Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base
10 cups heavy cream
5 cups whole milk
3 cups sugar
3 vanilla beans
24 large egg yolks
Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream:
3/4 cup whole milk
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped in chunks
Strawberry Cheese Cake Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves, no sugar added
1/2 frozen strawberry cheesecake, cut in large chunks
10 large fresh strawberries, halved
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream:
1 tube ready to bake peanut butter cookie dough, cut in large pieces
To make the vanilla ice cream: Combine the cream, milk, salt, and 2
cups of the sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla beans down the
middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife; add
them to the pot and toss in the pods for added flavor. Place the
cream mixture over medium heat, and bring up to a simmer; stirring
with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Ideally, the temperature
should reach 175 degrees F (just below scalding) for a
smooth-textured ice cream; this should take about 15 minutes. Shut
off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the cream mixture to steep
for 15 minutes to further infuse the vanilla flavor.
In the meantime, combine the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and
blend them lightly with a wire whisk. Gradually add the remaining 1
cup of sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely
dissolved and the eggs are thick and pale yellow; about 6 minutes.
Using a large ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by gradually
whisking in about 4 cups of the hot cream mixture. Return this back
to the rest of the cream in the saucepan and turn the heat to
medium-low. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and leaves a
path on the back of a spoon when you run your finger across it,
about 10 to 12 minutes (do not let boil.)
Pour the vanilla custard through a fine strainer into another pot*
and chill completely in a sink full of ice, stirring here and there;
this should take about 1 hour. Ideally, let the ice cream base "age"
overnight in the refrigerator before churning in an ice cream maker
to improve the flavor and texture of the final product – but it is
still good if you decide to process it right away. Divide the ice
cream into quarts** and churn each in an ice cream maker according
to manufacturer's directions. When done, the ice cream will be the
consistency of "soft serve."
To harden the ice cream fully, freeze in plastic covered containers.
Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream: Heat 3/4 up of milk in a
pot over medium-low heat. Add 12 ounces of the chopped chocolate and
stir until completely melted. Pour 1 quart of the strained hot
vanilla ice cream base into the melted chocolate and stir until very
well incorporated. Chill and process as directed in the master
recipe. Fold in the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate after
churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Churn
another 1 to 2 minutes just until combined.
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: Mix the strawberry preserves
into the vanilla custard just before you start churning in the ice
cream maker. Add the pieces of strawberry cheesecake and fresh
strawberries after churning while the ice cream is in the
"soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 5 minutes or
until combined but still chunky.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Add the pieces of
cookie dough after churning while the ice cream is in the
"soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 1 to 2
minutes until combined but still chunky.