French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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I used to be the pie baker in my family and amongst my friends. But an essential part of pie (for me anyways) is vanilla ice cream. It’s just not the same without it. I did not even want to attempt to make an SCD pie until I had a vanilla ice cream recipe I could rely on. But how do you make ice cream that is sugar free, lactose free, soy free, grain free, and gluten free? It is actually surprisingly easy but it does take planning.

First you have to start out with a lot of yogurt. SCD yogurt (just to remind you if you forgot) is fermented for 24 hours to remove all the lactose. So you have to make that first. You need a lot of it because the next step is to drain the excess liquid from the yogurt using a yogurt cheese maker or layers of cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer.

drained excess liquid from yogurt
Drained excess liquid from yogurt

Five cups of yogurt can be reduced down to 1.5 to 2 cups of dripped yogurt, which has the texture and consistency of cream cheese. The more water content that is in your yogurt, the less creamy and more watery the ice cream will be. To get the best results you need to drain yogurt for 24 hours.

dripped yogurt
Dripped Yogurt
fluffy dripped yogurt-the removal of the excess liquid makes a creamy and thick ice cream
Fluffy dripped yogurt-the removal of the excess liquid makes a creamy and thick ice cream

This recipe also requires SCD french cream, which is heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream) fermented for 24 hours. The end result is a very creamy and rich yogurt that can be made into whipped cream. You do not have to drain the french cream because its water content is already low.

SCD French Cream
SCD French Cream

This all means that when you begin to get a craving for ice cream or foresee an event where you will want it, you need to start planning in advance. 24 hours for fermentation + 8 hours for letting the yogurt rest in the fridge + 24 hours for draining the yogurt = lots of planning and no instant gratification for me. But that’s all right. I may miss food that can be had instantly by just buying it and sticking a spoon in it, but there is a special kind of satisfaction that comes from making something completely from scratch.

Once you have the dripped yogurt and french cream prepared and ready to go, making ice cream becomes ridiculously easy (and I have to tell you that making yogurt is also ridiculously easy as well).

First, place 1 cup of the SCD french cream in a medium bowl and set aside. Second, in a medium saucepan, combine a 1/2 cup french cream, 1.5 cups SCD dripped yogurt, 3/4 cup honey, and a pinch of salt.

Dripped yogurt, french cream, honey, and salt
Dripped yogurt, french cream, honey, and salt

Split two vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape into the saucepan. Toss the pods in as well.

vanilla pods
Vanilla pods
split vanilla pod
Split vanilla pod
the good stuff - vanilla beans
The good stuff – vanilla beans
vanilla pod emptied of all its goodies
Vanilla pod emptied of all its goodies

Stir to combine the ingredients. Cook over medium heat until it is steaming and bubbling around the edges.

all the ingredients mixed together - you can see the black spots of the vanilla beans
All the ingredients mixed together – you can see the black spots of the vanilla beans

While the yogurt mixture is heating, whisk 5 egg yolks until smooth (you can save the egg whites to make other things later like meringues, frosting, or tortillas).

Whisked egg yolks
Whisked egg yolks

Once the yogurt mixture is bubbling around the edges of the saucepan, slowly transfer 1 cup of it to the whisked egg yolks. Doing this prevents the eggs from cooking and becoming scrambled eggs (no one wants scrambled egg bits in their ice cream).

1 cup of heated yogurt mixture combined with the egg yolks
1 cup of heated yogurt mixture combined with the egg yolks

Transfer back to the saucepan and stir to combine. Continue to cook on medium heat until it coats the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to swipe your finger across it and the streak will remain there).

Pour through a fine mesh strainer (this catches the vanilla bean pods) into the medium sized bowl with the 1 cup of french cream. Add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract depending on how much vanilla flavor you want and mix until everything is well blended. Cool in an ice bath until the mixture reaches room temperature.

Cooling in an ice bath
Cooling in an ice bath

Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

after 4 hours resting in the fridge, it should be slightly gelatinous, a little like custard
After 4 hours resting in the fridge, it should be slightly gelatinous, a little like custard.

Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions.

Ice cream at the beginning of the churning process
Ice cream at the beginning of the churning process
Finished French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Finished French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

After the ice cream is done churning, it will taste amazing but it will also be pretty soft. I like to transfer it to a container and place it in the freezer for a while before I serve.

Serving me up some French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Serving me up some French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Because it is made from yogurt, the ice cream does have a slightly tart taste. My family tells me that it tastes a little like cheesecake, which makes them happy but slightly disappoints me. A lot of yogurt based deserts end up tasting a little like cheesecake, which isn’t necessarily bad but I do get tired of it. Still, I think this one is the least-cheesecake tasting and when combined with fruits and pies, that slight cheesecake taste is obliterated.

a dreamy close up
A dreamy close up

I bet all of you guys can guess what is going to be the subject of next Tuesday’s post : )

French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Creamy and thick, this Ice cream made from dripped yogurt fermented for 24 hours makes it yummy for your tummy (and tastebuds).

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups dripped yogurt
  • 1.5 cups french cream
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Place 1 cup of the french cream in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Add 1/2 cup french cream, dripped yogurt, honey, and salt to a medium saucepan.
  • Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape into the saucepan. Toss the pods in as well.
  • Stir to combine the ingredients. Cook over medium heat until it is steaming and bubbling around the edges.
  • While the yogurt mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks until smooth.
  • Once the yogurt mixture is bubbling around the edges of the saucepan, transfer 1 cup of it to the whisked egg yolks. Stir till combined.
  • Transfer back into the saucepan and stir to combine. Continue to cook on medium heat until it coats the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to swipe your finger across it and the streak will remain there).
  • Pour through a fine mesh strainer (this removes the vanilla bean pods) into the medium sized bowl with the 1 cup of french cream. Add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until everything is well blended.
  • Cool in an ice bath until the mixture reaches room temperature.
  • Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Churn according to your ice cream maker's directions.
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Desserts

Join the Conversation

  1. Jennie Young says:

    This looks delicious! Is there a way to use this recipe to make ice cream without a churner machine?

    1. Hi Jennie! I’ve made sorbets and ice cream successfully using the stir and freeze method. It’s pretty simple but just requires more work. After chilling the ice cream mixture in an ice bath, you pour it into a deep baking dish or another freezer safe container and let it sit for 45 minutes in the freezer. Then you take it out and stir vigorously with a spatula, whisk, or handheld mixer. You have to repeat this every 30 to 45 minutes for 2 to 3 hours. You can read more detailed instructions from David Lebovitz here: https://www.davidlebovitz.com/making-ice-crea-1/

      1. Jennie Young says:

        Wonderful! Thank you!

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