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cinnamon-vanilla ice cream

February 2, 2011

One of the first things I learned about Whitney was his love for ice cream.  In a discussion about family traditions in one of our classes, he mentioned that he and his brother always made cinnamon-vanilla ice cream to serve at Thanksgiving.

Another clue: I’ve watched him down not just one, but two entire pints of ice cream in one sitting more than once since we’ve been together.

He’s happy with Chocolate Chocolate Chip from Hagen Daaz, Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food, and even plain Bluebell Vanilla.  But he really, really loves homemade ice cream.

This would be a bummer if we still used rock salt and hand-crank ice cream makers.  But with the invention of the automatic, electric ice cream maker it has become pretty hard to say that ice cream is too much of a pain to make.

This recipe makes cinnamon-vanilla ice cream, but you can easily change it by sticking to the basic ingredients (sugar, eggs, half-and-half and heavy cream) and substituting different flavorings.  You can try adding diced strawberries that have been sprinkled with a tsp. or two of sugar and refrigerated for a day.  You can also add a 1/4 c of chocolate syrup and some chocolate chips.  For homemade cookie dough ice cream, fold in small balls of slice-and-bake cookie dough to the ice cream about halfway through freezing.

But for today we are making cinnamon-vanilla ice cream and here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it:

Start by beating the eggs in a medium bowl.  You’ll need these pretty quickly and won’t want to waste time beating them at that point.

In a saucepan, mix the sugar and half-and-half and cook over medium-low heat.

Once the mixture is simmering, pour half of it into the eggs and whisk quickly so the eggs don’t scramble.  Pour the egg mixture back into the pan and add the heavy cream.  Continue cooking until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the vanilla bean by removing the seeds from the pod.  Start by making a lengthwise cut to the pod.

Open the pod so the seeds are exposed.

Using the back of your knife, scrape the seeds from the pod.

Meanwhile, remove the egg and cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the seeds from the vanilla bean (or vanilla extract) and the cinnamon.

Set the mixture aside to cool.  Once cooled to room temperature, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for freezing.


Cinnamon-Vanilla Ice Cream

1 c white sugar
1 1/2 c half-and-half
2 eggs, beaten
1 c heavy cream
1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and half-and-half.  When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat and whisk half of the mixture into the eggs.  Be sure to whisk quickly so that the eggs do not cook.

Pour the whole mixture back into the pan then add the heavy cream.  Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the inside of the vanilla bean (or vanilla extract) and the cinnamon.  Set aside to cool.

Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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