My in-laws gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas, and I made ice cream for the first time a couple of weeks ago! I was surprised at how easy it was, and this ice cream is some of the best vanilla ice cream I've had. We made brownie sundaes with hot fudge sauce one weekend, and this past weekend we had deep dish chocolate chip cookies with ice cream on top.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the heavy cream into the bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
source: recipe from david lebovitz, adapted from The Perfect Scoop
*ETA: I have had several questions about what type of ice cream maker I use. I have the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen aid stand mixer. You can purchase it here. I have been very happy with it and would recommend it!