Introduction: Vanilla Infused Balsamic Ice Cream

Nothing says foodie like a drizzling your homemade ice cream in balsamic vinegar. I chose to create my own balsamic reduction with a sweet infusion of vanilla bean to pair with this smoky, full bodied vanilla bean ice cream that I adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Cook Book. Enjoy!

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:

adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out--seeds and bean reserved

Vanilla Bean Balsamic Vinegar:

  • 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out--seeds and bean reserved

Optional toppings:

  • Macerated strawberries
  • Roasted salted walnuts

Step 2: Vanilla Bean Dessert Balsamic Vinegar

In a small sauce pan, pour 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar over a 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar.

With a sharp knife, slice open your vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds and add both directly to the balsamic.

Allow balsamic to simmer over medium low heat and reduce to about a 1/2 cup. Allow to cool and place into an airtight container in the refrigerator

Step 3: Macerated Strawberries

Rinse, top and quarter your fresh strawberries. Pour granulated sugar over the strawberries, cover, and place in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Making the Ice Cream

  • Mix 2 tables spoons of milk with cornstarch to make a smooth slurry.
  • Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and water - have a gallon freezer bag ready to cool the ice cream

Cooking the ice cream:

  • Combine the rest of the milk with the cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla (seeds and bean) in a 4-quart sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook, stirring with a heat proof spatula until thickened (about 1 minute). Remove from the heat.
  • Gradually whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese then pour into the freezer bag and place in the ice bath until cold.

Freezing the ice cream:

  • Remove the vanilla bean from the mixture
  • Pour mixture into your choice of ice cream maker (I use the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer) and churn until thick and creamy

Packing the ice cream:

  • Moving quickly, layer your ice cream and half of your balsamic reduction (reserve the other half for drizzling) into a quart size container. Cover with parchment directly against the surface or seal with an airtight lid. Allow to freeze fully for at least 4 hours.

Step 5: EAT!

Enjoy your delicious and beautiful ice cream! Impress your family and friends!

Top your ice cream with:

  • a drizzle of your vanilla bean balsamic
  • your macerated strawberries
  • roasted salted nuts (I prefer walnuts)

Thank you for reading!

Oil and Vinegar Challenge

Runner Up in the
Oil and Vinegar Challenge

Cooking Basics Challenge

Participated in the
Cooking Basics Challenge

Summer Food and Drink Contest

Participated in the
Summer Food and Drink Contest