Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base

1 gallon total
  • 10 cups heavy cream
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 24 large egg yolks
  • Variations:
  • Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream:
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped in chunks
  • Strawberry Cheese Cake Ice Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves, no sugar added
  • 1/2 frozen strawberry cheesecake, cut in large chunks
  • 10 large fresh strawberries, halved
  • Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream:
  • 1 tube ready to bake peanut butter cookie dough, cut in large pieces

To make the vanilla ice cream: Combine the cream, milk, salt, and 2 cups of the sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife; add them to the pot and toss in the pods for added flavor. Place the cream mixture over medium heat, and bring up to a simmer; stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Ideally, the temperature should reach 175 degrees F (just below scalding) for a smooth-textured ice cream; this should take about 15 minutes. Shut off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the cream mixture to steep for 15 minutes to further infuse the vanilla flavor.

In the meantime, combine the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and blend them lightly with a wire whisk. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are thick and pale yellow; about 6 minutes.

Using a large ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by gradually whisking in about 4 cups of the hot cream mixture. Return this back to the rest of the cream in the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you run your finger across it, about 10 to 12 minutes (do not let boil.)

Pour the vanilla custard through a fine strainer into another pot* and chill completely in a sink full of ice, stirring here and there; this should take about 1 hour. Ideally, let the ice cream base "age" overnight in the refrigerator before churning in an ice cream maker to improve the flavor and texture of the final product – but it is still good if you decide to process it right away. Divide the ice cream into quarts** and churn each in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. When done, the ice cream will be the consistency of "soft serve." ***To harden the ice cream fully, freeze in plastic covered containers.

Flavor Variations:

*To make the Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream: Heat 3/4 up of milk in a pot over medium-low heat. Add 12 ounces of the chopped chocolate and stir until completely melted. Pour 1 quart of the strained hot vanilla ice cream base into the melted chocolate and stir until very well incorporated. Chill and process as directed in the master recipe. Fold in the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Churn another 1 to 2 minutes just until combined.

**To make the Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: Mix the strawberry preserves into the vanilla custard just before you start churning in the ice cream maker. Add the pieces of strawberry cheesecake and fresh strawberries after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 5 minutes or until combined but still chunky.

***To make the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Add the pieces of cookie dough after churning while the ice cream is in the "soft-serve" stage. Continue to churn for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until combined but still chunky.

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    Made this for a family reunion. We have been making ice cream for years but this year I decided to try this much richer and also more time consuming recipe of Tylers. It was worth it!! My entire family absolutely loved it. The vanilla beans were more expensive than I was expecting and almost just used vanilla extract but I'm so glad I didn't, everyone noticed the little black specs from the real vanilla beans. It was the grand finale of the potluck and a great way to end the day spent with family from both coasts.
    This does sound wonderful, but, I ate vanilla icecream made with instant pudding at a birthday party. It was the best I have ever eaten, AND I make ice cream all the time. Could anyone tell me how it is made? Please.
    Always bought the packets at the store, won't be doing that for awhile (considering you can't get them out of season). First time I made ice cream from scratch, tasted delicious, and family loved it. Will definitely make more-and we live down from a DQ!!!!
    My first job was at an ice cream parlor where we made our own ice cream. That was 24 years ago and I've never had ice cream as good since then. Until today. I made this vanilla ice cream today to put in pint containers and give away as party favors for a party tomorrow night. The reviews of this recipe sold me, so I tried it. It's AMAZING. Creamy, smooth, sweet (but not too sweet...I disagree with some of the other reviews saying it's too sweet), and it freezes beautifully. My party guests are going to amazed! Thank you, Tyler, for this recipe. It'll be the only one I ever use.
    Made this with raw goats milk and it really was the best I had ever made.
    The kids have been begging me to make more!
    Truly decadent ice cream!!! I divided the batch in to three smaller batches...1- vanilla 2- cinnamon and 3- choc chip. There was a happy family all around. Thanks so much it was a hit!!!
    Just like my mama used to make when we had chickens and more eggs than we could count and a cow and more cream than we could use and we thought we were under priviledged.
    My 3 friends are chefs from a wonderful restaurant in town, after dinner, I served them this ice cream, they were so impressed that it was home made, they wanted seconds! Said it was the best ice cream they ever had, but I did put in my own flavor Coffee/Mocha.
    great ice cream recipe for making several different kinds at once. This is one of those great recipes that you can take in any direction.
    I have tried at least a dozen recipes but nothing as good as this, but I did cut it in 1/2, turned out soooo good!
    Thanks Tyler.
    This was my very first go at ice cream and this recipe was amazing. I divided it in three and it yielded just about the right amount of liquid to put in my 1 1/2 quart capacity machine. The vanilla flavor and creamy texture were just so good. I served it to about 15 people and they all loved it; the only regret was that I didn't make another batch. The recipe has a number of steps; relax and enjoy the process knowing that you will have a delectable treat at the end.
    I have a 6 qt. ice cream maker and this recipe made just the right amount for one single batch. I had over a gallon of ice cream once it was frozen. I tasted the finished product and loved it. I've volunteered to make this for a 1st birthday party and know it will go over well. It's definitely worth the time.
    i have cut the recipe in half and it still made a gallon. this is the perfect base to start with and then you can get creative and add anything and everything from that point on.
    I just got an ice cream maker and this was the first recipe I tried. Very good, rich and creamy. Ours had tiny little "pops" in the texture - I don't know if it was little ice crystals, or if my vanilla beans were just old and the seeds were a little "crisper" than they should be. Very good nonetheless. Highly recommended.
    This is a good base for Ice Cream. I cut this in half, other wise I have too much base. Try adding your favotite nuts or cookie dough, kicks this base up a notch.
    Excellent Recipe...
    So tasty. A little work but well worth it1
    This french vanilla was a great accompaniment to the apple pie I served at a dinner party. Read the instructions carefully BEFORE you start. It takes some patience - but it is worth the effort!
    The flavor and texture is awesome! Easily the best homemade ice cream I've ever had (sorry grandma), and it was the first time I've ever made it myself!

    Tip: If you are using a 2 Quart ice cream maker like me, make a third of this recipe and it's the perfect amount (3 1/3 cups cream, 1 2/3 cups milk)
    Hands down, best ice cream EVER.
    After trying over 10 recipes, this one takes the cake, my searching is now over. The vanilla is amazing and the Chocolate is even better. I used dark chocolate and all I can say is WOW.
    A little work, but makes excellent custard quality ice cream.
    My God, it's so good, this been a hit with my kids, they love it, and also helped, at the kitchen.
    This tasted good but took a long time to freeze
    This has got to be the best Icecream receipe in the whole world. It is not hard to make but it is easyer with two people. I would suggest to make a half batch because it is a very large amount otherwise. To do this I would use two vanilla beans. Unless you don't like strong vanilla taste then use one. At first the icecream will have a strong vanilla taste but it goes away over time.
    I saw Tyler's ice cream segment and I got excited about the idea of having a chef's recipe for ice cream. I'd tried so many other recipes and they were just o.k. I even created my own, but they seemed to lack the quality I was looking for. I wanted ice cream that was better than store bought. I mean afterall, why go through the time and expense of making homemade ice cream if store bought is better? I made the vanilla base and I could tell right away that the cream was going to be rich and thick. I decided to make chocolate ice cream and I kid you not, the cream mixture tasted like chocolate butter cream frosting and it wasn't even frozen yet! I followed the instructions to the tee and got a silky smooth consistency that was simply divine. I did freeze it over night as suggested and the result was ice cream that looked store bought but tasted so much better. Tyler, I've been freezing homemade for 30 plus years and searching that long for the perfect ice cream base. It took these many years to find it but it was worth it and I'll be using it for the next 30 years. Thank you so much.
    a half of a batch is enough to fill 2 ziplock containers
    It is a little bit difficult but it make excellent ice cream, I usually cut the recipe in half
    I have eaten a lot of homemade ice cream but this is the best ever. The texture is the best. If you are going to the trouble of making homemade ice cream you should definately go the extra mile with this recipe.
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