Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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So smooth, creamy, decadent, flavorful and satisfying! I love the creaminess of custard-style ice cream over Philadelphia style hands down. The texture and mouth feel of custard based is so much more pleasant than the butter fattiness of Philadelphia. I learned that a couple of years ago when I tried this recipe; and even though my favorite style requires more ingredients and wait time, I promise it’s worth every minute. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – adapted from The Food Network

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla sugar if you have it (next time I will use a less – it’s pretty sweet!)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Directions –

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Place the half-and-half and the heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

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In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.

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Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

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Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.

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Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer

Quick Post: It’s not too sweet,  perfectly creamy and it has the floral, fruity flavor of real vanilla bean. It’s classic and simple but also rich and indulgent. After adding quite a bit of this to my coffee, I add a little vanilla sugar for some extra sweetness. It makes about 3 cups of creamer and lasts up to two weeks in the fridge, so it’s good to share with your friends. I gave a jar to my neighbor because it was her birthday and she loved it. Who doesn’t appreciate food gifts? 😉 Now that teacher appreciation week is coming up, this would be a new favorite for them I’m sure! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Homemade Coffee Creamer – adapted from Piece of Cake

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Set the pot over medium heat and slowly heat the mixture until it is hot and steaming, but not simmering. Cover the pot and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Coconut Milk and Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

I’m trying something a little crazy…my go to arroz con leche recipe has plain ‘ol milk in it. This is my first time using coconut milk and it’s my first time knowingly trying any food with this in it. Hopefully it’s not a complete waste of ingredients and time…I love rice pudding and it’s something that reminds me of my childhood. My Gram made her version (my fave no matter what) often and my siblings and I ate it hot as a breakfast treat. I’m sure I’ll never be able to recreate hers, but in the meantime, I’m having fun tasting other versions. This need for rice pudding came when I realized that I have several Madagascar vanilla beans patiently waiting to be used in my pantry. I bought them over the summer and haven’t used a single bean! How dare I! 😉 It has been at least a full year since the last time I made this decadent treat, so why not put the two together? While searching through Tastespotting, I found several versions of the classic – some with coconut milk and some with vanilla bean seeds. This recipe is a mishmash of a few recipes and techniques that will hopefully come together beautifully!

Verdict: So good, I love this stuff! Creamy, slightly sweet and perfectly comforting in my book.  I didn’t notice the coconut flavor, but it wasn’t as thick or “butter fatty” as the other recipe. I only used one cup because coconut milk has such a  high fat content, so I’ll be on the look out for lighter coconut milk. Also, I was also able to make a bigger batch of vanilla sugar the day I made this, so hopefully I can find the perfect use for some of it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Coconut and Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding – 

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • lemon zest (strips, not grated)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt

Directions –

Pour rice and water into a 4 quart dutch oven or larger. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon stick and vanilla seeds to the pot. Let sit for an hour.

After soaking, bring the rice mixture to a boil on high heat, uncovered. When it starts to boil (about 5 minutes), lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 more minutes or until water is almost evaporated.

Add the milk and stir well to mix, add the sugar  and cook over medium-low heat, stirring carefully, until it thickens slightly or until desired consistency, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the lemon zest and cinnamon sticks.

Serve hot, cold or room temperature.