French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Flecked with tiny vanilla seeds, this simple delicacy is a treat for the eye as well as the palate. One taste, and you may never go back to standard store-bought ice cream!


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3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans
5 egg yolks

1. Mix the cream, milk, and sugar together in a heavy saucepan.

2. Slit vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the tiny seeds into the cream mixture. Add the pods as well.

3. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Pluck out the vanilla pods and discard.

5. Reheat the mixture over a medium flame.

6. Whisk the egg yolks together in a spacious, heat-tolerant bowl. Temper the yolks by slowly adding one cup of the hot cream mixture while whisking vigorously.

7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk the tempered yolks into the saucepan, creating custard. Stir constantly until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Immediately strain it into a clean bowl.

8. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature (approximately one hour) and then refrigerate it for 4–6 hours, or overnight.

9. Place the cold custard in the canister of your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

10. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover, and freeze for at least 4-6 hours to firm up.

NOTE: For best flavor, always remove ice cream from the freezer 20 minutes before serving, or place it in the microwave for 20 seconds.



Preparation Time: 
90 minutes plus 9–13 hours downtime.