Yow know how people say that they’ve been “waiting their whole life” for something? Well, I can say with fervor that I have absolutely been waiting my entire life to make french vanilla ice cream at home.
French vanilla ice cream has got to be one of the first sweet treats I put in my mouth, and I’ve loved it ever since. In the warmer months growing up, my Poppa would drive me to our local dairy after dinner for a large cone, and we would just sit outside the building in his truck while we finished. Every once and a while I would order mint chocolate chip or cookies and cream, but these “dates” were more often than not reserved for french vanilla. Easy to order and a memory that makes my heart swell to think of.
A good vanilla ice cream (in my opinion) should be creamy and sweet enough to stand on its own.
The key? Using the best ingredients possible! And the ingredient list isn’t long at all. I used a big, fat Madagascar vanilla bean and pure vanilla extract for this recipe and went with a traditional French custard base. It is my favorite.
On my list of 30 Things to Do Before Turning 30 I have:
#23 Make some homemade ice cream and homemade hot fudge
CHECK! Very exciting.
I made this ice cream and then poured my favorite recipe for homemade hot fudge all over it. The whole container was gone in days.
I mean, just look at this creamy stuff! I love when you can see the vanilla seeds in ice cream.
And of course, you can use this ice cream in any way you please. I recently made a batch of this ice cream and then made a big batch of bourbon milkshakes (recipe coming soon!) with it.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split it half lengthwise
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- The night before, place your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer.
- Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set up an ice bath by partially filling a large bowl with cold water and ice. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into another large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Place this bowl into the ice bath.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Set aside.
- After the cream has steeped for 30 minutes, pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, and then scrape this mixture back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
- Quickly, pour the hot custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.*
- When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
*Prior to churning, this ice cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop