Vanilla is one of my favorite aromas and flavors, and with the addition of some fresh dairy and a little sweetener, it makes one of my favorite desserts. It’s really good on its own, on brownies, cobbler or clafoutis, or with fresh fruit.
Make the ice cream base several hours or the night before so it will have adequate time to chill before churning. The following recipe makes enough for a 2-quart ice cream maker:
Mix together 1 quart light cream (half and half), 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup sugar, and the beans in 1 vanilla pod. Split and scrape the inside of bean pod for all the tiny vanilla beans inside. Whisk them in with the sugar and cream until the sugar is dissolved. (Save the vanilla pods for vanilla sugar, vanilla rum, and vanilla extract!) Chill thoroughly.
Before churning, whisk the ice cream base to mix, then add it to the ice cream maker (kept in the freezer for at least 24-48 hours prior!) and churn for about 30-45 minutes. The base will appear to increase in volume from the air being churned in and be the consistency of soft serve when it is done.
Transfer to a pre-frozen container for hard freezing; I use a third pan. Let freeze for an additional several hours.
Wine pairing: A late-harvest dessert wine, made from Muscat, Viognier, Semillion, or Petit Manseng would all be lovely. There are some interesting dessert wines made from other fruits as well; Villa Appalaccia Winery in Virgina makes a raspberry dessert wine that would be a good pairing with this ice cream served with fresh or baked fruit. Cheers!