Welcome to summer, my friends. It’s on, which means it’s time to get crackin’ on all those great summertime traditions like campfires and hikes in the woods, small town festival-hopping (I particularly like Payson’s Scottish Festival in addition to Orem’s own Summerfest), parades, and, of course, ice cream. I know some of you have yet to be converted to the joy that is homemade ice cream. I remember some ice creams in my youth that just weren’t worth the effort. Then I discovered this custard base technique. Now homemade ice cream is always preferable to store-bought. It’s creamy and sweet, with a nice smooth texture on the tongue and the richness of whatever flavors you choose to add. This recipe is a great introduction to making custard-based ice creams. I tend to prefer brown sugar to white, and I am absolutely addicted to balsamic vinegar. The combination of sweet and tart is a perfect surprising treat. So bust out the old ice cream maker and give this one a try. And maybe save the stuff from the carton for the little tykes, who are unlikely to appreciate such a simple yet sophisticated delight.
6 egg yolks
¾ c brown sugar
1 ½ c heavy cream
1 ½ c whole milk
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 c balsamic vinegar
Reduce the balsamic at a gentle simmer in a stainless steel sauce pot by exactly half. Allow to cool. Beat yolks with ½ c of the brown sugar in stand mixer with whisk attachment until ribbony and doubled in volume. Whisk together cream, milk, and remaining sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to scald over medium high heat.
Add hot milk mixture to yolks slowly in a steady stream with the mixer on low speed to temper. Return custard to pot and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring and dragging the bottom with a heat proof rubber spatula to prevent scorching/curdling. Don’t use a whisk. Bring to 180 F.
Remove from heat, strain and cool overnight in the refrigerator. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove from machine, drizzle in the balsamic syrup and place in freezer overnight.