Vanilla Ice Cream

Total Time:
8 hr 18 min
8 min
8 hr
10 min

1 1/2 quarts


Place the half-and-half and the heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.

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    Delicious. Used 5 egg yolks, reduced sugar to 7 oz (might try 6 oz next time), and upped vanilla to 3 tsp because didn't have vanilla sugar.
    My initial thought was it was a white vanilla ice cream but its more like frozen creamy creme brulee and light yellow in color. But taste good.  
    My rating to three star because its not like usual vanilla ice cream we are used to both in taste and color.
    OHH YEA. Actually the first time I have ever made ice cream so I am so glad I used this recipe. To be exact. I used Paula Deen's Oatmeal Rasin cookie recipe and Alton's ice cream and made sammies.... Thanks Alton
    Delicious and creamy! It was like making creme brûlée then you put it in the ice cream maker.
    Like others have said, do use two vanilla beans. Why not, mine were only $14 at the grocery store! Next time I'll order online at a fraction of the cost. It's not the creamiest ice cream I've ever had, but this is so easy and better than store-bought.
    Super creamy, came out like frozen custard. I substituted 1 cup of half and half and it is still the creamiest ice cream ever.
    So .. 
    .. Freaking .. 
    .... Good ...........
    Delicious! I actually had vanilla sugar that I had made, so I made great use out of it. I also used a cup of almond milk instead of using all that half-and-half. The ice cream still came out creamy and wonderful.
    One word.........INCREDIBLE!!!!
    absolutely excellent recipe. I followed it completely, with the exception of adding another tsp of vanilla instead of vanilla sugar. If you taste the custard before you freeze it - remember that things become less sweet once frozen, so don't panic. Delicious, creamy, and melts in your mouth :
    Best ice cream I ever made! I did put in a vanilla bean when I heated the cream/ half and half mixture, otherwise I didn't change anything! Rich and creamy!
    Great recipe! If you watch the video this is a very easy recipe that taste great!
    Delicious! The ice cream is very rich, more like frozen custard. If you prefer lighter ice cream I wouldn't use this recipe. It is also very sweet. I love it! I did use 3 tsp vanilla instead of vanilla sugar.
    If you want a sugar free version, essentially, add 1/2 tsp of xantham gum, 1 Tbl of honey, and 2 Tbl of vanilla liquor instead of the sugar. Came out creamy (no ice crystals that usually form w/sugar free because of the x gum and alcohol and delicious. Husband said no one would suspect it's not regular ice cream - great taste and texture. For you diabetics out there, a godsend.
    Awesome! Made it for Thanksgiving to go over hot cobbler, yummy! Will make again!
    Yep, it was GREAT. I made Alton's chocolate ice cream, and IT was even better.
    In this vanilla recipe, I just HAD to add about half a package of oreo double stuf cookies, broken (break them BEFORE freezing them...the double stuff gets super hard. I cut them with a knife into 6ths.
    This was so daughter has asked me to make this on her next birthday.
    Absolutely perfect. I ate it with caramel sauce and just a tiny sprinkling of sea salt.
    I made the recipe as written with the exception of using a little extra vanilla instead of vanilla sugar. This ice cream was smoother and creamier than the homemade ice cream of my youth. It was the perfect amount for my mixer's ice cream attachment. It's so good!
    Love this recipe. I'm a true southern girl and it is the best homemade ice cream. I followed the recipe exactly. It came out rich and creamy. Next time I will make more barely had enough for everyone.
    Easy to make , tried it , liked it, simple!
    This recipe and the chocolate ice cream one from the same episode are amazing. The ice cream is soft and scoopable even when frozen to a hard state. 
    Regarding the vanilla sugar, I used 1/2c of raw wildflower honey instead. I've also used sucanat and coconut palm sugar in place of the vanilla sugar. I think the goal of the vanilla sugar is to provide sweetness with an additional depth of flavor.  
    My dad has problems with dairy so I substituted 1 qt of coconut cream (tetrapak packaged, not canned) and halved the eggs due to the richness and thickness of the coconut.  
    Alton's technique worked great with my substitutions and the coolest thing about the coconut milk ice cream is that it turns into coconut custard when it melts! Coconut is a healthy saturated fat that holds its shape at room temperature, hence halving the eggs when using it.
    AB's recipe is just like the one I use to make Egg Nog. So I felt free to tweak it so it was as easy as that is. I took the half and half and heavy cream, put them in a 4 cup glass measuring cup and microwaved it on high for 4 minutes. Scrap off the skin that forms on the top and then gradually add it to the whipped sugar and egg yolks in a pan on the stove. Also, I added 2 tablespoons vodka with the vanilla. It keeps the ice cream from getting rock hard like all homemade ice creams after being in the freezer for a while. I can't wait to try his chocolate ice cream recipe.
    I am a trained culinarian, and I don't often use other Chef's recipes, but when I do I refer to A.B.'s work, Stay with Alton my friends.
    first off, vanilla sugar, totally not necessary, i just used a little extra vanilla extract. Also, im not sure why previous users cut back on the eggs, is it cost? I used all 8 eggs and the flavor is great! Seriously though, add the cream mixture SLOWLY to the eggs, you cant go too slow, but you will ruin the texture if you add it too fast. Although, dont throw it out if you do, the flavor is still great! 
    amazing recipe, best vanilla ice cream i have ever had!
    this recipe was super easy to make and taste deliciouse. and guess what! im only 12!! im a smart cookie. yumm
    I just got my ice cream attachment for my kitchen aid and I couldn't wait to use it! This is the first recipe my husband and I tried. The ice cream was savory, not too sweet. We paired it with the Peach and Nectarine Pie (Recipe courtesy Love Apple Farm, Randae Loken peach pie ) oh course! Which was a perfect pairing We will definitely be making this ice cream again.
    Can anyone explain why one recipe (Churn Baby Churn II) calls for heavy cream and (Churn Baby Churn) the other whipping cream? My recollection is that AB said that heavy cream has a negative affect on texture.
    Also, Haagen Dazs uses cream and skim milk. Has anyone compared -- like a home mini taste test, if you will -- AB's two recipes against Haagen Dazs's?
    I normally get annoyed when people modify these recipes pretty significantly and then rate them - whether they rate them as 5 stars or as 1 star, they're not rating the recipe. They're rating THEIR recipe. And cutting the amount of eggs in half (or by an even larger margin) is a significant modification.

    But, after reading EVERY review, while I didn't keep count, it seemed like more than half of the reviewers cut the eggs by a large margin. In the face of a strong majority opinion, I cut my egg yolks from 9 to 6.

    I did not have (or have time to make) vanilla sugar, so I upped the vanilla extract by one half teaspoon. I used this as a base for cinnamon ice cream, my favorite. I won't get into the specifics of how I added the cinnamon vs. how I probably should've added the cinnamon, but I will say that the final product was absolutely out of sight. I wanted to sit down on the kitchen floor and eat the whole batch of fresh soft serve.

    The reason I don't feel hypocritcal in reviewing this recipe after making modifications to it is simple... the "egg custard" flavor was noticeable in my 6-yolk version. Had I gone 9, it would've been stronger. Had I gone 3, it would've been weaker. It's a personal taste thing, and obviously many don't like that. I am sure that I would've loved it with 3 yolks or with 9. However, the overall process, the detail with which AB explains how to execute each step properly, is going to result in an outstanding product.
    one of the gtreat memories from my childhood is my father making ice cream in an old hand crank churn (you know the kind, with the wooden slats and the ice and rock salt). Commercial ice cream, and I don't care how much you pay for it, just isn't as good as the hand made thing. I was lucky enough to come across a new in the box electric ice cream maker at a thrift shop, but lacking a recipe for a base I turned to my favorite cooking show. My son and I made white chocolate pecan ice cream with this base. Not only did I make a whole new great memory, but a screamin' batch of ice cream as well. This is easily as good as the stuff I remember from my childhood, sorry dad, it might even be better.
    Was surprised to read so many reviews claiming the recipe was "too eggy" or "too sweet." I trust Alton Brown and chose to make his recipe exactly (except I had a vanilla bean when scalding milk and didn't use extract). It was perfect. Alton Brown does not haphazardly put out a recipe. Trust him--do exactly as it is printed.
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