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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4.9 40
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Recipe courtesy of Patrick and Gina Neely