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Homemade rich and creamy Vanilla Ice Cream made with egg yolks, granulated and brown sugar, cream, and vanilla beans is a delicious dessert!
Why this recipe works so well:
- I LOVE vanilla beans!!! They add so much flavor to this recipe. They are expensive but totally worth it.
- This recipe uses both granulated and golden brown sugar. The combination is the perfect sweet mixture.
- I use both half and half and heavy cream. This combination creates a creamy ice cream that’s not too heavy.
Here’s how to make it:
- Start by whisking the egg yolks. Then whisk in the sugar and blend until the mixture is light in color and the sugar has dissolved.
- Next, heat up the cream and milk with the vanilla beans. You want to heat it gently until the mixture starts to gently simmer. You want to scald the cream.
- You will then take a ladle of the scalded cream mixture and add it to the egg yolk mixture. If you just add a small amount and keep on whisking, you’ll slowly raise the temperature of the eggs rather then cook them.
- You will continue adding the cream to the egg mixture, one spoonful at a time, until it is all mixed together. Then, you will take the entire mixture back to the stove and gently heat it until it thickens. This is your ice cream base.
- The base is thoroughly chilled, the vanilla bean pods are removed, and then the mixture is processed in an ice cream maker.
Recipe tips for perfect results:
- This recipe really works best when real vanilla beans are used. I always have plump, moist, and preserved vanilla beans on hand because I make my own homemade vanilla extract. I bought them in bulk and just pull the vanilla beans out when I need them.
- If you don’t have vanilla beans, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste or 2-3 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract.
- If you make this recipe with vanilla beans, you can add 1 tablespoon of vodka (optional) to the ice cream base. This will help prevent any ice crystals from forming when it freezes.
- For best results, freeze the ice cream maker bowl for at least 24 hours prior to using to ensure it’s as cold as it can get.
- Since you separate the eggs and only use the yolks in this recipe, save the whites for an omelet or a scramble. You can also use them to make Angel Food Cake or Macarons.
Everyone loves a good ice cream cake, but what about a fun Inside Out Birthday Ice Cream Cake with homemade ice cream? You could also make some delicious two-ingredient Chocolate Magic Shell to put on top.
And if you love cooking with vanilla beans, you’ll want to make Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Frosting, Vanilla Bean Honeycrisp Applesauce, Salted Vanilla Bean Caramels, Canned Vanilla Bean Peaches, Homemade Vanilla Pudding, or Vanilla Fudge!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Extreme Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Add granulated and brown sugars and whisk together until lightened in color and smooth.
- Pour the half and half, the heavy cream, and the vanilla beans into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally while pressing onto the vanilla beans to extract the flavor and the seeds. Once the cream has been gently scalded, remove the pot from the heat.
- Use a ladle to transfer one spoonful at a time of the hot cream to the egg yolk mixture while whisking the entire time. Your goal is to slowly mix in the hot mixture to temper the eggs but not to cook them. Continue to slowly add the hot cream while whisking until all of it has been thoroughly combined.
- Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over medium low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. For me, this was more of a gut feel thing to know when it was ready, but you can definitely tell when the mixture has thickened. Do not let it get to the point where the eggs begin to cook. You should be able to touch the mixture with your finger without burning it.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least four hours. You can also place the bowl inside a larger bowl that has ice in it for more rapid cooling.
- Remove vanilla bean pods from the mixture, scraping out as many seeds as you can to stir back in. Pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker where the ice cream maker bowl has been frozen and process according to the manufacturer's directions. I was able to process the entire batch at once in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Freeze for a couple of hours to allow the ice cream to harden. Then scoop and enjoy.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This recipe was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated with more helpful information and cooking tips. Don’t worry – I didn’t change the recipe!