Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is a creamy and tasty treat perfect for year-round. It's delicious on its own as well as the ideal base to transform into your favorite flavored ice cream.
Who doesn't love a good vanilla ice cream? It's refreshing and pairs well with so many desserts, including pies and warmed crisps. Taking the time to make it from scratch is well worth it as the flavor is unmatched by store-bought ice cream.
This ice cream is the perfect base for transforming into your favorite flavored ice cream. It also lends itself to so many toppings and mixins. I love adding chunks of brownies, chopped oatmeal chunk cookies, or swirling in caramel sauce.
Why this recipe works
- It's made using only 5 ingredients.
- You can mix in your favorite toppings.
- It's creamy, refreshing, and delicious.
- It's the perfect complement to a variety of desserts.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
2 medium bowls
1 large bowl
1 wooden spoon
Fine mesh sieve
Ice cream maker
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
Whole Milk and cream are two essential ingredients in making ice cream. The butterfat found in these two ingredients contributes to the texture, firmness, and richness of ice cream. Having too high of a butterfat percentage can result in a grainy texture. Using a combination of heavy cream and whole milk gives the ideal balance of butterfat to create rich, smooth ice cream.
Pure vanilla extract will yield the best flavor. Avoid using imitation vanilla or an alternative as their flavors cannot compete.
Eggs add to the smoothness, richness, flavor, color, and fat content of ice cream. The lecithin in egg yolks is an emulsifier that helps keep the butterfat from separating during the freezing process. However, not all ice cream bases call for egg yolks. This custard-based recipe calls for egg yolks which are cooked with cream and sugar to produce a rich and creamy ice cream.
Types of vanilla to use to make homemade ice cream
Vanilla extract is the most common vanilla found at the supermarket. For an extra delicious flavor, you can substitute with vanilla beans or vanilla paste.
Substitute 1 vanilla bean for the vanilla extract. Cut in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds from the pod. In a saucepan, add the pod and seeds to the heavy cream, milk, and sugar. Remove the pod once the cream mixture has reached a simmer. Using the seeds of a vanilla bean will add a lovely appearance to the ice cream.
Because vanilla paste concentration varies between brands, it's best to follow the directions on the jar for substitutions.
How to make vanilla ice cream
Heat the cream. In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk, half of the sugar, and vanilla over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Temper the egg yolks. Whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar. Temper the yolk mixture by vigorously whisking half of the hot cream mixture into the eggs. Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture and reduce heat to low. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it reaches 175°F/80°C.
Cool the mixture. Prepare an ice-water bath. Pour the cooked custard into a medium mixing bowl and set over the ice-water bath continuously stirring the mixture until it has cooled.
Refrigerate. Pour the custard into a clean bowl through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to fully develop the flavors.
Churn. Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers' instructions. Freeze until ready to serve.
How to serve vanilla ice cream
Ice cream is delicious on its own and is an ideal summer treat. It's also the perfect complement to so many desserts.
- Sandwich together with S'mores Cookies for a fun and tasty ice cream sandwich.
- In a blender, mix some cream with your favorite toppings for a delicious milkshake.
- Serve a scoop with a slice of Cookie Dough Cake.
- Warm Peach Blackberry Crisp and add a scoop.
- Cut a slice of Blueberry Apple Pie and serve warm with a scoop.
Tips and takeaways
- This particular recipe uses a 50/50 ratio of heavy cream to whole milk. If you'd like to reduce the amount of heavy cream, you can certainly do so by replacing with equal amounts of whole milk. However, this will affect the texture, firmness, and richness of the ice cream. You can also substitute half and half to lighten the recipe.
- After your ice cream base has cooked to the correct temperature, it's essential to cool down the mixture. Doing this will prevent the custard from continuing to cook and thicken, and it will cool the base down safely so that you can finish cooling it in the refrigerator. Use an ice water bath adding just enough water so it will not overflow into your ice cream base.
- Do not skip the step of pouring your ice cream base through a fine-mesh sieve. It will remove any traces of cooked egg in your mixture.
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Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make this Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. I'd love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let's make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print