Making ice cream is one of those things that have always felt so mysterious to me. I never knew that you could make it at home as it seemed like such a complex, fancy thing! Like something that only a professional would know how to make. Then I saw some videos on how to make it and I realised that it’s just frozen custard! The hardest thing is committing to buying an ice cream maker – the rest is easy!
Nowadays you’ll find that there are lots of recipes online for “no-churn ice cream” and “3 ingredient ice cream” and stuff like that. I definitely think there’s a place for all of those – I’ve tried and loved them myself, they’re super easy to make and they do scratch that itch in a pinch. Particularly if you don’t have an ice cream machine – which let’s face it, it’s not a necessity is it. But in my honest opinion these recipes are no competition to a good ol’ classic ice cream made in an ice cream machine. It’s just so rich and flavourful and when you make it at home you can customise it in whichever way you want! It’s so much fun and so rewarding when you get to enjoy the final product!
If you’ve got a stand mixer like I do (I have the KitchenAid) and you’ve been thinking of buying an ice cream machine, I’d really recommend getting the attachment. It’s not that expensive, it’s really easy to use and it’s super convenient. Also, considering the size of other ice cream machines in the market, it doesn’t actually take up that much space which is great.
If you’ve been thinking about making your own ice cream but have been too intimidated to do so – please give it a try! I hope that you see how easy it is to make and you give it a chance. I promise it’s worth it. Let me show you!
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- This is the amount I normally put, I don’t like my ice cream too sweet but if you like it a bit sweeter, maybe use 1/3 cup instead
- One vanilla bean
How to make it:
- Cut your vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape off all the little seeds
- In a pot, add your heavy cream, milk and vanilla bean with all the seeds you just scraped off
- Turn on your stove on a low-medium heat and stir your creamy mixture occasionally. Keep it going until it starts to simmer (don’t let it come to a boil!). You just want it to be warm enough to have a few small bubbles around the edges but nothing more than that.
- Once your mixture comes to temperature, turn off the heat and cover it with a lid. Set it aside for a bit so that your vanilla has a chance to steep (and get maximum vanilla flavor!).
- While your vanilla is steeping, mix your egg yolks and sugar and whisk them together until they’re even in texture and the color is slightly lighter.
- After a few min of the vanilla steeping (you can leave it for as long as you like – the longer the better!) we need to temper the eggs. This basically means that we can’t mix cold eggs with hot cream or else your eggs will scramble, so we need to bring them up to temperature slowly. In order to do this, ladle your cream mixture into your egg mixture slowly (one ladle at a time) whilst mixing.
- Once you’ve added a few ladlefuls onto your egg mixture and it’s all looking well incorporated (you don’t need to add all the cream, maybe half of it or so is enough), return the whole mixture back to your pot and turn the heat back up to medium heat.
- At this point, you want to keep stirring most of the time. Again, you don’t want the mixture to come up to a boil but you do want it to warm up to a gentle simmer. Make sure to keep stirring – otherwise it’ll stick to the bottom and the whole thing can get ruined.
- You’ll know it’s ready when your mixture thickens but also, when you stir with a wooden spoon and then run a finger through the back of your spoon – if the sides don’t join back and the line you’ve drawn stays in place, your mixture is done. This is what “coating the back of a spoon” means (in case you ever see that description).
- Once your custard is done, put it in a clean bowl but pass it through a sieve (to catch your vanilla bean and any other bits that you may not want in your final product, like bits of egg or whatever).
- Cover your custard with cling film – make sure it’s actually touching your custard so it doesn’t form a skin – and pop it in the fridge to cool down completely. I usually leave it overnight.
- Once your custard is nice and cold, put it in your ice cream machine and let it churn for about 30min, until it’s nicely frozen and it has significantly grown in volume.
- Every ice cream machine is a bit different so use yours accordingly. Mine is the KitchenAid attachment and it usually takes about 30 min to form into ice cream.
- You can eat it right away but it’s probably a bit too soft still. Put your ice cream in a freezer-safe container (I use a tupper) and let it finish freezing for a couple of hours or so.
- Serve whichever way you like best – we’re huge fans of ice cream cones over here so we just like to scoop it onto a cone and dig in!
And that’s it! Isn’t that actually super easy? There’s a bit of waiting involved but apart from that the only thing you need to be mindful of is not messing up your eggyolks – just like when you’re making custard. As long as you’re patient and gentle and just pay attention to what you’re making, this recipe is pretty bulletproof! I’d say that it’s light and creamy and not at all sickly sweet. Like I said, I don’t like ice cream that’s too sweet so I don’t put a lot of sugar in mine but if you find this not sweet enough, just add a bit more.
I really hope you give this recipe a try and love it as much as we do! It’s one of those great basic recipes that if you master you can really customise however you like and make whichever kind of ice cream you like! If you’re interested in seeing more options do let me know and I’ll post them for you. And as always, thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon!