There is nothing better than homemade vanilla ice cream with real vanilla beans.
I share how to succeed in making delicious, creamy, flavorful, and hence, the best vanilla ice cream out there with my video below.
I partially based this vanilla ice cream recipe on my bavarian cream recipe after having tried failed vanilla ice cream recipes from the web.
This is a french vanilla ice cream recipe with egg yolks, which is prepared with real vanilla beans.
Churn the homemade ice cream in an ice cream maker to make the best vanilla ice cream – creamy smooth and without ice crystals.
Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients
Vanilla ice cream is made out of a few ingredients which need to be balanced to result in perfect ice cream.
Vanilla has become a luxurious ingredient over the decades and there is a good reason for that.
Vanilla extract is a chemical concoction of the real vanilla bean and while the vanilla extract is common and cheap, the real vanilla bean isn’t.
I use real vanilla beans in my recipe because vanilla extract doesn’t cut it when your prime flavor is vanilla in this ice cream recipe.
Vanilla beans are at times hard to get and expensive, with 3 medium quality vanilla beans costing about 10 USD/Euro.
In this recipe, you can use as much vanilla beans as you like.
The rule of thumb here is the more vanilla beans the more flavorful and intense your vanilla ice cream.
Paul (my husband) organized me a massive supply of organic vanilla beans from Goa, India, so I add about 8-10 vanilla beans (which might seem excessive to some).
You can start out with 2-3 Vanilla beans if you like because vanilla beans ain’t cheap.
Your vanilla beans should be still softish and flexible when you buy them but you can use vanilla beans that have turned hard too (although the flavors might be less intense).
For your vanilla bean ice cream use vanilla beans from Madagascar or Reunion Islands if possible as those are known to be of better quality.
By the way, Vanilla Beans are expensive because the beans grow from a flower on a creeper.
The flower needs to be pollinated by hand because the bees who do that, exist only in Mexico (where the vanilla beans come from).
I tried growing Vanilla Beans in a tropical climate in Goa, India and I totally failed.
Besides, there was a vanilla bean shortage for a while due to a plant illness taking down the precious vanilla creeper.
I value quality vanilla beans since then!
The milk in this vanilla ice cream recipe has one particular purpose only.
The vanilla bean flavors need to be extracted and this is done by cooking the beans in milk.
That way the milk turns into rich vanilla milk.
I reduced the amount of milk in this recipe considerably because too much milk turns the ice cream liquid quickly when left out.
The milk is just enough to get those vanilla speckles into the ice cream.
Whipping Cream is a main ingredient in this vanilla bean ice cream recipe.
The fatty whipping cream keeps the ice cream together and adds creaminess to the ice cream.
This, in turn, reduces the chances of having those ugly watery ice crystals in your ice cream.
Your whipping cream needs to contain at least 36% fat, the more the better.
This is why I recommend to not use low-fat whipping cream to make homemade ice cream.
The fats hold together your ice cream and you don’t want to mess with that or else you have fake ice cream.
We use egg yolks in our ice creams in Europe and for a good reason!
Egg yolks help to bind and hold together the ice cream, that way you will always succeed in making this ice cream.
Believe me, you want homemade ice cream with eggs!
It tastes richer, creamier and the flavors are rounded and intense.
Besides your Vanilla Ice Cream will acquire a beautiful yellow color.
Some people will call the addition of eggs or egg yolks a french ice cream or a custard ice cream.
I don’t see the use of adding egg whites to the ice cream but you can use those up by making meringue cookies or an egg white omelette.
Sugar sweetens the ice cream and also helps in the consistency of your ice cream.
The vanilla ice cream is sweet enough to normal global standards.
You can use regular sugar or brown sugar to pep up things.
I don’t recommend switching the sugar with an artificial sweetener or natural sweeteners such as honey and stevia.
The sugar is another reason why your ice cream isn’t melting away the moment you take it out, it helps in keeping your ice cream, ice cream.
How to make homemade Vanilla Ice Cream?
I came up with the smartest easy homemade vanilla ice cream and you will need an ice cream maker for that.
Slit open your vanilla beans because the vanilla bean speckles are tiny seeds in the vanilla beans.
You can scratch out the vanilla seeds to collect a paste for the ice cream.
Heat up your milk and add the scratched out vanilla seeds with the whole vanilla beans.
Take the milk from the heat (it shouldn’t boil) and leave the beans in the milk to infuse.
The longer you leave the vanilla beans to infuse, the better and more intense.
With a blender, mix the yolks and sugar smooth until the color is light yellow.
Prepare a water bath (bain-marie) by heating up water in a pot and placing a mixing bowl over the pot with the water.
Place the bowl with the mixed sugar and yolk over the cooking water in the pot and allow the content to heat up by mixing continuously.
Do that until your egg-sugar mixture is hot.
Pour the vanilla-infused milk into the egg-sugar mix and combine over the heat.
Allow the egg-sugar-milk mixture to cool.
Whip the cream fluffy and pour and fold in the egg-sugar-milk mixture until smooth.
Keep the ice cream blend to cool.
Prepare your ice cream maker container as per manufacturers instructions.
Pour the cold ice cream blend into the running ice cream maker.
Allow the ice cream to be shaped into a frozen consistency.
Once done, store your homemade vanilla ice cream in a container in the freezer until further use.
What ice cream maker to use?
For the base vanilla ice cream recipe, you will at least need a 1.5-quart ice cream maker if you are in the US or a 1.6-liter ice cream maker if you are in the rest of the world.
That’s what I use in the video recipe and you only need a device with a larger container if you plan on making frequently larger quantities of ice cream to justify the investment.
A good quality ice cream maker of that size is decently priced at about 50 USD/ ~45EUR.
Your ice cream maker should be well insulated and have a transparent easy lockable lid to pour in ice cream mix as this is a requirement.
Most ice cream makers have a digital display which comes handy but it’s not a requirement, as long as your ice cream maker gives you a signal when it’s done.
If all goes well, your ice cream is finished churned after 20 minutes.
Why do I need an ice cream maker?
A no-churn vanilla ice cream sounds tempting because you don’t need to get an ice cream maker.
And while theoretically this ice cream recipe could be prepared without an ice cream maker, I don’t recommend it.
Your ice cream will form ice crystals in your ice cream if you don’t churn it and to be honest, there is no way around this but to use an ice cream maker.
The ice cream maker slowly churns and presses the liquids to the ice-cold insulated inside wall of your ice cream maker container and the movement decreases the chance of watery ice crystals forming.
These ice crystals are crunchy cold and might be small but they reduce the quality of your vanilla ice cream enormously.
An ice cream maker turns your ice cream creamy.
More Ice Cream Maker Recipes
- Sweet Tea Ice Cream by theaprilblake.com
- Nutella Swirl Ice Cream by houseofnasheats.com
- Rhubarb Ice Cream by sundaysuppermovement.com
Dear Reader, have you tried the vanilla ice cream recipe?
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
How to Video
- 1 cup Milk
- Vanilla Bean 2-10 piece, *see Notes
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 2½ cup Whipping Cream min 36% fats
- 3 Egg Yolks
- With a small knife, slit open lengthwise your vanilla beans to expose the black seed speckles inside the bean. Scrape out the black vanilla seed paste and collect.
- Heat up a saucepan with the milk and add in your slit open whole vanilla beans with the scraped out vanilla seed speckles.
- Allow the milk to get infused, don't boil the milk just heat it up and leave to cool completely. The longer you leave the milk to infuse the more intense the flavor of your ice cream.
- In a bowl combine the egg yolk with the sugar to a smooth light yellow/orange blend.
- Prepare a double boiler (water bath aka bain marie) by heating up water in a pot and placing the egg-sugar mix bowl over the cooking water of the pot.
- Mix the egg-sugar blend over the double boiler until it gets hot.
- Pour the vanilla-infused milk into the egg-sugar mixture and combine. Let it gradually heat up and remove when hot. Allow cooling completely.
- Prepare your whipped cream by beating the cream stiff. Use cold whipped cream from the fridge fort he best result!
- Pour the cooled down egg-sugar-milk blend into the whipped cream and combine.
- Cooldown the ice cream blend in the fridge.
- Prepare your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
- Pour the cold ice cream blend into the churning cold ice cream maker and let it churn until done.
- Store your ready ice cream in a container in the freezer until further use.
- You can choose the intensity of vanilla flavor in your ice cream. 10 beans is super instense, 2 is less. The intensity of your vanilla beans also depends on the age of your beans. We like our vanilla ice cream super intense in taste.
- Use whipping cream with a minimum 36% fats to make a creamy ice cream.