Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream

I mentioned this ice cream in my last post about the pralines but didn’t share the recipe. With the temperatures being reported as north of 100 degrees this weekend, I thought it may be time to share 🙂 

The recipe can be found in The Sweet Melissa Baking book. Ice cream is a treat that never hangs around long at our house in any form, but this one disappears especially fast. It is hands down the best vanilla ice cream I have ever had, bought, or made, and it will be the only vanilla ice cream recipe that I use from now on. Those are some big claims. Naming anything the “best” is always a little bit dangerous, but if you like ice cream, I promise you’ll enjoy this one! My husband, the ice cream connoisseur, says that this may be his favorite ice cream ever. That’s saying quite a bit!

The line up of ingredients in this recipe is a little different from most ice creams in that it includes skim milk and dry skim milk powder. Melissa claims that the dry milk absorbs any extra water in the milk and heavy cream thus keeping the ice cream extra creamy. While the milk powder is an ingredient that many people may not keep in their pantry, I promise you’ll use it. Make these cookies. And THIS ice cream. Serve them together (ooh, now that’s an idea). I’ve made this both with the vanilla bean and with doubling the vanilla extract when I didn’t have a vanilla bean, and it’s great both ways. 

You get the picture. Make some ice cream and enjoy it!

(Printable Recipe)

Brown Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dry skim milk powder
5 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, reserving the seeds and pod
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Fill a large pot with about 3 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Set a large bowl over the top, and check that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water (This is a double broiler set up. If you have a double broiler pan, you could use that too). Remove the bowl and use it to combine the ingredients for the ice cream.

In the large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, salt, skim milk powder, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds and pod, and vanilla until completely combined. Place the bowl on top of the simmering pot. Be sure the water is simmering and not boiling. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened until nappante (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon), or until the mixture reaches approximately 180-185 degrees F on a candy thermometer. 

Cool the custard in an ice bath (larger bowl filled with ice). Strain the mixture into a resealable container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

After chilling, pour into an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. The ice cream will emerge soft-serve consistency. Eat immediately if you prefer or transfer to a resealable container and freeze for at least 4 hours for harder consistency ice cream. 

I am linking this to Sweet Tooth Fridays, Sweets for Saturdays, and Eat at Home Frozen Treats.


Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I’m hoping it isn’t too strange to post an ice cream recipe just as fall is about to officially start. However, I promise that I have some good reasons, and I’ll go through them with you if you like.
1) Who doesn’t love ice cream even if it’s getting a little colder?
2) We need something to serve with the wonderful pies everyone seems to be baking.
3) Ice cream is perfect sandwiched between two fresh cookies.
4) This KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment was one of my birthday presents from my husband this year, and we needed to make sure it worked =)
5) This last one requires a bit of a story. The weather here last Saturday was crappy in my opinion. It was one of those cloudy, gloomy days where it doesn’t really rain but just mists all day long. I think the high might have been 61 degrees. Not exactly “ice cream” weather. I worked that day and didn’t end up talking to my husband until later in the evening when he called exclaiming, “Sorry I called so late. We were outside swimming. It was 107 here today.”  Guess maybe it is still “ice cream season” in some parts of the country =)
This recipe was my first experience making homemade ice cream. When we were growing up, mom would make it on occasion, but I don’t think I ever did too much to help. After getting each piece of the equipment and/or recipe chilled for the correct amount of time, it really went together pretty smoothly. I love, love that I can keep the bowl in the freezer. That just means that I’m that much closer to ice cream if we get a craving. As far as assembling the ice cream base, I kind of guessed when the custard part was done cooking. It looked like it was steamy, but I’m wondering if anyone knows a temperature that you are suppose to reach? It seems like that would be more of an exact way to do it.

The verdict: We loved the “homemade ice cream” taste! We added chopped strawberries as one of the suggestions in the booklet, but I wasn’t a big fan of them in the ice cream after it had set up in the freezer. The strawberries froze harder than the rest of the ice cream and ended up as little ice chunks. Next time I will definitely look for a recipe that calls to puree them if we are going after strawberry ice cream. Nevertheless, the base of the ice cream was very good. I’m not sure if we’ll make this exact recipe again soon, but that’s more a factor of the number of ice cream recipes I have saved than anything specific about this recipe =) Enjoy!

KitchenAid Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
From KitchenAid Ice Cream Booklet


2-1/2 cups half and half

8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half and half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat, set aside.
Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened. Continuing on speed 2, very gradually add half and half; mix until blended. Return half and half mixture to medium saucepan;cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Transfer half and half mixture into large bowl; stir in whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
Assemble and engage freeze bowl. Do not pour in the ice cream base before you turn on the crank. Turn to stir (speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on stir (speed 1) for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container. Ice cream will set up to hard-serve stage after 2-4 hours in the freezer.