Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla ice cream
Thomas Jefferson, one of the US "Founding Fathers" and third President of the USA, is also credited for authoring the first recorded American ice cream recipe. It is for French style vanilla ice cream, and it is highly likely that Jefferson (or rather his butler and dessert-specialist Adrien Petit) picked it up during the years spent in France. Some possible suggestions/modifications have been added, and thanks to Marie Kimball for providing a modern take on the quantity of cream to use!
  • 2 bottles [about 1 quart / 950 ml] of "good cream" (33 % should be fine; you can probably go even lower and do avoid using too fat cream!)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ lb. (about 225 ml) sugar
  • 1 stick of vanilla [original] OR 2 teaspoons of (genuine) vanilla powder of good quality
  • (optional, although not original: pinch of salt)
  1. Beat the egg yolks until "thick and lemon-colored".
  2. Add, gradually, 1 cup (about 225 ml) of sugar [and, possibly, a pinch of salt].
  3. If using vanilla bean - split it, and add the seed and the bean to the base now.Otherwise, add the vanilla powder.
  4. Bring the cream to an almost- boil and then slowly pour it, little by little, into the egg mixture. Whisk well.
  5. Put back on the stove, whisk regularly until the base thickens [ happens around about 82-84º Celsius /180-183 ºF], then remove and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  6. Let cool down.
  7. Chill before churning in your ice cream machine.
  8. If you have no ice cream machine, still-freeze using your refrigerator (see the post about how to best do the latter).
If you don't want to bother with the classic "staged approach" to making custard ice cream, do like me and go the "Modernista way": simply combine all the ingredients in a saucepan from the very start, whisk and bring it all to the Nappe stage ;-)