Monday, February 23, 2009

Star Anise and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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.

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Heather said...

how beautiful! i love homemade ice cream. those vanilla pods are gorgeous.

Elaine said...

Oh my, I found your blog by accident and I must say this is such a delightful recipe. I love star anise in my biscotti and i have tried mixing vanilla with it too - it does give a lovely flavor. May I have a scoop? ;)

Diana said...

Oh my gosh! The Spice House!! I loved that place when I was in the Chicago area! My dad did too -- whenever he visited he'd buy an obscene amount of spices from there. Awww... this post makes me happy! :)

Anonymous said...

Your ice cream sounds delicious.

I think it's so much fun to make your own ice cream. I think it really does taste much better and I don't really like to do store bought anymore.

Reeni said...

I love anise!! I have been craving vanilla ice cream all weekend. This looks so scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

Simple and pure ice cream...Jons carries star anise too, and it's cheap!

Just a Girl said...

Just saw your ice cream on tastespotting and had to stop by for a visit. What type of ice cream maker are you using? We bought one not too long ago but I was hugely disappointed when I found out I had to freeze the maker first. Saving up for one that does it all by itself :) looking to hear feedback from those who have their own machines. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Star anise is indeed lovely and the ice cream sounds delicious. I can't wait to see what else you come up with!

vanillasugarblog said...

Cube sounds like my kind of place.
And I do love this combo.
I just love this photo.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks delightful! Here at The Spice House we love to see our recipes being used (and loved!), even if you did get your spices somewhere else ;)
Can I steal your gorgeous photo to put with the recipe on our website?

Hayley said...

Your pictures are gorgeous, and that ice cream sounds so creamy and flavorful. Thanks for sharing, I have to start using my ice cream maker more often.

Jennifer said...

SO lovely!!! This would be perfect with some crunchy gingersnaps or biscotti!

Esi said...

Hey everyone! Sorry it's taking longer than normal to reply to comments. It's actually been a busy day!

Heather, thanks!

Elaine, so glad you found me. Sure, come on out to LA and I will give you some ice cream.

Diana, I am definitely going to be paying a visit to the Spice House whenever I get to Chicago!

Sara, I totally agree with you. Homemade is the way to go.

Reeni, I think anise is my new favorite ingredient.

Ellieut, I use the Cuisinart. You have to freeze the bowl before you use it, so I am just keeping mine in the freezer at all times now. :)

Lainie, thank you!

Dawn, I think you would love Cube. Great food and a nice little market full of goodies.

Paige, YES! :)

Hayley, thank you! I hope you use your machine soon so I can see what you come up with.

Jennifer, you're so right! Glad I still have some left...although it's disappearing quickly.

Creative Classroom Core said...

What a stunning photo!

Maggie said...

Beautiful photographs! I love star anise but don't use it often enough.

veggie belly said...

Oh Esi, youve done it again! What a unique and mouthwatering ice cream this is!

Dee said...

Your photos are lovely, Esi. They really do justice to that mouthwatering recipe you concocted :)

The Food Librarian said...

my friend and were just talking about not a big fan, she a big fan. i'm sending her this wonderful looking post right now!

test it comm said...

I like the sound of the vanilla and star anise combo for ice cream. Nice presentation!

Katy said...

yum! that sounds amazing. i need to get some star anise -- i've never experimented with it!

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