Homemade Vanilla Icecream


Ever made your own icecream? I've made it a few times, including a semifreddo phase I went through in the early nineties. THAT one was bad for my bum.

But I've never made a 'custard' based icecream. I wanted to try this because being pregnant I can't eat anything with raw eggs in it – which most homemade icecreams have.

This recipe is based on the AMAZING David Lebovitz's vanilla recipe here, with, I admit, a few steps skipped out. He's the king of the scoop, David Lebovitz, and I wonder if I'd stuck to his method, if it really could have been any more sublime. Truly. This stuff rocks. 

I served it for lunchtime dessert to a bunch of friends on Sunday (with this pavlova) a pairing which conveniently uses up all the whites of the yolks you used in the icecream! 

SO good. 

Here's the recipe:

Vanilla Icecream (Recipe by David Lebovitz – with a couple of minor adjustments (*cough*, short-cuts)



1 cup (250ml) whole milk

A pinch of salt

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon 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 and remove from heat.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

4. Stir the custard into the heavy cream, add the vanilla extract and remove the vanilla bean.

5. Either put into an icecream maker (which has a pre-frozen bowl and freezes the mix quickest) or a container with a lid or foil over it, in the freezer. Needs at least 8 hours to really freeze through. If you're using an icecream maker make you would usually pull it out and blend it again when semi-frozen (after 3-4 hours). I don't think this is necessary though. Still the creamiest, vanilla-y, most delicious icecream I've ever tried. 

There's about 2 small scoops left. Which I think Ad and I might polish off shortly with a small slice of this (even though it's not Friday night dessert night!!)

A new chocolate cake recipe with 4 eggs in it! (I only ever use 2.) Will try it and if it's any good, will blog it!

(All in the interest of recipe testing, of course. The things my bum and I do for you gorgeous people.)



11 Comments on “Homemade Vanilla Icecream

Sarah, Maison Cupcake
May 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

That ice cream looks good – I am on the verge of making some strawberry icecream myself today but today keeps stretching into tomorrow and then have to go out and buy the strawberries again because we’ve eaten them.

I notice in your side bar you are intending to read a Primo Levi book. I read The Drowned and The Saved and If This is a Man years ago. I can’t remember which book was which but the story about what happened to him and his fellow POWs upon release from the camp desperately trying to get back to Italy was almost as horrific as their time in there and made the most impact on me.

Hear Mum Roar
May 18, 2010 at 11:18 pm

We had an ice cream maker at our old place, which we got rid of when we moved. We plan to get a bigger one eventually.

How clever are you for coming up with an egg free version?

May 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I’m trying your home-made baked beans recipe tonight. My old one had bacon in it so it’s been chucked! Will try this icecream at some stage. It looks fab! But what is “heavy cream”? Does it have more fat than regular cream (like the ridiculously elusive double cream)? Hmm, might be harder to track down than a vanilla bean – I’m sure I’ve seen them somewhere!

May 19, 2010 at 9:36 am

Yum yum yum.

Looks good… I’m proud to say that I’m an avid home-icecream maker, graduated to a fully in-built compressor icecream maker when I was pregnant as the old machine had seen so many years of use and wasn’t freezing well, and the pregnancy cravings were icecream. When I never really ate that much icecream before (i was much more of a sorbet girl)…

Anyway, it’s fun coming up with new varities and mixing and matching. David Lebovitz has some great recipes, I have been lusting after his icecream book for a while and follow his blog religiously. Have to recommend though, a great book that I just couldn’t do without for icecream: Frozen Desserts: The Definitive Guide to Making Ice Creams, Ices, Sorbets, Gelati, and Other Frozen Delights by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir. Great recipes, explanation of the science behind it and ways to vary and make your own whilst maintaining perfect consistency…

Ice cream cakes rock too… – a few pictures of mine..

May 19, 2010 at 10:07 am



you’re making me hungry fi….

May 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

custard based ice cream… oh man YUM! Just YUM!

May 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Hi Sarah, I think the book you’re talking about might be The Truce – I’m reading it after If This Is A Man (which is full on but really amazing.) Adam and I spent a bit of time in Poland and went to Auschwitz so it’s all very visual for me.

Also: I have bought 2 big lots of strawberries specifically to make jam and they never last long enough to hit the saucepan!!! I’m hearing you!

May 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I know, I think ‘heavy cream’ is another English-ism (or maybe it’s French, given that’s where David Lebovitz lives.) Dunno. I used double cream which worked well but there’s no way I could strain it like he asks, hence some of the short cutting. Can you get something other than whipping/thin cream at all in Germany? And if you need me to send you a vanilla bean I will. I don’t think it’d be as good even with proper extract. And you would love this. So would Jules. xxx

May 19, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Your icecream cake looks SO YUMMY! what a fab idea.

May 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm

To be honest, there’s more cream than you can poke a stick at here. I just have no clue what it all means! But I did finally track down Creme Double at one supermarket so I will use that. I mixed it with Greek yoghurt to make Delia Smith’s rhubarb creme brulee. Simple simple (not a proper one clearly) and DIVINE!

Alex Nolan
May 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Heavy cream is NOT an English-ism. Blame the kiwis if you need to find a culprit! We have single cream, double cream, whipping cream, soured cream, creme fraiche, but no heavy cream! In NZ I can never find anything but ‘cream’. That’s it. No more info than that.


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