Taste Like Bryer’s Vanilla Ice Cream

Bryer’s was the go-to ice cream you would find in the freezer section of the supermarket. Before Ben and Jerry’s sold their ice cream in cute pint containers. Bryer’s came in a large cardboard square, the selling point for Jews who kept kosher was the limited list of ingredients, nothing more then, milk, sugar, eggs, and cream went into Bryer’s – but the real distinguishing factor in Bryer’s were the specks of vanilla, like a reverse milky-way effect. Now a day’s I live too far to buy my Bryers, but just tasting this homemade version is completely nostalgic and takes me back to sitting in the back of my mom’s station wagon facing the wrong way, praying we wouldn’t hit any red lights on the way home from the market, just long enough so the ice cream wouldn’t melt before we got it home.

  • 350 ml (1 ½ cups) whole milk
  • 150g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • 1-2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (seeds scraped into milk and pod added)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 475ml (2 cups) double (heavy) cream
  1. Combine in a medium saucepan the milk, sugar, and vanilla seeds and pods, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, do not bring to a boil.
  2. While the milk heats and sugar dissolves; beat together in a medium bowl the egg yolks and salt.
  3. Slowly stir about 120ml (½ cup) of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Then stir the egg mixture back into the milk. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the custard reaches 82℃ (175℉) and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and stir in, the cream.
  4. Refrigerate the ice cream base until cold, overnight if possible, or quick-chill in an ice water bath. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for at least 4 hours to harden.