In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Nothing SCREAMS summer better than Ice Cream! Well, maybe snow cones and/or chilled adult beverages. And while dad convinced us growing up that Coconut Ice Cream was superior to all others (with just cause) and though I have a special place in my heart for Rum and Raisin, I’d be telling a lie if I didn’t admit that good Vanilla Bean (as you’re about to witness), ranks as one of the best flavors when it comes to that frozen treat we crave on those hot days of summer (Spring, Fall and Winter too).

You’ll Need…

2 vanilla pods
2 cups milk (I used 2 %)
3 cups whipping cream (high fat)
pinch salt
1 cup white sugar (adjust to your liking)
4 egg yolks

  • from the vanilla I tested over the years, I have to say that the beans from Madagascar are my fav.

In a large pot place the cream and milk on a med/low flame. We’re looking for tiny bubble on the edges.

Cut the vanilla beans in half (lengthwise) and scrape the insides to pick up all the vanilla pulp. Place that in the pot with the cream and milk, along with the scraped vanilla pods.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together to combine.

As you whisk, it’s time to start adding some of the warm milk/vanilla combo to the bowl to temper the mixture and NOT cook the eggs. I did it 2 tablespoons at a time, until I got about 1 cup of liquid with the sugar.

Now add that sugar/egg mixture to the pot (still on a low flame) and whisk to combine.

3-4 minutes later, turn off the stove, fish out the bean pods (discard) and place the liquid (covered) in the fridge to chill.

After it’s fully chilled (about 2 hours), it’s time to pour it into your ice cream maker and run it according to the directions for your machine.

It can take anywhere between 35-50 minutes depending on your machine.

Since it won’t be fully firm (more the consistency of soft-serve at this point) I usually place the ice cream in freezer containers and into the freezer to firm up. TIP! Should you have extra ice cream liquid (custard), place it in ice cube trays to freeze. Once firm, enjoy!

Back to my dad and his famous coconut ice cream. He insisted a few things. 1. The coconut must be freshly grated and coconut milk extracted. 2. An old school wooden CRANK ice cream maker MUST be used. 3. Burlap and rock salt must be packed on the side (on the ice) to maintain the perfect temperature for the ice to do its work, under the Caribbean sun and Finally.. this is KEY.. 4. He had an EXACT amount of turns (cranks) memorized, to give you the perfect texture and consistency. Interestingly.. it was down to a science…. that works to this day.

Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

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