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Vanilla Ice Cream
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Cream the egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl until thick and light. Combine the milk and cream in a 2-quart microwave-safe casserole. Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Add the beans, extract, and salt. Cook, uncovered, at full power (650 to 700 watts) for 3 minutes. Remove the vanilla beans. With a mixer running on low speed, slowly add the milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, stirring until smooth. Return the mixture to the casserole. Whisking once a minute, cook until the custard is thick and coats the back of a spoon, 3 1/2 minutes. Do not overcook it. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate it, loosely covered, until chilled, a minimum of 3 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Makes 5 cups Note: This recipe was cooked on High (full power, 650 to 700 watts) in a carousel microwave, using microwave-safe containers. If your microwave is less powerful, you will have to allow for more cooking time (approximately 1 1/2 times the amount called for -- but watch carefully -- if it does not have a carousel, you may have to rotate the dish while it is cooking.