Oh yes, you read that title correctly. I made star anise and vanilla bean ice cream. I forgot to mention this last week when I made the yogurt sorbet, but one of my 101 goals was to purchase an ice cream maker and make unique ice creams with it. Well, here is another. One of my favorite LA haunts, Cube, recently had a sale and I could not pass up the opportunity of getting some amazing spices at ridiculously cheap prices (haha, I rhymed). I got some star anise, whole cloves, and herbs de Provence for less than 2 bucks an ounce each which is far less expensive than the grocery store price. Plus, they came in really cute packaging. I wasn't planning on making this ice cream. I was actually planning on doing something else, but in a search for what to make with star anise, I came across this and could not pass it up. I dirtied quite a few dishes to make this recipe, but it was so totally worth it. I can't get enough of this ice cream. The anise taste is quite strong and the vanilla bean adds a nice mild flavor. I am just discovering the softer texture of homemade ice cream and I think this ice cream works well as a homemade treat. This is quite the addictive dessert.
Star Anise and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
(From The Spice House)
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons whole star anise
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
Add the vanilla bean and star anise to the milk. Heat to boiling, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Scrape the vanilla pod and add the seeds to the milk. Strain the milk through a sieve to remove the star anise.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, until thick and pale. Temper the yolks with the warm milk, being careful not to cook the eggs.
Heat the mixture on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Bring to a consistency that coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, strain again, and stir until cool.
Whip the heavy cream to light peaks. Fold whipped cream into the cooled custard and freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.