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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
© Frances Janisch

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN plus 4 hr freezing
  • SERVINGS: Makes 3 1/2 cups
  • MAKE-AHEAD

This exceptionally creamy ice cream relies on two unexpected ingredients: corn starch (to help thicken it) and cream cheese (to make it scoopable).

  1. 2 cups whole milk
  2. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  3. 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
  4. 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  5. 2/3 cup sugar
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  7. 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  8. 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.
  5. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.