Thursday, February 07, 2008

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (Page 852)

  • Date: Saturday, January 26, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Cornelia, Paul K, Beth, Lauren K, Jeremy, Chuck, and Lynn
  • Recipe Rating: B

I made this ice cream for our dinner party a couple weeks ago because I was worried that the pear tart we were having for dessert wasn't particularly kid-friendly. So I made this ice cream, on the principle that vanilla ice cream is pretty unobjectionable. Long, long ago, before I started this project, I made this recipe. But back then I made it with vanilla extract rather than vanilla beans, and threw in some Kahlua (I went through a phase where I added Kahlua to everything), so I needed to remake it in a way that was more true to the recipe. I have to say though, my Kahlua version was better. Obviously this ice cream wasn't bad. That much milk, cream, vanilla, and eggs in one place is bound to taste pretty good. However, it also wasn't great. The recipe called for three vanilla beans, which was completely over-the-top. Even ignoring the outrageous price of vanilla beans (those three beans cost $11), it was just too much. The vanilla flavor was overwhelming, and although I love fresh vanilla beans, in such an excessive quantity they gave the ice cream an off taste. The texture of the ice cream was lovely -- very creamy! It was a very rich ice cream (really, a frozen custard), so if you prefer lighter frozen desserts, this is not the recipe for you. Overall, it was good, but were I to make it again, I would use one and a half vanilla beans instead of three (or better yet, some vanilla extract and Kahlua!).

This recipe isn't online.

It's a good thing that I was so backlogged with recipes to blog about a few weeks ago, because in the past week and a half I have only made 2 recipes from The Book! Crazy! First I was sick, and I never feel much like cooking when I am sick. Then I was extra-busy making up for all the things I didn't do while I was sick. Now I am caught up again with my work, and I only have 2 recipes left to blog about, so it is time to start cooking again! I am going to Chicago this afternoon for a day and a half, but when I get back some serious cooking is going to happen!

Alex's magical website of statistics about my project (click on the Poject Index link on the right) computes my overall pace for the whole project, my pace for the last 90 days, and my projected completion dates based on each of these paces. As you can see, my 90 day pace is significantly better than my overall one. When I started this project I aimed to finish it within 4 years. It will have been exactly 4 years on January 4, 2010. So basically, I am behind. If I keep up my pace from the last 90 days I will easily finish in time, but my overall pace is still too low. I am diligently trying to shift that projected completion date from March 28th to January 4th. Keep an eye on it, and if it starts slipping even later, make sure to give me a hard time!


Magdalen said...

Don't you hate spending a LOT of money on ingredients only to realize they actually don't improve the taste? So annoying.

And, uh, I did click on the Project Index -- lovely job, by the way -- and couldn't help but notice that your parents are Teri & Terry. Which prompts me to ask (rather impertinently) what the weirdest/funniest/most annoying aspect of that homophony has been. If you care to share, that is...

Teena said...

Yeah, I completely don't mind spending my money on expensive ingredients if they are worth it (which they often are), but in this case it wasn't a good investment!

About my parents... that needs more space. I'll write a post about it.

Jen said...

Great recipe! And I love the photo!

I also love using whole vanilla beans, but HATE the price! They are $12 for 2 at the grocery stores in Michigan...... BUT, i just found a great place online that has them for just over $1 each! The store is called the Beanilla Trading Company (

They are really great quality too, I use their Tonga beans because it gives the ice cream a more spicey and woodsy (if thats a word) taste.

Check them out, they have a lot of other great vanilla products too!

Teena said...


Thanks for the tip! I wasn't familiar with that website, but it looks like a great place for all my vanilla needs!