Making ice cream at grannie and paw-paw’s house became a rite of passage. Whenever we were deemed old enough, paw-paw allowed us to help with the process of making the most luxurious ice cream ever known to man, or at least to me. Paw-paw would haul out what looked like an old wooden bucket, but if you looked inside you could see that there was a little motor and two separate compartments for the ice cream making process. The only flavor that satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth was vanilla.
My first job was to pour the salt in with the ice on the outside compartment of the contraption. This was a very important assignment. My little fists could barely hold up the sack of course salt. But I was determined to succeed in my mission. I remember trying ever so slowly to pour the salt into the outer container and not on the inside. No one wanted salty vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t trendy back then. So I poured and poured until my grandfather gave me the “that’s enough” nod. After the ice cream was done churning, we sat there under the covered porch with our bowls filled to the brim with homemade vanilla ice cream. To my surprise, the creamy, luscious texture was interrupted when I chomped down on a grain of salt. When no one was looking, I spit the salt out into the grass. I hoped that it was possible I was the only one with this salty vanilla bite. Smiling and nodding to the clan, I held my breath to see if anyone else had a similar experience. Either I had the lonely salty bite or my family was too kind and grinned and bared my blunder.
Recipe: Makes 1 Quart
6 egg yolks
½ cup of sugar
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream and vanilla pod with seeds to a simmer. While the cream is coming up to a simmer, whisk the yolks and sugar together until thick and pale yellow. While continuously whisking, slowly pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, transfer to a double boiler (or a bowl over a pot of simmering water) and stir continuously until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator until fully chilled. Transfer the base to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container and let ice cream set completely for at least 2 more hours.