For years I did not think that I should make ice cream at home. I thought to myself, “As many flavors and brands as I can easily find in supermarkets why would I spend the time to make it at home?”.
Then one day I went to a Christmas party. The host of the party, my friend, Jenny, served an apple pie with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. It was deliciously creamy and smooth. I would have never guessed that you could make such a delicious ice cream at home.
Jenny, who has 2 young children, told me that she would never want her kids to eat the ice cream they sell in supermarkets because she does not believe in the extra ingredients that they put in it to increase its shelf life.
That is when I decided to make it at home. I tried a couple of recipes that did not require an ice cream maker. Some of them turned out okay; some did not turn out that good. None of them were like Jenny’s.
One day my husband (then my boyfriend) bought me an ice cream maker as a gift. I immediately tried the vanilla ice cream recipe in the booklet that came with the ice cream machine.
It was okay but, still, it was not as creamy and as smooth as Jenny’s.
Then I bumped in to this recipe and tried it.
This was it.
Over the last 3 years, I made this vanilla ice cream so many times that I do not even need to look at the recipe anymore. I know it by heart. I made some minor changes to the original recipe to make it easier for myself.
This is a custard-based ice cream. Here, custard-based means it is made by cooking egg yolks with cream, milk, sugar and your choice of flavoring (vanilla beans for this recipe). It takes a little longer because you have to wait for it to cool before churning.
But it is totally worth it.
The end result is a vanilla bean ice cream that is extremely smooth, creamy and delicious. With every bite the vanilla seeds burst into your mouth.
I usually make it every Sunday and keep it in the fridge for us to enjoy throughout the week. A scoop of this ice cream can be served with brownies (like this one), sundaes and any of your favorite pies.
Or you can eat it just by itself.
Either way, it is a fantastic treat.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar – divided
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- Place the heavy cream, vanilla bean, seeds, milk, salt, corn syrup and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan. Heat it over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it registers 175 °F, 9-10 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
- Whisk egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar in bowl until smooth.
- Slowly whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture in to the egg yolk mixture. (If you do it fast you may end up with cooked eggs.)
- Return mixture in to the pan and heat it, stirring constantly, until it thickens and reaches to 180 °F. This takes less than 10 minutes.
- Pour the hot mixture into a glass bowl and let it cool outside, until it is no longer steaming.
- Place 1 cup of the mixture into a small bowl.
- Cover both bowls with stretch film.
- Place the reserved 1-cup mixture in freezer and the other bowl in refrigerator. Let it cool for at least for 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove them from freezer and refrigerator. Scrape the frozen custard mixture into the custard in the big bowl. Stir it until it completely dissolves.
- Strain this custard through a fine-mash strainer. Transfer in to the bowl of the ice cream maker.
- Churn it until it registers 21 °F, for 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer it to an airtight container. Press firmly to remove any air pockets. Place it in the freezer and freeze it until it is firm, at least 4 hours.
- Take it out 5 – 10 minutes before serving to make it easily “scoopable”.