Recipe courtesy of Jerry Traunfeld

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
You can make vanilla ice cream without egg yolks, but if you’re going to make it at home, I think that custard base gives you the wonderful creamy mouth-feel you’re looking for in an ice cream.



  1. Prepare the custard base: Pour the milk, cream, and sugar (1 C + 2 tbsp) into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While it’s heating, add the egg yolks to a bowl and place it over a larger bowl filled with hot water. Whisk the yolks as the hot water heats them. They should feel warm to the touch. Set aside.
  2. Infuse the custard: As the milk mixture continues to heat add a pinch of salt. Split the vanilla bean by cutting it lengthwise to open it up. Then, run a knife lengthwise and scrape the vanilla beans onto the knife. Scrape the beans back onto the vanilla pod and add the pod with beans to the milk mixture. The instant the cream comes to a rolling boil and rises in the pot, lift it off the heat. With the whisk in one hand and the saucepan in the other, pour the boiling cream into the egg yolks as you whisk constantly but gently. Don’t whisk rapidly or you will cool the custard before the yolks have a chance to set. At this point the custard should be fully cooked. An instant-read thermometer set in the custard should register 170 F to 180 F and it will coat a teaspoon (if for some reason it did not get hot enough, you can pour it back in the pot and very slowly heat it up, stirring with a rubber spatula). Cool the ice cream mixture by placing the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice or chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  3. Make the ice cream: When the ice cream mixture has chilled, strain it through a chinois using a ladle to get all of the custard through. Pour into a well frozen ice cream maker (use according to the manufacturer’s directions) and churn until it’s ice cream, about 20 minutes. Place the ice cream into a container and freeze for 1-2 hours. (This is called tempering so the ice cream is scoopable.) Then, scoop and serve. Garnish with blueberries and raspberries.