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Double Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

A splurgy but worth-it vanilla ice cream using a recipe from Kitty Travers' La Grotta Ices.


  • 2 vanilla pods The original recipe calls for one, but I called this "double vanilla bean ice cream" so it's up to you.
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar


  • Start by splitting the vanilla pods down the middle with a small, sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds and place them, and the pods, in a pot with the milk, cream, and sea salt. Turn the heat to medium, and whisk to get the seeds broken up as it heats. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl.
  • When the liquid is hot and steaming (but not boiling), quickly whisk a little into the egg yolks to temper them. Then add the rest of the liquid, whisking constantly, until it's combined.
  • Return it to the pot and cook over a medium/low heat until it reaches 180 degrees, stirring all the time with a rubber spatula to prevent it from curdling. As soon as it reaches the proper temp, pour into another container (a soup container works great), cover, and refrigerate overnight. (As Kitty Travers says: "This recipe really does benefit from being aged in the fridge overnight before churning. The texture will thicken and have better 'mouthfeel' and you get a warm long-lasting flavour from the vanilla pod." Two pods, in our case.
  • The next day (sorry!), strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, pressing down to extract everything from the vanilla pods. Use a hand blender to blend the cold custard for a minute to emulsify. (If you don't have one, you can skip this step.)
  • Pour the custard into an ice cream machine and churn according to the machine's instructions until frozen and the texture of whipped cream, about 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Transfer to a lidded container and freeze until ready to serve.