Maple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

maple icecreamIt’s that time of year:  buds on the trees, longer days of sunshine, and maple syrup at the greenmarket!  There are several grades of syrup, determined by the time of season the tree was tapped. And while the varying varieties of grade A may be most popular as a table syrup, I prefer the intense maple flavors found in the more rich and delightfully robust Grade B.

As you may have seen in my last HiB Dinner post, I won the battle with my over-stocked countertop and found a place for an Ice Cream Machine!  Maple Syrup Ice Cream?  YES PLEASE!  As always, the best ingredients will result in the best flavor. And let me tell you, once you’ve made your own ice cream, Haagan Dazs may as well be Tasti-D-Lite.

MILK:  Always use grass-fed or at least organic milk, preferably from a local dairy.  A few examples are Milk Thistle, Ronnybrook, Natural By Nature, and Skytop Farm.  I’ll get back to you when I’ve made raw milk ice cream.

EGGS:  The best eggs are farm fresh, pastured and organic. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a neighbor like this who raises chickens in Brooklyn. Store-bought eggs by FDA standards can be 60 days old by the time they hit your plate.  Gross.

And finally without further adieu:

Shea’s Maple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 

  • 2/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split & scraped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

Heat the maple syrup over low heat for about 5 minutes to reduce by a quarter.  In a separate sauce pan on low, heat the cream and milk with the half vanilla pod and the scraped seeds until it just simmers.  Remove from the heat and set aside, allowing the vanilla bean to steep in the milk/cream about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the yolks until they’re lightened and thickened a bit, about 3 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod and temper in about a half cup the milk/cream to the egg yolks, constantly whisking.  Add that back to the sauce pan, turn the burner to medium low and heat, stirring constantly until you make a custard, about five minutes.  Add the maple syrup and stir very well. Strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with an ice bath.  let it cool, and put in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Add to your ice cream machine as per its instructions.

Garnish with chocolate dipped bacon for an over-the-top-breakfast-for-dessert experience!