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I Scream, You Scream We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Not only is today National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, but it's the ice cream cone's birthday as well! Charles Menches is credited with inventing the ice cream cone when he began scooping ice cream into pastry cones at the 1904 World's Fair. Nearby ice cream venders caught on and historians believe that there were over 50 ice cream stands serving ice cream in cones by the time the fair ended on December 1st. By the next summer, people all over America were cooling down with ice cream cones. I prefer the thin, crisp standard grocery store sugar cone, so I'll be buying a box and whipping up a batch of vanilla ice cream. Purchase your favorite cones - or - and make vanilla ice cream to celebrate! For a classic recipe with flecks of vanilla bean,

Vanilla Ice Cream
From Alton Brown
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2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons peach preserves (not jelly)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

  1. Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a frying or candy thermometer to inside of pan*.
  2. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture overnight to mellow flavors and texture.
  4. Freeze mixture in ice cream freezer according to unit's instructions. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine.
  5. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 to 3/4 times, and reached a soft serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 1 quart.

*Note: If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat. Do not let it boil.

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