Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I have owned my ice cream maker for several years but I never use it regularly.  Over the past year I tried to make a batch of ice cream every few months to experiment with different flavors and expose my toddler to something new.  We have tried toasted marshmallow, coffee, and vanilla.  I discovered some great recipes on David Leibovitz blog and I knew I found something great.  My philosophy is, if I’m going to go through the trouble of making something from scratch, I want to find the best recipe possible.  I have to say, the vanilla ice cream is custard based, which adds an additional step to most other recipes, but it’s worth the extra time once you taste it.

When I first reviewed the recipe it seemed daunting, but if you break it down into three phases, infusing the milk, making the custard/ice cream base and then turning the ice cream, it will be more manageable.  Add this one to your recipe bucket list because it is the best vanilla ice cream I have ever had and I’m so happy my toddler was part of the process and tasted something so great.

Recipe Source: David Lebovitz: Vanilla Ice Cream




Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Yields: 1 Quart


  • 1 Cups - Whole Milk
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup - Sugar
  • 1 - Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 Cups - Heavy Cream
  • 5 - Large Eggs Yolks
  • 1 Teaspoon - Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. Phase 1- Infusing the Milk: In a saucepan over medium heat add the milk, salt and sugar until sugar is dissolved
  2. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk and add the bean pod to the milk
  3. Cover, remove from heat and infuse the milk and vanilla for 1 hour
  4. Phase 2 - Making the Ice Cream Base: After the 1 hour is complete set up an ice bath. Partially fill a large bowl with ice and water, place a smaller bowl inside and set a strainer over the top
  5. Pour the heavy cream into the top bowl and set aside while you prepare the custard
  6. Rewarm the milk and in a bowl stir together the 5 eggs yolks. Add a small ladle full of the warm milk to the eggs, whisk constantly as you pour
  7. Once the eggs are tempered with the warm milk, add the eggs to the remaining milk on the stove
  8. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula. Once the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula, the custard is complete
  9. Pour the custard through the strainer and into the heavy cream. Remove the strainer and stir over the ice until cool
  10. Add the vanilla extract, stir. Add the vanilla bean from the strainer into the ice cream base. Refrigerate in an air tight container until chill thoroughly (preferably overnight)
  11. Add the ice cream machine internal bowl into the freezer, if you have not done so already.
  12. Phase 3 - Making the Ice Cream: Prepare the ice cream machine with the frozen internal bowl. Take the chilled ice cream base from the refrigerator and remove the vanilla bean with a slotted spoon
  13. Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream machine and turn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions. I turned my ice cream for 15 minutes

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