Stay cool this summer with rich, creamy, delicious homemade ice cream—it’s the best kind there is. Here, we show you how to make it from scratch, step by step. Start by watching our step-by-step video, then master the frozen dessert yourself with a recipe for vanilla ice cream (scroll down for a few of our favorite tasty variations!).
French Vanilla Ice Cream
6 large eggs
1 large, soft vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) whole milk
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) heavy cream
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) granulated sugar
|Serve the ice cream
To serve the ice cream, dip an ice cream scoop into hot water and warm briefly. Pull the scoop across the ice cream to form a rounded scoop. Store any remaining ice cream, tightly covered, in the freezer.
Use the same custard base above to make other ice cream flavors! Here are some of our favorites.
Espresso: Instead of adding the vanilla bean and pod, stir in 1/4 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) coarsely ground espresso. Proceed with the recipe to make the custard and churn the ice cream. Give it an extra jolt of flavor by pouring a spoonful or two of Kahlua over each serving. You can also add 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans during the last 5 minutes of churning.
Cinnamon: Instead of adding the vanilla bean and pod, stir in one 3-inch (7.5 cm) cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon. Proceed with the recipe to make the custard and churn the ice cream (be sure to remove the cinnamon stick before you start churning.
Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl: Make 1 batch of the French Vanilla ice cream and a batch of chocolate sauce (let cool to room temperature). Using an offset spatula, layer about one-fifth of the ice cream in a deep 1 1/2-qt. (1.5-l) freezerproof container. Spread 1/4-1/3 cup (2-3 fl. oz./60-80 ml) of the sauce on top of the ice cream. Repeat the layering process to use all of the ice cream and one-half to three-fourths of the chocolate sauce, ending with a layer of ice cream. Save the remaining sauce for another use. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days. To serve, scoop down through several layers to form the swirls.
Caramel: In a deep, 2-qt. saucepan, combine 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) granulated sugar, 2 Tbs. water, 2 tsp. light corn syrup and 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Warm over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear and bubbling, 1-2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a rich amber. Remove from the heat and slowly pour 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream into the caramel, stirring until smooth. If it isn’t smooth, return to low heat and stir again until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
In a small saucepan, stir together 1/1 2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) whole milk and 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream. Stir in the caramel mixture. Warm over medium heat, stirring often, until small bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together 6 large egg yolks and 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream until blended. Whisk one-fourth of the caramel-milk mixture into the yolks. Then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining caramel-ilk mixture. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, 4-5 minutes. Proceed with the recipe starting at the step where you cool the custard, then churn and serve.