Updated: Oct 24, 2022
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When I got married in the summer of 2009, I started experimenting in the kitchen. Thank God my husband was patient with me! Who knows how many times he had to politely say, “Honey, this is just not for me.” Well, I was determined to learn how to make every single thing he likes to eat throughout the day from scratch.
By the time the summer of 2010 rolled around, I was ready to make everyone’s favorite treat: ice cream. At least . . . I was ready to TRY making everyone’s favorite treat. I still remember how my first batch turned into a bowl of sugary scrambled eggs. What a mess!
But after a little bit of experimentation, I mastered my first classic French vanilla ice cream. This is the base for many of the ice creams we will make together in the future. I understand that these days there are so many kinds of dietary needs and not everyone can eat dairy. I promise we’ll make dairy-free ice cream someday, but we’re going with the basics for now.
There are a couple things you DON'T need for this recipe. No special ice cream maker and no dry ice needed! You just need a few ingredients and some patience while the ice cream freezes! Your patience will be rewarded with this wonderful treat: a creamy, rich and custard-based real French vanilla ice cream that will melt in your mouth. What could be better on a hot day?!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Freezing time: 3 hours (depending on the size of your container)
Total time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Yield: 12-13 kid-sized servings
Author: Inna of innichachef.com
4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla paste (or scrapings from two vanilla beans)
8 egg yolks
1 cup of sugar (in the video I used organic powdered sugar)
Pinch of salt (optional)
I like to use the least harmful sugar I can find on the market. Organic raw cane sugar would be my first choice for this recipe. But I have to warn you, the ice cream will be a darker color.
The custard-base ice cream will always have a bit of a yellowish color because of the egg yolks. The deeper and brighter the color of the yolks, the more yellow your ice cream will be. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the eggs can easily become scrambled. To avoid this, we have to “temper the eggs.” This is a fancy French term that simply means introducing hot liquid (in our case this is the cream) into the eggs. It’s a very simple process, and we can’t skip it.
1. Place the cream into a saucepan on medium heat. Keep it on the stove until it’s steamy but not boiling. If you are using vanilla from vanilla beans, add it to the hot cream and let it steep while you work on the next step.
2. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar in electric mixer with the whisk attachment.
3. Add vanilla to the egg mixture. Keep beating on high speed until the egg yolks become pale.
4. Vigorously whisk the egg yolk mixture while SLOWLY adding hot cream. Start with one spoon
at a time and increase the amount of cream you add as you go.
5. When it’s fully incorporated, whisk for another 30 seconds or so.
6. Return the cream and egg mixture back to the pot and start cooking on low-medium heat. At this point, it’s very important to not leave the stove. Use the hand whisk to keep stirring constantly until you feel resistance and the mixture becomes thicker.
7. Remove from heat and immediately pour the custard mixture into your glass container or
individual serving cups and place in the freezer.
8. Wait 1 hour and give a little whisk with a hand whisk. This step is totally optional and not going to affect flavor itself, but it will help avoid foaming on the top of the ice cream.