Spice Ice Cream

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

Serve a scoop of this spice ice cream alongside your favorite pear or apple dessert for a truly fall treat.


  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 whole star anise (optional)

  • 2 cups milk

  • 6 large egg yolks

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold


  1. Place the vanilla bean, scraped seeds, cinnamon sticks, and star anise (if using) in a saucepan with milk over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 30 minutes; then strain, discarding solids.

  2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, and whisk until pale yellow and thick, about 3 minutes.

  3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Return milk to stove, and bring just to a simmer. Slowly pour milk mixture into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return it to the saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. The custard should retain a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your finger.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately stir in cold cream. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl set in the ice bath. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover bowl, and place in the refrigerator until well chilled, preferably overnight.

  5. Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, until ice cream is set but not hard.

  6. Transfer the soft ice cream to an airtight container, and freeze at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.

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