Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

Servings: 1 quart

This is the most basic and also one of the most delicious flavors of ice cream. Once you have mastered this recipe you can improvise with an endless variety of flavorings and other additions.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Set a smaller, preferably stainless steel bowl, large enough to hold 8 cups of liquid, beside it. Make sure that there is not too much water in the large bowl or the smaller bowl will fill with the water when it is set into the large bowl.
  2. Have a fine meshed strainer and a clean whisk on hand before starting.
  3. Place the milk, cream, and vanilla bean seeds and pods in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
  4. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
  6. When the cream mixture starts to come to a fast simmer turn it off before it comes to a boil.
  7. Slowly whisk half of the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
  8. Pour the combined egg and cream mixture back into the pot containing the rest of the cream mixture.
  9. Turn the heat on medium-low and gently cook the mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken, about 3-5 minutes. It is very important that the mixture not get too hot or the eggs can curdle and the mixture is ruined.
  10. Test for doneness by running your finger down the back of the spoon. If the space where your finger was remains clear, the mixture is ready, if the edges still run in, it is not quite ready.
  11. When it is ready, immediately remove from the heat and strain into the prepared stainless steel bowl and place it gently into the ice bath. Pour off some of the water in the ice bath if it is too full.
  12. Allow the ice cream base to chill completely before proceeding.
  13. Make ice cream according to instructions on your ice cream maker.

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