Vanilla Ice Cream

June 23, 2010 · 16 comments

in desserts/sweets

To be honest, I’ve never been the biggest vanilla ice cream fan.  I mean, of course I like it because it is ice cream, after all, and what ice cream isn’t good?  But, it’s always been more of a vehicle for other flavors to me.  You know – caramel sauce, Oreo cookies, berries.  Or, of course, the base of one of the greatest inventions ever, the Blizzard.

When my now-husband and I started living together (yes, in sin), he loved having vanilla bean ice cream around.  My husband has never really been the most discerning foodie, but when it comes to ice cream he knows his stuff – always going for the all-natural kind, made with vanilla beans over solely extract (or imitation extract. *shudder*). Slowly, I started to change my tune regarding vanilla ice cream.

When I wanted to make my first batch of homemade vanilla ice cream, I of course turned to David Lebovitz.  Like always, he didn’t disappoint.  This ice cream is really delicious and oh-so-vanilla-y.  The custard base is fabulous and rich, and will knock the socks off your grocer’s ice cream, natural vanilla bean or not!

Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart
The Perfect Scoop
by David Lebovitz

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of cream and salt in a medium saucepan.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warmed milk, and then add the bean itself.  Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let steep for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl, and set a mesh strainer over the top.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.  Slowly add the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, and then scrape back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (don’t boil!).  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.  Add the vanilla bean to the custard, stir in the vanilla extract, and then stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture in your refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

natalie June 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

Add 1 tbsp of cinnamon, and it is to die for! My husband makes Alton Brown’s chocolate ice cream recipe. It is too much work for me! I just buy the vanilla packets at William & Sonoma and add the cinnamon.


elly June 23, 2010 at 9:27 am

Natalie, you (or your husband) should try this cinnamon ice cream recipe, too. It is seriously amazing!


Amy June 23, 2010 at 9:28 am

This sounds delicious! :)


Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen June 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

I am like your hubby, I LOVE vanilla bean ice cream – always been my favorite!


ash June 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

yum. there’s a certain fabulousness to homemade vanilla. i’m never big on vanilla (pass the chocolate please?) but homemade vanilla is fab. i need a little bit every summer :-) looks good!


Ivy June 23, 2010 at 10:23 am

Oh Elly, does that look awesome. I don’t have an ice cream maker, which is probably for the best as I would be making a different ice cream every day :)


elly June 23, 2010 at 10:27 am

Ivy, if you really want to make it, of course there is a way without a maker. Not to be a temptress or anything, but… :)


bellini valli June 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

David is the ice cream King. Vanilla ice cream is the perfect foil to all our fresh fruit.


Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul June 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

I too have found a new love for vanilla ice cream! This looks so easy to prepare! Now all I need is an ice cream maker (once the weather warms up)


John June 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hi, sounds like a great recipe!

Although i was confused with the Reserved 1 cup of cream, into a seperate bowl, with a strainer on top.

I also didn’t understand when to add the sugar?

Do I add the sugar/whilst whisking the yolks? or into the warm wholemilk/cream mixture? When do I use the strainer?




elly June 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

John, the sugar goes in with the milk and half the cream, in the very first step, to warm & steep. When the custard is finished cooking, you pour it through the strainer and into the rest of the cream. Hopefully that makes sense!


Peter June 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Oh baby…with the vanilla bean in there, this can’t be beat. So simple but still the best of the ice cream flavours.


Simply Life June 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Yum! That ice cream looks so good!


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