Ice Cream Sunday: French Vanilla Ice Cream

Simply a classic flavor and a must-have for your ice-cream recipe collection. I found this one on the blog of the author of The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz. Although I don’t own his book yet, I see his recipes popping up all over the world of food blogging and have tried a few–all fabulous. I plan to purchase my own copy soon.

This ice cream uses a lot of egg yolks in the custard base, which makes for an ultra-smooth and creamy ice cream. Simply scrumptious. It rivals the top brands for sale in the grocery stores, in my opinion. Anyhow, don’t toss out those egg whites after separating out the yolks. I used mine to make an angel food cake. Actually, I made the cake first then needed to use up the yolks, which is why I made ice cream.

Also, don’t toss the vanilla bean pods after scraping out the beans. David Lebovitz says, “After use, rinse and dry your beans on a plate until they’re brittle, then burrow them in a container of sugar. Not only will they add their lovely scent to the sugar, but you can re-use the beans for anything, from adding to a pot of poaching fruit to jam-making. I also like to pulverize the dried beans with sugar in a food processor and use it in cake and cookie batters.”

He also provides background info about vanilla extract and vanilla beans in his post if you feel inclined to learn more.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, you can still make ice cream at home. Check out how on Brown-Eyed Baker’s site. Or, like me, purchase the Cuisinart Ice-Cream Maker at Costco for only $29.99; it works beautifully.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

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  • 1 cup whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks (or 8 if you want richer, creamier ice cream)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
  2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk, then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour (if you do this too fast and don’t whisk, you’ll end up with bits of cooked egg). Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula (170 degrees F on a candy thermometer). You’ll also know custard is done when you begin to feel it cook as you scrape the bottom of the pan with the spatula. Another test is to run your finger across the spatula coated with custard; it should leave a definite trail that doesn’t flow back together.
  5. Immediately strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir frequently over ice until cool (and to stop the cooking), add vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly–at least 8 hours but preferably overnight.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

SOURCE: David Lebovitz

One thought on “Ice Cream Sunday: French Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. Pingback: What’s Cooking in My Kitchen (cakes, cookies, cupcakes, mini pies, and ice cream) | Scrumptious and Sumptuous

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