using unpasteurized ingredients, but if you do, cook the mixture to 155 degrees for 30 minutes.)
- Watch for bubbling of the milk mixture to begin against the sides of the pot. When that happens, it’s time to add the vanilla seeds.
- After adding the vanilla seeds, toss the pods into the pot as well. Stir well to distribute the vanilla seeds throughout the mixture. Adding the pods will help to make the vanilla flavor more intense (if that’s what you like). You will take the pods out of the pot before churning the milk-and-cream mixture.
- Stir the cornstarch into a small bowl of 1/2 cup cold milk or water and stir with a fork or small whisk until dissolved.
- Add cornstarch mixture to the pot and stir.
- Transfer the mixture to a heatproof plastic container with lid or place the pot in the refrigerator until mixture cools 4-6 hours or (better) overnight.
- Remove vanilla pods from the ice cream mixture.
- Pour ice cream mixture into the canister. Follow manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream maker to avoid overfilling the canister.
- Place filled canister in the center of the ice-cream-maker bucket.
- Add 1 to 2 inches of ice around the canister and add 1/2 cup of rock salt. Continue in layers until the ice and salt reach within two inches of the top of the canister.
- Assemble the motor and other parts per manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream maker.
- Place the ice cream maker in the sink or do the churning outside.
- Churn the ice cream for 20-40 minutes. You will have to add more ice and rock salt as the ice melts. (If the canister resists turning, remove some of the ice until it begins to move.) Churn until the unit slows down, labors, or stops.
- Spoon the ice cream from the canister into bowl and enjoy!
- Freeze the leftover ice cream, which will last up to two weeks.