Outrageous Vanilla Ice Cream

Ice cream to me makes me think of two things: 3:00 and summer. When my sister and I were younger, we would spend various summers at my grandparents' house, swimming, playing with their dogs, picking up sticks in the backyard, reading. One summer my grandpa started routinely dishing out ice cream at 3:00 to get my sister and I motivated to work around the pool in the mornings and finish our summer reading. It was the best part of the day! He would lug different kinds of Turkey Hill, Edy's, and Breyers' ice cream over to the bar next to the diving board in the backyard. Of course, being very innovative, he used his lumber carrying case (one you would use to carry logs in for a fire), along with cones and special ice cream scoops (including one that looks like a pig and oinks when you scoop with it!) After a while "3:00 Ice Cream Bar" became routine, and now he goes by "Ice Cream Papa", a term I would like all my relatives out there to know that I affectionately coined during one of those summers, haha. Our family all-time favorite flavor is Tin Roof Sundae which is chocolate covered peanuts in vanilla ice cream with fudge swirls. My favorites are Peanut Butter Ripple, Rocky Road, and Tin Roof Sundae.

So, in the spirit of Ice Cream Papa, who still loves ice cream and always has some interesting flavors on hand when we visit, I made some tonight. Since this is my first run at my new ice cream machine, I decided to go with vanilla (it's a classic right?), but the possibilities are endless, and this only takes about 30 minutes (when you have your freezer bins frozen). You'll need:

Ice cream machine (I just bought a Cuisinart $68 that came with 2 freezer bins, but there are lots of options)

2 cups 2% organic milk

1 cup heavy cream (or half and half)

1 egg

1 cup agave nectar (light maldahava brand)

1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup creme fraiche (I had it on hand so I threw it in there! don't worry about this though if you don't have it already made)

Beat the egg until foamy and light yellow. Combine all ingredients and stir with a whisk so they are all smooth. Pour in ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


I topped it with some of my homemade granola for some extra texture, but it is honestly outrageously delicious on its own too. You could add chocolate chips (malt-sweetened or unsweetened, or melted unsweetened mixed with milk and agave), strawberries, sliced almonds, the possibilities are endless. I also eventually ended up making coffee ice cream by taking out half of the vanilla and adding about 3-4 tbs freshly brewed coffee to the mix and it was delicious! Next I am going to make coconut chip ice cream most likely, but I used all my coconut today for granola so that'll be after my next shopping trip.

Remember, don't be scared of fat. It's your friend, everyone deserves treats like this in moderation, but when you go to reach for a treat, make sure you know what's in it. Unlike my childhood days where I loved Turkey Hill etc, now I definitely prefer homemade without sugar, syrups, mono and diglycerides galore. All natural is the way!