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How to serve Thomas Keller's Vanilla Ice Cream

How to serve Thomas Keller's Vanilla Ice Cream

Affogato, a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned in a shot of hot espresso, so simple and so much fun to eat.  The espresso melts the ice cream quickly, so it's both a spoon and slurp kind of a affair.  

Affogato espresso poured over ice cream


My KitchenAid (Gladys) and I have been experimenting with making ice cream and gelato all summer. As many kitchen gadgets as I have collected over the years,  I've never owned an ice cream maker, not until Gladys came into my life.  As always, Gladys makes everything easier, just 20 minutes of slow churning in her frozen bowl, delicious homemade ice cream. 

The favorite recipe, so far, is Thomas Keller's vanilla ice cream from his Bouchon cookbook.  This ice cream is very rich and incredibly creamy.  Try to use the very best vanilla beans you can find, it makes all the difference.  Locally, the Spiceman at the Historic Farmers Market carries some of the most fragrant, flavourful vanilla beans I've ever run across.

To make this ice cream yourself, you will need:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 10 egg yolks

Add the cream, milk, and 7 tablespoons sugar to large saucepan. 

Split the vanilla bean down the middle with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds into milk and cream.  Add the pod to the pot as well. 

Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, the remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. 

Whisk the yolks with remaining 7 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture becomes lighter in color and thickens slightly. 

Reheat cream mixture until warm but not hot,  and remove vanilla pods. 

Whisking constantly, add about a third of the warm cream to the yolk mixture slowly, to temper the yolks.  Then add the tempered yolks back into the saucepan of warm cream, whisking to combine. 

Place the pan over low heat and stir constantly for 10 minutes.  The custard will thicken, and will coat the back of a spoon when it's ready.

Place a large metal bowl into a larger bowl with iced water in the base, to create an ice bath.  Pour custard into the metal bowl  and stir occasionally, until cool.  Strain the cooled custard into a container and chill overnight.

Freeze according to your ice cream makers instructions.  It will be fairly soft until chilled in the freezer for a few hours. 

Thomas Keller's recipes are rarely  the 'quick and easy' sort, but I always learn something from preparing one.  This recipe taught me to let custard bases rest overnight before proceeding to allow the flavours to develop.   It really works, I tested it. 

splash of espresso over ice cream

To make the affogato, place a scoop of ice cream into a cappuccino cup and pour a shot of hot espresso over the top just before serving.  I used Just Us Coffee' s Espresso Blend to make mine. Adding a shot of liqueur would make this extra special.


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