This Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe serves for making a variety of different-flavoured ice creams, including the Mango & Mint Ice Cream we make in the bakery (see recipe in Top Tips, below). Or, try adding toasted nuts or coulis, brandy or fruit. A delicious ice cream with a lovely creamy texture, this is a perfect accompaniment to so many of the recipes in my cookbook - Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth (Canongate, £20) - that it's worth having a batch knocking around in the freezer at all times.
- 300ml whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split down the middle
- 8 egg yolks
- 100g caster sugar
- 250ml double cream
- Pour the milk into a pan, add the vanilla pod and bring slowly up to scalding point - do not let it reach the boil. Cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming, then leave to cool and infuse with the vanilla for approximately 1 hour. Once cool, carefully remove the vanilla pod from the pan and scrape out the seeds into the milk.
- Tip a bag of ice cubes into the sink and place a large wide metal bowl on top. Alternatively place a metal bowl in the freezer.
- In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and fluffy - approximately 4 mins. Pour in the vanilla milk and stir until you get a thin custard.
- Pour the mixture into a bain marie or double-boiler, place over a medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon as you slowly bring it nearly to the boil (do not let it boil - it will most likely curdle). When the custard has thickened enough to thinly coat the back of your wooden spoon, remove it from the heat, whisk it for a couple of minutes with a large balloon whisk (this will help it to cool quicker) then pour into your cold, dry metal bowl. Leave it to cool for approximately 10 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming.
- If churning by hand: Once the mixture is cool, put it into the fridge for 1-2 hours. Remove and stir in the cream. Put into the freezer for half an hour, then churn before placing in the freezer to set completely.
- If churning in an ice cream maker: Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the cream, churn for 30-35 mins, then place in the freezer to set completely.
Mango & Mint Ice Cream
This is the ultimate hangover cure ice cream - keep a batch of this in the freezer at all times if possible.
- 2 ripe, juicy mangoes
- 1 batch of Basic Vanilla Ice Cream (see above), omitting the vanilla pod
- 1tsp finely chopped mint leaves
- Peel and core the mangoes and purée them in a food processor until very smooth. Pass the purée through a sieve to ensure you have only the thick sweet mango juice.
- Make up a batch of basic vanilla ice cream, omitting the vanilla pod. Before churning, stir in the mango juice and chopped mint.
- Churn and freeze as normal.