Sunday, August 19, 2012

brown sugar vanilla bean ice cream

aka, a super awesome day.

Saturday came bright and early with a 5am wake up call. I rolled myself out of bed in the darkness, ate a peanut butter english muffin, and pulled out my trail shoes that have been collecting dust (from being buried in the corner.....not from actual mountain dust.) July was so busy with summer fun I had little time to run, and I when I did, it wasn't out on my favorite trails. So I was greatly looking forward to heading back up to Lake Blanche--this time to run--early Saturday morning with a friend. 

We started just a little after six, juuusssssstttt as the sky was starting to get light. The temperatures were perfectly cool and my legs were happy to be moving again. Up we went--the first on the trail--and made it to the lake in under an hour. We explored the three lakes and greeted backpackers who were just waking up to cook their breakfast. We sat peacefully and watched as the sunlight crept up and over the peaks around us, spreading pink light through the meadows and trees. It was perfect. 
(see a quick snap HERE)

We headed back down the trail. Legs speedy and arms flailing as we went. 
Down down down. 
The day had hardly begun, and it really couldn't get much better.....

.......or could it??

It could......with home made ice cream. 

We LOVE home made ice cream around here--it is the best summer treat--and makes for a fantastic day. We have one of the older machines that take a while to make the ice cream (how many of you have that fancy schmancy little thing that makes it in a half hour? I wouldn't trust myself with it.....) 
The kids layer the ice and salt and ice and salt and we  not so patiently await for our treat to be finished.
It fills our entire afternoon with anticipation.....and we like it. 
brown sugar vanilla bean ice cream
I was baking some cookies a few weeks ago, and every time I turned around my kids were sneaking brown sugar......because, as we all know, brown sugar is good. I decided to use brown sugar in vanilla ice cream to give it that slightly caramelized flavor......and it did not disappoint.
Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
makes about 1 1/2 qt (.......not quite enough)

2 vanilla beans 
3 cups heavy cream 
1 cup half and half 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 
4 eggs 
1/4 tsp kosher salt

-Use a knife to cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and add to a saucepan. 
-Add cream, half and half, brown sugar, salt, and the empty vanilla bean pods (this will ensure maximum flavor!)
-On medium high heat and stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat.
-In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs. (the perfect job for little helpers!)
-Slowly pour the warm cream mixture in to the eggs, mixing as you pour. 
-Return mixture back into saucepan and cook over low heat. Continue to stir and cook until a thermometer registers 170°F. Don't let the mixture boil.  
-Pour the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl.
-Refrigerate the ice cream base 2-3 hours or until it's cold all the way though. 
-Pour into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's instructions.
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top with fresh berries and enjoy!

But wait! There's more!!! 
If you are like me and are mourning the fact that school is starting next week (or maybe it has already started--I am so sorry!), then I highly recommend adding this ice cream atop a brownie. 
Nothing cures the end-of-summer-blues like completely 
eating a giant bowl of your feelings.
 0 out of 10 doctors recommend eating your feelings, 
but I give it my full endorsement. 
brown sugar vanilla bean ice cream
I often turn to THESE brownies by Smitten Kitchen because they are quick and easy, and pair perfectly  with ice cream. 

Oh--and speaking of AMAZING brownies, if you follow me on facebook you saw the brownies I shot for Whitney's cookbook last weekend (photo here). 
They will BLOW YOUR MIND. 

So that was a really long way of saying that Saturday was really, really, great.....
....from running, to ice cream, and all the inbetweens.

for more home made ice cream try:


EM {Pushups with Polish} said...

OMG this looks so good and easy to make! i will be trying this ASAP as dessert this week!

Ashley said...

Really digging the light in these photos. I didn't realize vanilla ice cream [my favorite] could be improved upon but you just did it with the brown sugar addition. Lovely.

Anna said...

I have been craving brownies, AND we just got an ice cream maker that we haven't busted out yet. Perfect!

in dreams said...

sheena, sometimes you just crack me up! i love the 0 out of 10 doctors...because really, what to they know?! :)

also, that shot of your run looks lovely. i've been trying to motivate myself to start running, and this might be the way of getting me to do so - awesome photo ops! haha.

gram said...

Beautiful brownie sundae!

Ginger said...

I'm so exited that you posted this recipe! I was in Telluride last week and Honga's restaurant served a most amazing brown sugar nectarine ice-cream that I was going to attempt to recreate! Now I'll follow your recipe and just add in those nectarines. :)

summer said...

you would. :)

Unknown said...

Your description of the ice cream & then that pic with the brownie are making me drool! This makes me wish I had an ice cream maker.

Bee said...

Homemade ice-cream are the best! vanilla served with fresh fruit must taste delicious :)

Ally said...

lush... flawless... your blog is perfect!

Unknown said...

i need to dig out my ice cream maker ASAP and try this. it looks heavenly! oh, and that brownie...

i'm drooling. thanks for the recipes!

Melissa said...

Nice. I don't know what I admire more... That ice cream or the fact that you got up at 5am on a Saturday to run.

I have the ice cream attachment kit for the kitchen-aid mixer and I personally think it's pretty awesome at making ice cream.

Carin Davis said...

We made it!!!!!
The CREAMIEST ice cream we have ever made!!!

Unknown said...

Ice Cream is most lovable dessert in Summer.This is summer special dessert.Nice blog i love this.i always eager to learn Indian Dessert Recipes

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