Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

A rich custard base makes this homemade vanilla ice cream recipe “French vanilla,” while using an actual vanilla bean gives it an intense flavor that mere extract can never equal.

Total Time: 35
Yield: 1_1/4 quarts


  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 2-inch vanilla-bean piece
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream


In a large saucepan over low heat, add milk. Slit vanilla bean lengthwise, scraping seeds into milk; then add the pod itself. Cook until just scalded--don't let it boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt until mixture is pale and sugar is partially dissolved.
Reheat milk to just before simmer. Whisk about 1/4 cup milk into yolks to temper eggs. Whisk in another 1/4 cup milk. Then pour remaining milk into yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.
Return mixture to pan. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-low heat to 170°--don't let it boil.
Remove pan from heat and stir in cream.
Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a clean container. (You may rinse and re-use the vanilla pod; it still contains quite a bit of flavor.)
Cool to room temperature, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.
Then chill thoroughly.
Freeze according to the ice-cream maker's directions.


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