Homemade Vanilla and Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Today is a good day. Introducing...Bevy Ice Cream!

(not to be confused with Bev's Homemade Ice Cream in Carytown)

Who remembers hand-cranking homemade ice cream with their parents growing up? Who remembers thinking, definitively, that the juice was not worth the squeeze, and consequently whining, "can't you just do it, Dad?" Well, homemade ice cream is a whole heck of a lot easier these days than it was then. My mother-in-law received the Cuisanart for Christmas. After breaking it in over Memorial Day, my husband got me the ice cream maker Kitchenaid attachment. Both appliances make delicious ice cream and make making ice cream a breeze. If you happen to have a Kitchenaid, I'd opt for the attachment — simply because it's one less appliance to store in the kitchen.

The secret to simplifying the ice cream making process is starting with a good base  a starter recipe that can be replicated for almost any flavor from butter pecan to vanilla bean. Brian, who's as crazy about ice cream as he is about chocolate chip cookies, set out to craft the perfect base recipe. For days (yes, days), he researched all the greats: Ben & Jerry, David Lebovitz, and Jeni Britton Bauer, and consulted with the New York Times.

Together, we devised what we think is a master ice cream recipe. There are several recipes that call for a couple raw whole eggs and others that call for up to a dozen slightly cooked egg yolks only. We met in the middle: a half dozen pasteurized eggs. These in-shell eggs are pasteurized in order to reduce the risk of food-borne illness in dishes that include eggs that are not cooked or are only lightly cooked (i.e. ice cream, Caesar dressing). To complete the base, they're whisked together with sugar, heavy cream, whole milk, and a pinch of salt.

This being our first foray into homemade ice cream, we kept things simple with a vanilla flavoring and easy add-ins. We added the seeds of one vanilla bean and a little extract as well, then set in the refrigerator to chill for several hours.

When I wasn't totally bratting out and whining about churning my own ice cream, my favorite (store-bought) flavor was — and still is  Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia (sweet cherry flavored ice cream, chunky cherries and chocolate flakes). We made a few adjustments in our version to fit with our vanilla flavored base, so Brian wants to call this "Cherry Seinfeld." We tend to favor comedic legends over rock legends, anyway.

There's probably an easier way, but for the chocolate flakes, we popped a bar of Hershey's Special Dark into the freezer for a spell and cut it in thin chunks with a ridiculously sharp knife.

Then, just follow the easy instructions on your ice cream machine and add in the additions during the last few minutes of churning. (Do I sound like one of those cooking infomercials to anyone else?)

We let it freeze in the freezer overnight before enjoying. And enjoy we did.

Bevy Ice Cream Base

  • 6 pasteurized egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Your choice of flavoring

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks until fluffy and light, about two minutes. Gradually whisk in sugar, then continue until fully blended and sugar has dissolved, about a minute more. Mix in cream, milk, and salt and whisk to blend.

2. Mix in flavoring of choice. Below we've outlined our vanilla flavor, but stay tuned - more flavorings to come! Cover and chill at least four hours, or overnight.

3. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until desired consistency is reached. We froze ours for almost 24 hours.

Bevy Vanilla Ice Cream 

  • Bevy Ice Cream Base (above)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (can substitute vanilla bean with 1 additional teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Create ice cream base as directed above.

2. After everything is blended but before refrigeration, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into mixing bowl, add the bean pod, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix well with base before chilling. When ready to churn in machine, remove the vanilla pod.

Note 1: Can add up to 2 cups of mix-ins (brownie, fudge, candy, or chocolate chunks or shavings, etc.) during last 1-2 minutes of churning. Use crushed Oreos for Cookies and Cream.

Note 2: For Cherry Garcia, refrigerate in separate bowls up to 1 cup fresh Bing cherries, halved and pitted (you may also use drained canned cherries), and up to 1 cup shaved dark chocolate, and add during last 1-2 minutes of churning. Optional: substitute the vanilla bean with ½ cup cherry juice concentrate or about 6 cups cherries pureed in base to give the ice cream a cherry flavor.


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