Vanilla Ice Cream

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Making vanilla ice cream from scratch couldn’t be easier! This recipe makes a litre of smooth & creamy ice cream speckled with vanilla seeds.

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homemade vanilla ice cram scoop

Vanilla is one of the most popular ice cream flavours & for good reason. Made correctly & with the proper ingredients, it’s hard to beat! It’s also an incredibly versatile flavour… Serve it on apple pie, add a scoop to something chocolatey or eat it on its’ own. The possibilities are endless.

The Ice Cream Base

All ice creams start with a base. We’re using an egg custard for this recipe as I find that this produces ice creams that are rich, super smooth & easy to scoop.

When it comes to flavouring the custard, we only need to use half a vanilla pod (or two teaspoons of vanilla paste). High quality vanilla is expensive but goes a long way, so we only need to use a little.

Make sure to use whole milk & double cream for this recipe as these contain higher amounts of fat compared to skimmed milk or single cream. The right amount of fat adds richness & also stops ice cream from setting too hard, making it easier to scoop. If your in the USA, you’ll need to use full fat milk & heavy cream.

churning vanilla ice cream

How To Make Vanilla Ice Cream

Making ice cream can be broken down into three steps. These are;

Step 1 – Making The Custard

The first step is to make the base. To do this we make a custard with the following ingredients.

  • Whole Milk
  • Double Cream
  • Caster Sugar
  • Egg Yolks
  • Milk Powder
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Maldon Salt

The exact quantities of each ingredient has been calculated to make the best possible ice cream. There’s a lot of science behind this but we’ll leave that for another time.

Step 2 – Chill Overnight

After we’ve made the custard base, we need to leave it in the fridge overnight. This allows the flavour to develop, improving the final, churned ice cream.

Step 3 – Churning

The final step is the churning. Make sure to churn following your ice cream machine’s manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, it will need at least 4 hours in the freezer to set.

homemade vanilla ice cream

Homemade Ice Cream Tips & Tricks

  • Chill your custard overnight for a better flavour & texture.
  • Dip your scoop in hot water for easier scooping!
  • Set your freezer to 18°c/-1°f for the best set.
  • For the best flavour, use a high quality vanilla. A little goes a long way!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need An Ice Cream Machine For This Recipe?

For the best results, you will need to use an ice cream machine. These can be picked up online for various price points but the investment is worth it!

How Long Does Ice Cream Take To Set?

Churning ice cream at home will take around 30 minutes depending on what machine you are using. After this, the ice cream needs to set fully in the freezer. This will take a minimum of 4 hours.

How Will I Know When The Ice Cream Has Finished Churning?

The best way to check your ice cream is with a digital food probe. The churned ice cream should register at -5°c/-23°f. The ice cream should have also increased in volume & be the consistency of soft serve. Make sure not to over churn as this will affect the texture & consistency.

How Long Will Ice Cream Last In The Freezer?

Homemade ice creams are best eaten within 2 weeks of being frozen. After this time, large ice crystals will start to form, affecting the texture & flavour.

Equipment Used

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Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Review

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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Making vanilla ice cream from scratch couldn't be easier! This recipe makes a litre of smooth & creamy ice cream speckled with vanilla seeds.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Churn Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Ice Cream Machine
  • Stand Mixer
  • Large Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • 1 Litre Plastic Tub
  • Ice Cream Scoop

Ingredients

  • 420 g Whole Milk
  • 250 g Double Cream
  • 120 g Caster Sugar
  • 40 g Glucose Syrup
  • 25 g Whole Milk Powder
  • 85 g Egg Yolks
  • ¼ tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • ½ Vanilla Pod Or 2 tsp Vanilla Paste

Instructions

  • Place the milk, cream, half the sugar, glucose, milk powder, salt & vanilla into a large saucepan.
    If your using a vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds & add both the pod & seeds to the pan.
  • Whisk to combine then place the saucepan over a low heat & leave to warm gently until steaming – don’t let it boil. Make sure to stir the milk regularly with a spatula.
  • Whilst the cream is heating up, place the yolks & remaining sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on a medium speed until light & fluffy, around 4-5 minutes.
  • Once the cream is steaming, pour a third of it into the yolks, with the mixer running on a medium-low speed. Mix to combine then pour the now tempered yolks into the pan of cream & milk.
  • Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon & has reached a temperature of 82°c. 
    Remove from the heat then pass into a bowl through a sieve. Leave to cool to room temperature, stirring regularly then cover the ice cream's surface with a piece of baking parchment & refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, churn the custard following your machine’s manufacturers instructions.
    Once churned, transfer to a tub & leave to set in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours.

Notes

You’ll need an ice cream machine to make this recipe. The machine that I use is linked above.
The ice cream is made over 2 days but once churned can sit in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
For my vanilla, I use a company in the UK called the Vanilla Guys.
I would recommend using Nestle’s whole milk powder.

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