One of the best gifts I received for my wedding was my ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchen Aid. I never thought I would use it regularly, but it's a great and easy way to avoid the additives in processed ice cream. And, as you can tell, I REALLY like my desserts.
So you should totally invest in one. For real.
When writing his Inferno, I'm pretty sure that Dante left out the circle of Hell where you scrape out vanilla beans all day. This is not one of my favorite jobs, but it gives you those beautiful (and tasty) flecks of vanilla bean in your ice cream. For mine, I cut the beans in half and then I cut them lengthwise to scrape them out.
You can find vanilla beans for better prices at World Market and Trader Joe's. Some places really gouge you on the price. After scraping most of the goodies from the pods, I placed them in a bottle of vodka (with one more split vanilla bean) and I'm making vanilla extract from them :-)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Vegan + Paleo Recipe
2 cans of full-fat coconut milk, chilled for a few hours in the fridge
1 T. cornstarch or arrowroot
1/3 c. pure maple syrup*
1/3 c. coconut sugar*
1 T. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquors!)
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out
*If you're not following a paleo diet and you want to use organic cane sugar, use about a 1/2 cup and taste the batter. Add more for your taste, if necessary.
Scrape the insides from the vanilla bean pods. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and make sure everything is fully mixed in.
Follow your ice cream maker's instructions. (For mine, I have to chill my bowl for at least 15 hours in the freezer, etc.) I churned mine for 25 minutes; it should look like soft serve. Pour it into a freezer-safe container and let it set for at least 4-6 hours. In this 4-6 hour window, this is your prime scooping time.
If you want to scoop your ice cream after this window, allow it to sit out on the counter for about 20-30 minutes to soften up.
Enjoy this classic ice cream and all the adorable flecks of vanilla!
PS - I have a special recipe coming up on Friday using this ice cream, so be sure to check back!