When I make homemade ice cream, I typically make fancy shmancy ice cream loaded with mix-ins. But sometimes you just want something simple. This ice cream is simple, but it definitely isn’t boring. It is silky smooth, and so rich and creamy thanks to the egg yolks.
Vanilla is actually my daughter’s favorite flavor, so she was pretty thrilled about this ice cream. However, even the over the top ice cream flavor fans in the family loved it. As far as vanilla goes, it’s unbeatable!
Making custard ice cream does take more time than making regular ice cream, but it’s worth it! It yields ice cream that is always creamy, never icy. The process isn’t hard, you just have to cook the eggs with some milk and sugar to kill any potential salmonella.
For extra flavor in this ice cream, you let a vanilla bean steep in the hot custard mixture so it releases even more of that warm, rich vanilla flavor. After the mixture has cooled, you scrape out the seeds giving you those pretty vanilla flecks.
In addition to the vanilla bean, you also add some vanilla extract. Not only does it add flavor, it helps keep the ice cream from freezing into a brick. Since the alcohol in the extract doesn’t freeze, it makes for easier to scoop ice cream.
How to Make French Vanilla Ice Cream
- egg yolks
- heavy cream
- whole milk
- vanilla extract
- vanilla bean
You will start by cooking the egg yolks, sugar, salt, cream, and milk in a saucepan till thick and creamy. Add the vanilla bean to the hot mixture and let it cool to room temperature, then add the vanilla extract. Chill the ice cream base, then freeze in an ice cream mixture.
You can serve it straight from the ice cream machine if you want soft serve ice cream. We like to let it ripen for a few hours in the freezer until it’s scoopable.
When it’s done, you can eat it as is, add some sprinkles, serve it on top of pie or cobbler, or drizzle it with your favorite ice cream topping. We tried some drizzled with my homemade hot fudge sauce, and it was simply divine!
-Make sure you whisk the egg/sugar/milk mixture thoroughly before you cook it. You don’t want to see any flecks of yellow. Don’t worry, you can’t overmix it at this stage.
-You may be tempted to turn up the heat to speed up the cooking of the custard. Resist the impulse. You want the mixture to cook slowly. If it gets too hot too fast, the egg yolks can curdle. Alternately, the mixture can scorch if the bottom of the pan is too hot.
What is the difference between French vanilla and vanilla ice cream?
No, French vanilla doesn’t refer to a type of vanilla bean, it refers to the method in which the ice cream is made. French vanilla ice cream is made with eggs or egg yolks. It has a slightly yellow color, due to the egg yolks. It can be made with vanilla beans or vanilla extract.
What does French vanilla ice cream taste like?
French vanilla ice cream has a more rich flavor than regular vanilla ice cream. Some recipes call for enough egg yolks that the ice cream can even have a custard like flavor. Egg yolks also make the ice cream more smooth.
Variations for this ice cream:
-For vanilla fans, this ice cream is perfect as is. But of course you can add any mix-ins that you like. Add crushed Oreos for the most amazing cookies and cream ice cream you’ve ever tried. You can also stir in any fruit, nuts, or candy that you love. Get creative!
-If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you can add an additional tablespoon of vanilla extract. It won’t have quite the depth of flavor, but it will still be mighty tasty.
RECIPES THAT JUST SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM
- Double Crumb Apple Crisp
- Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Pumpkin Cobbler
- Blueberry Dump Cake
MORE FROZEN TREATS
- Cinnamon Ice Cream
- Frozen Butterfinger Pie
- Easy Frozen Chocolate Pie
- Drumstick Frozen Dessert
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Whisk egg yolks in a heavy medium sized saucepan. Add sugar, salt, and milk, whisk till smooth. Add cream.
- Cook over medium or medium low heat till it barely comes to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add vanilla bean and vanilla extract.
- Let mixture come to room temperature, then remove vanilla bean. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
- Split in half and scrape vanilla bean seeds into the ice cream mixture.
- Chill ice cream base for several hours or overnight, until very cold. I like to speed up the process by placing the metal saucepan in a bowl of ice water, and stirring till it is cold.
- Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Place ice cream in a freezer safe container and let ripen in the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until stiff enough to scoop.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 277mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 28gProtein: 6g
See all my FROZEN DESSERTS.