The other day, I posted instructions on how to make barrel-aged vanilla extract at home. The aged extract is delicious on its own, far more so than regular vanilla extracts, but you might need some ideas on how to showcase this special extract once you’ve made it. I recommend substituting it for regular vanilla in a recipe where vanilla is the star. Vanilla cakes, custards, shortbreads and ice creams are all good candidates because you can be a bit heavy handed with the vanilla and don’t need to worry about competing flavors, like chocolate, overpowering it. This Barrel Aged Vanilla Ice Cream is an easy, no-churn ice cream that really gets taken to the next level by the addition of that barrel aged vanilla.
The vanilla extract is exceptionally smooth, with a long lingering finish that contains plenty of vanilla, as well as a toasted caramel from the charred oak. A simple recipe like this ice cream – which is normally tasty, if somewhat one-dimensional – lets you see how much complexity you really get from the extract. The ice cream tastes smooth and deeply flavorful, with a strong vanilla flavor and only a mute note from the sweetened condensed milk, which is normally quite dominant in this style of ice cream. It’ll leave you with a very satisfying vanilla taste in your mouth as each bite melts on your tongue.
If you don’t want to make your own barrel aged vanilla extract, you can also buy it online from Rodelle, which makes a premium French oak aged vanilla (my homemade version is made with American oak) and use it in this recipe. If you’re feeling adventurous, make two batches side by side, one using aged vanilla and one using “regular” vanilla to compare the two bite-for-bite. This ice cream is good on its own and, of course, goes well with almost any dessert.
Barrel Aged Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp barrel-aged vanilla extract
In a large bowl, beat heavy cream to stiff peaks.
In another large bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Fold in whipped cream until mixture is completely combined. Pour into freezer-safe container (I recommend a loaf pan) and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.