African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is quickly becoming one of my favorite theme parks. I remember as a kid I didn’t quite “get it.” But now, I love to just wander through the park, seeing all of the absolutely amazing details and finding the hidden walks and trails, including the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Africa. The pathway curves along through lush plants and exotic wildlife, including hippos, gorillas, and bright colorful birds.

African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Now imagine you’re wandering along the trail and you see a small path veer off to the side that you’ve never noticed before. Feeling adventurous (after all, you’re in Africa, right?) you follow it and find yourself surrounded by dense vegetation, only to break through and see a thatch-roofed stand offering just one thing: The. Best. Vanilla. Ice. Cream. … Ever. You can just see it, right? Sounds perfectly like some hidden magic that Disney would include in their theme parks. Well, if it ever happens, this would be the ice cream.

African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

This isn’t a plain-Jane vanilla ice cream. The rich cream and sweet milk are highlighted, instead of over-shadowed by, the star of the show: The Madagascar Vanilla Bean. Now, I don’t know how things are where you live, but around here, vanilla beans pretty much cost about as much as an entire meal. But every now and then, it’s worth it. And this is one of those times. You cannot believe how much flavor you will get out of just one of these unassuming, glorious beans. Trust me.

African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

The recipe couldn’t be easier. It’s my normal sweet cream base, except that you scrape the seeds out of a vanilla bean and add the seeds AND the bean shell (is it called a shell? A husk?) into the base before you bring it to a boil. I just made traditional vanilla bean ice cream, but this would be a FANTASTIC base to make for my Artist Point Berry Cobbler Ice Cream or to add any other mix-ins you can think of.

And of course, one bit and you’ll think you discovered the most perfect treat on an exotic (Disney) African jungle trek. 🙂

African Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp corn syrup

3 egg yolks

Pinch of salt

1 Madagascar vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out

In a large pot, mix together the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean seeds and husk/shell. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. In a separate dish, stir together the egg yolks and salt. When cream mixture has cooked at a boil for five minutes, remove from heat and slowly add about 1 cup of the liquid to the egg yolks (try not to get the shell of the vanilla bean in here), stirring constantly. Pour the now-hot egg yolks back into the pot with the remaining cream, return to low heat, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, pour into a heat-safe container, cool completely and chill. When chilled, pour into the base of your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze at least 4 hours before serving.


Artist Point Berry Cobbler Ice Cream

Title Shot

Have you ever had the Berry Cobbler at Artist Point inside Disney’s Wilderness Lodge? It’s one of those desserts that has become a Disney classic, and for good reason. It’s a warm doughy cobbler filled with blueberries, and topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries, and finished with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream! Which of course means that it would be absolutely excellent to mix all that together into it’s own ice cream recipe, right? I mean, it’s only common sense! 🙂

The original dessert from Artist Point has become so popular that it’s featured in some of the official Disney cookbooks, and can be found in the Recipe section on (Click here to see the recipe section). I used the recipe from my Delicious Disney cookbook.

Cookbook Cover

Inside Cookbook

The cobbler is easy to make (and makes a great breakfast if you bake it early enough :)) You just mix together your dry ingredients, then add the cold butter and mix with your hands (or a pastry cutter if you’re fancy like that) until it’s crumbly. Stir in an egg and some cream until just mixed. Pour it all into a 9″ square pan, plop plenty of blueberries on top, then sprinkle some brown sugar over top and dot it with more butter. The recipe says to bake for 20-25 minutes or until browning on top. I baked mine for about 35 minutes and clearly, it did not really brown on top.


Also clearly, we do not really have much self-control in our household when it comes to baked goods. I tried to justify that piece out of the middle by “making sure it was done,” but let’s be honest. I love that little bit of gooey part.

Anyway, my guess is that a little extra brown sugar and butter will help the top of this look like the official cookbook picture. Feel free to give it a shot and let me know!

Next, we’re finally going to make a delicious vanilla ice cream base. I know! I haven’t done any plain vanilla yet! But hold onto this vanilla base recipe, I’m sure it will be popping up plenty in the future. The base is made just like any other base (cooking cream, milk, and sugar to a boil; adding a bit to some egg yolks and salt; stirring the egg/cream mixture back to the pot and heating until thickened, add the vanilla, cool and chill).

To get the fresh raspberry and blackberry part of the Artist Point Berry Cobbler incorporated into the ice cream, I made a quick sauce of the berries with some sugar and heated until they’re mushable. If you would like, you’re more than welcome to push the sauce through a sieve when it’s finished to help remove all the seeds. I didn’t. Could it be because I already had a pile of dishes in the sink? Possibly. I like to say it’s because they use whole berries in the original dessert (seeds and all) and I was just keeping the Artist Point integrity in the making of this ice cream.

Once you churn your ice cream, you’re going to layer everything into your freezer-proof container. Pour in some ice cream, top it with some crumbled chunks of cobbler and berry sauce, and keep layering up till you’re out. Be sure to save some of the cobbler and berry sauce for the top layer so everyone knows what they’re getting. And because it looks pretty.


I took this to an Independence Day campfire cookout and it was a big hit – hope you all love it just as much!



Artist Point Berry Cobbler Ice Cream

Berry Cobbler (Recipe from Delicious Disney cookbook):

1-1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg

1 cup heavy cream

12 oz. fresh blueberries

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add 1/2 cup butter and mix with hands or pastry cutter until crumbly. Add egg and cream, and mix with a spoon until just combined.

Pour batter into a very well greased 9″ square pan. Place blueberries on top, sprinkle with brown sugar, and dot with remaining 2 Tbsp. of cold butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or longer) until golden brown. Cool completely and set aside until ready to use.

Berry Sauce:

1/2 pint fresh raspberries

1/2 pint fresh blackberries

1 cup sugar


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a low boil, and cook until fruit is softened. Remove from heat. If desired, push through a sieve to remove seeds. Cool completely and set aside until ready to use.

Vanilla Ice Cream Base:

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. corn syrup

3 egg yolks


2 tsp. good quality pure vanilla extract

In a large pan, bring the cream, milk, sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Cook for five minutes. In a separate heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the salt. Remove the cream mixture from heat, and gradually add some of the hot cream to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add about 1 cup of the liquid to the yolks. Slowly pour the tempered egg yolks mixed with cream back into the pot with the remaining cream mixture, stirring the whole time. Return pan to low heat and cook until slightly thickened, stirring, and do not allow to boil. Remove from heat, pour into a separate container, add vanilla, stir, and cool completely.

When chilled, pour into the base of an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s recommendations. When ice cream is ready, pour about 1/3 into a freezer-proof container. Top with broken pieces of the cobbler and a few spoonfuls of the berry sauce. Layer on more vanilla ice cream, and continue layering the ice cream with the cobbler and berry sauce until out of ice cream. Finish with a few more bits of cobbler and a swirl of berry sauce. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.