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5 from 6 votes

French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Learn how to make the best silky French Vanilla Ice Cream at home! You will need only 6 simple ingredients to make a luscious custard, churning it in an Ice Cream Maker for a classic Summer dessert!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 221kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Freeze the bowl.

  • Before we start making the ice cream, we need to make sure that the ice cream bowl for the machine is completely frozen. Put it in the freezer the night before you plan to make the dessert.

Warm the milk and heavy cream.

  • Pour the 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in a sauce pan. Cut a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds. Put the seeds and the bean to the milk mixture, together with a pinch of salt.
  • Bring the mixture to simmer over the medium heat (It will take about 10 minutes).

Whisk the yolks and sugar.

  • While the milk mixture is warming up, we can work on the egg yolks.
  • Put 4 egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat them very well. Mix them for a few minutes, until it becomes pale in color and will have a smooth and airy texture.

Temper the eggs.

  • When the milk mixture is starting to simmer and the egg yolks are whisked, we can start tempering.
  • Using a ladle, slowly and gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg/sugar mixture, while constantly whisking the egg yolks.
  • After you add a couple of ladles of hot liquid to the beaten eggs, and they are warmed up, you can add the rest of the milk mixture to the bowl and mix very well.

Cook the base mixture.

  • Pour the tempered mixture back to the saucepan and put it on a low heat. Cook it for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture start to thicken and the internal temperature reaches 170-175°F.

Strain the base mixture.

  • Pour the mixture to a clean mixing bowl through a fine-mesh strainer. That will help to remove any cooked egg pieces and the vanilla bean.

Cool.

  • Let the mixture cool on the counter for 30-40 minutes. Then cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until it’s completely cold.

Churn.

  • Churn the ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions

Freeze.

  • When done, transfer it to an air tight container and freeze overnight before serving.

Notes

Ice Cream Bowl. Make sure that your bowl is completely frozen. I like to freeze it overnight or 24 hours before making the recipe.
Temper the eggs. Tempering the egg yolks is very important step, as it will prevent them from curdling. When done correctly, you should have a smooth mixture that will make a great creamy dessert.
Straining. After you cook the ice cream base, I always like to strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. This extra step will ensure that you don’t have any cooked pieces of eggs or vanilla bean in your dessert.
Fresh Ingredients. Make sure to use fresh eggs, milk, and heavy cream in this recipe to achieve the best results.
Vanilla. I prefer to use a vanilla bean in this recipe for more flavor. If you don’t have it, you can use a regular vanilla extract.
Dairy. This recipe is made with whole milk and dairy heavy cream. I would not suggest using plant based or skim milk.
How to store? The best way to store it is to put it in an air tight container and place in the freezer. That will prevent the crystallization.
Is it safe to use eggs? Yes. Because we temper the egg yolks and cook them to reach 170-175°F, it is absolutely safe to eat them.
Why temper the eggs? If you would add hot cream to the eggs, they will simply curdle and cook. When you temper, you slowly and gradually add the hot liquid to the beaten egg yolks, while continuing whisking. This way, the egg mixture will be able to slowly warm up without being cooked.
What does churning do? When you churn, you mix the ingredients while freezing them at the same time. This technique helps to break down the crystals and keep them small. That directly affects the texture, keeping it smooth and creamy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1scoop | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 83mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 688IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg