Hands On Time
1 Hour
Total Time
6 Hours
Yield
MAKES 1 1/2 qts.; 12 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

How to Make It

Step 1

Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds. In a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, milk, Mexican chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla seeds and pod to a simmer.

Step 2

Remove cream mixture from heat and let steep 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put egg yolks, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk at medium-high speed until egg mixture is thick and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3

Return cream mixture to medium heat and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a clean bowl; discard cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod. With mixer running on medium speed, pour 1/2 cup cream mixture into egg mixture. Slowly drizzle in remaining cream mixture, continuing to mix as you go.

Step 4

Pour this custard into saucepan. Return to stove and cook over low to medium-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens a bit and reaches 170° on a thermometer.

Step 5

Pour custard into a bowl and set in an ice bath (a larger bowl of ice and cold water). Let cool, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Step 6

Freeze custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight plastic container and freeze until hardened, at least 5 hours.

Chef's Notes

Look for Mexican chocolate (sold in boxes of five or six disk-shaped bars) at Latin markets or in the Latin foods aisle of large supermarkets. You'll need an ice cream maker with a 2-qt. capacity.

With a Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant; Hell's Backbone Grill, Boulder, Utah

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