Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Editor's Note: For those who love ice cream, there's nothing quite like making a batch of a beloved classic flavor. This recipe for Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is almost every home cook's dream, as it is both easy to make and only has five ingredients. You'll want to make this classic ice cream recipe over and over this summer!
This is one of the most versatile ice cream flavors–ideal as a topping on chocolate soufflé cake, fruit pies, and cobblers. Or mingle tiny scoopfuls in a tall glass with bittersweet chocolate and coffee ice creams or fruit sorbet. Flecks of vanilla bean imbue this creamy ice cream with an exotic flavor that surpasses vanilla extract alone.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together
EquipmentIce Cream Maker
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and TextureCreamy, Sweet
Type of DishDessert, Frozen Dessert, Ice Cream
- One 4-inch vanilla bean
- 2 cups half and half or milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
Prepare a large bowl or pan of ice water.
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the black seeds into the top of a double boiler. Add the vanilla bean and half-and-half, and heat over simmering water until steaming.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, then whisk in the sugar. Whisk in about half of the hot half-and-half and pour the yolk mixture into the pan of half-and-half. Stir and cook over simmering water until the custard coats the back of a silicone spatula or spoon, about 10 minutes.
Immediately place the custard pan in the ice bath and stir the custard occasionally until it cools to room temperature.
Transfer to a container and stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.
When you are ready to freeze the mixture, remove the vanilla bean with a fork.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
You may substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Stir it into the custard with the cream.
2005 Lou Seibert Pappas