Plain Jane Vanilla Bean
Vanilla: The O.G. of ice cream. (original gangsta). It’s continuously voted most popular flavor so it was time I paid my dues to the O.G. and did it right. I did a little research about places in the city that sell vanilla beans and stumbled upon Vanilla Saffron Imports in the Mission. In reading about this family owned operation I discovered they were the same people behind Xanath Ice Cream Shop, which I heard about for having tasty ice cream. I ventured out and was delighted to find exactly what I wanted to do on a Saturday afternoon, buy vanilla and eat ice cream. I opted for their 1/4 .lb bag and started to feel a Mad Hatter grin begin to form across my face.
These beans have been cured in the sun so at first whiff you will get a warm vanilla scent, then at the end you’ll get the cured aroma which I can’t say I really enjoy.
(love the natural bokeh effect going on here)
There are more recipes on vanilla ice cream than there are Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Most are the same with slight variations on half n’ half to cream, milk, etc. I found a simple one that I liked and did my thing. I used 2 beans and will admit I need some practice scrapping the sides of the bean. The seed bits got all over the place like glitter at a 7 year-old’s party. I used egg yolks because I wanted this sucker creamy and was a little disappointed that it affected the color of the base. It was a wee bit too yellowy for my ambitions but I lived. Upon exiting the ice cream machine the sprinkled spread of vanilla wealth looked inviting…
So the taste…it’s like when you come home from being outside in the pouring cold rain, pants are soaked, socks drenched, and all you want is to feel warm and comfortable. That’s what this tastes like. It’s comforting, familiar and rich with flavor. The taste lingers to remind you that it’s there for you, it’s got your back. This is also the softest ice cream I have ever made. I did nothing different in terms of eggs used, cream or milk ratio so I’m curious as to why this became so pillow-like. The consistency is semi-hard/borderline soft serve. I’m going to take a nap on this chilly pillow now…don’t wake me.