This is a very creamy ice cream recipe. I know there are other easier recipes out there, but my family has found this one to be our favorite, and worth the extra effort.

1 1/2 cups half and half or top milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks (save the whites I have an amazing angel food cake recipe too!)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream - also known as whipping cream

1. In top of a double boiler (the pan that lets you boil water in the bottom with another pan above it where you cook), heat milk until film forms on the surface. Do not boil! Stir in sugar and salt. I like this to be medium high heat, and then drop it to medium after the film appears.

2. In medium bowl, beat egg yolks slightly. Gradually beat in small amounts of hot milk mixture until most of it is in with the eggs. Do not do this to quickly or your eggs will cook and become chunky which is not what you want... Always smooth. - I like to use a metal bowl so as the temp rises I can feel it through the bowl. Also during this time leave the heat under the double boiler on.

3. Return egg and milk mixture to to top of double boiler; cook over boiling water (which you don't need to check after all that if you left the heat on it's boiling). Stir often, you want it to look thick like mayonnaise - which takes about 15-20 minutes. Here to it is important not to leave the mixture unstir-ed for more than a minute or two because the edges will cook faster and the eggs will chunk (nasty!).

4. Cool custard thoroughly. (I remove to the top of the double boiler and set it on a towel or cooling rack until it's room temp). After what resembles custard is cool stir in vanilla (it says to taste, but I don't I just use however much in the range inspires me, less if I'm adding the chocolate, more if it's just going to be vanilla). Now add the heavy cream - remember that was the other thing that hadn't made it in yet? Cover and chill throughly in frige. If your wanting to use a store bought flavoring add it now and stir in completely.

Now something has happened to my book at step 5. so bear with me while I try to figure out what it doesn't say because the book is ripped there. Ohhh... I have a ice cream bowl for my Kitchenaid. This is the part where I dump it in while the dasher is inside. But if you have some other machine or crank freezer this is when you follow the manufactures directions. When nearly done you can add chocolate chips, ect. to the freezing ice cream.

6. Remove dasher (in the case of a kitchenaid freezer bowl you will have very soft ice cream in 15-20 minutes per the directions). This recipe is very good about that. Others we tried didn't thicken up for 1/2 hour or more. That's why we use the egg recipe. The rule of thumb with the kitchenaid bowl is that it will click as a it struggles with the thickness of the icecream and then it's done. Last night I let it run 13 minutes saw it was completely thick around the dasher (infact 75% of the ice cream was suck to the dasher) and called it good.

7. Put in a freezer safe container (check to make sure it's big enough and that you have the lid before you start scooping it out). Place in freezer and let it mellow for at least 2 hours.

Variations:

Peppermint: Crush coarsely about 1/2 pound of peppermint stripe candy (about 1 1/4 cups crushed candy). Prepare as abouve. When ice cream is frozen to semihardness, remove the dasher. With a long wooden spoon, stir in candy. Pour into storage container, and pack down ice cream; replace cover, and mellow in freezer as above.

Peach: Reduce vanilla in basic recipe to 1 tablespoon, and add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Prepare and freeze as directed. Peel and puree 2 large ripe peaches. Peal and coarsely chop 1 large peach (you need two cups prepared peaches). Remove dasher at the semi-hard soft serve stage listed above in container add icecream and stir in peaches, pack down and allow to mellow in feezer for 2 hours as above.

And I said chocolate in the chat didn't I? Well I have an ice cream flavor pack from LLBean. It's called LoAnn's Flavor Fountain Chocolate Fudge (my favorite is the chocolate mint!) and you can find it at www.lorannoils.com There is no doubt in my mind you could do it another way. This one is just so easy.

MILK FAT tips: Whole milk must have at least 3% percent fat, verus low-fat with 1/2% to 2% milk fat, and skim milk with less that 1/2% milk fat. I always use whole milk, but I have heard you can use less fatty milk to make ice cream it just takes longer in the ice cream maker.

Now Whipping Cream is 30% to 40% milk fat with light cream also known as half and half contains 10% to 30% milk fat.

What this means to you and your grocery list of what to buy for this recipe: If you don't have half and half, you just take 3/4 cup whipping cream and 3/4 cup milk of your choice. which will give you the correct milk fat levels to make ice cream for that required 1 1/2 cup half and half or "top milk" required. Of course if you already buy half and half you don't need this information.

Credits: This recipe was copied from the first printing of the McCall's cookbook having a copyright date of 1963. This book inspite it's amazing recipes, is no longer avail. and hasn't been for sometime, because it was found that the modern housewife of those times did not believe a sewing pattern company could make a good cookbook. :(