Sadly, the vanilla ice cream just didn't measure up to my expectations. After much research, I ended up needing to throw together the custard in a somewhat last minute fashion. My (rough) ingredients were:
1.5 c whole milk
3/4 c sugar (1/4 white, 1/2 dark brown)
1 c cream
1/4 c half and half
1/4 c skim milk
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
heated the milk, half and half, skim milk, white sugar and vanilla bean to roughly 170. Added it slowly (though not as slowly as some have recommended!) to the whipped yolks and brown sugar mixture. dumped back into saucepan and heated slowly to 180. poured into 1 cup cream and put in fridge overnight. Churned the next afternoon for roughly 40 min. (in a Krups canister model ice cream maker). While churning added a bit more vanilla because I didn't think it had enough vanilla flavor. Transferred from canister to tupperware that had been chilled in freezer. Served roughly 3-4 hours later. (Yes, somewhere in their I pulled out the vanilla bean).
It was good, but really not great. I think it would have been better served closer to 1-2 hours later (better texture). It was also too sweet. I chickened out on really cutting back on the sugar for fear of ice crystals and other problems. In rereading carb lover's gelato recipe after-the-fact, I realized she *really* cut back on sugar and I should have been bolder. I just got really chicken about making it leaner but with more egg yolks, and I don't have any excuse for why I chickened out. I prefer the flavor of brown sugar to white, which is why I used that. Next time, I'll definitely use less sugar. Much less sugar.
Should admit, however, that I was serving the ice cream over home made brownies with home made caramel and hot fudge sauce. But even as a stand alone, I'm confident I would have thought the ice cream was too sweet.
Sorry, again no photos. I just think it would be too hard to explain to the folks I'm serving the meal to why I need to take a photo of it. Boy, I'm a big chicken these days.
Vanilla remains my moby dick.