Vanilla Ice Cream (Philadelphia Style)

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2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream*
212 grams (1 cup) sugar **
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch kosher salt


  1. Combine the half-and-half and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer and bring the mixture to 175 degrees F, stirring occasionally.*** Remove from heat.
  2. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla bean if using that option. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, then cover and steep 20 minutes. Add the vanilla extract now, if using that option.
  3. Fish out the vanilla pod, if using that option, and transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Assemble your ice cream churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you're using an electric machine, turn it on, then pour in the ice cream mixture. (This will prevent seizing.)
  5. Churn the ice cream until it reaches soft-serve consistency and almost doubles in volume.
  6. Move to an airtight container and harden in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.


* Heavy cream is often labelled "heavy whipping cream" or "whipping cream" and has a fat content of 36 to 40 per cent.
** Base recipe calls for 1 cup (~7 oz or 212 grams) of sugar. Fruit preserves can be substituted for sugar, tablespoon for tablespoon, to make various flavours of ice cream. Three tablespoons are the default for this substitution.
*** Why the heat? Well, for one thing, we need to dissolve the sugar, but just as important, we need to shut down certain chemical structures in the dairy that could be an impediment to the smoothness we so desire.


Good Eats, season 1, episode 6