Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 28, 2008 02:00 PM

Your BEST vanilla ice cream recipe

Ok, y'all, I'm a homemade ice cream virgin, but I'm making my first batch tomorrow.

Wow me with your very favorite recipes! I'm fine with eggs, but I don't want a "too eggy" ice cream. Just a super fabulous vanilla.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've made David Lebovitz's Philadelphia-style (eggless) vanilla ice cream and it was great. It's in his book The Perfect Scoop. You could probably find it online if you Google it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: seconds

      I've tried and played with both his recipes for vanilla ice cream - the philadelphia ice cream, which contains no eggs, and the traditional vanilla, which is made with a cooked egg custard. Our verdict was, the philadelphia ice cream was lovely, but had no aftertaste - nothing lingered in the mouth after you swallowed. We also found the traditional vanilla a little too sweet and eggy (although the egginess dissapated after four days in the freezer). Finally, I've settled on a compromise; I make the traditional vanilla, but with four egg yolks instead of six, and 120g sugar instead of 150g.

      I suggest you similarly experiment, because I think everyone has a different BEST vanilla ice cream. But whatever you do, I highly recommend that you freeze your ice cream machine's canisters the recommended amount of time, and that you chill the ice cream at least eight hours in the fridge before churning. This seems to make the biggest difference in terms of texture.

    2. I'm a big,big vanilla ice cream lover. I thought when I bought my cuisinart ice cream maker it would be primarily for sorbet. yeah, right. I haven't gotten to the sorbet yet, but it's seen alot of ice cream, and mostly vanilla. I first made the vanilla recipe that came w/ the Cuisinart. That was good. My favorite is Ben & Jerry's (they have an ice cream cookbook. As they say a good vanilla ice cream is the measure of all ice creams.

      I've also made a custard w/ more eggs, cooked chilled but can't say it's better than B&J--as you say it's kinda eggy.

      2 large eggs
      3/4 c. sugar
      2 c. heavy cream
      1 c. milk
      2 t.vanilla extract

      Whisk the eggs until light & fluffy. Slowly whisk in sugar. Then add remainder of ingredients combine well.

      9 Replies
      1. re: NYchowcook

        Well, I just trie for the first time!

        I used basically the same recipe that you suggested, NY, but made a custard on the stove top. The bottom of the pan just started to scramble, but I think I caught it in time. I did use what was in the bottom of the pot, of course. It's in the fridge chilling and will hopefully be icecream tonight. We'll see.

        Thanks so much!

        1. re: geg5150

          Did you use a double boiler when you made the custard?

          1. re: sarah galvin

            I didn't use a double boiler. But I strained it and I think it's ok.

            I did a second batch using David Lebovitz's vanilla recipe, but altered it from five egg yolks to only three.

            Here's my question, how thick should the custard be when cooking it? I think that the first batch I did was too thick. It was almost the consistency of an "unset" pudding when I put it in the canister to churn. I tasted it when it came out of the freezer and I think it was a little too rich if that's possible. The mouth feel was a little heavy. I'll taste it tomorrow when it's a little firmer.

            The other batch (from the Lebovitz recipe) was too thin, I'm afraid. It was the consistency of heavy cream when I finished cooking it. I decided to err on the side of too thin instead of scrambled eggs.

            Pampatz, I'll try an uncooked version next. And I think I'll try a Philly style eventually, too.

            And I did use a vanilla bean, I actually did the bean and some extract.

            1. re: geg5150

              The leibowitz one doesn't really get much thicker than heavy cream, especially if you lower the egg content. I chill mine overnight, and the consistency is still like heavy cream, but when you put it in the ice cream churn, it should be perfectly fine. That's where it gets most of its body and texture, in my experience. Mine comes out fudgy but light.

              What happened when you put it in the churn? Or didn't you churn it?

              1. re: Gooseberry

                It came out fine and wow, so tasty!!! It was a little melty, but I'm sure that the little bit that's left will set up fine.

                1. re: geg5150

                  Yes, that's my experience too. Give it a night in the freezer to firm up, and all you need is a spoon. Mmm.

                  And I've found with certain flavours that the flavour gets stronger the longer you 'age' it in the freezer. I've not really tried this with vanilla though. tends to get eaten too quickly.

              2. re: geg5150

                It should be a thin custard. After all, the 'setting' comes with the freezing. As much as I love vanilla, I have cracked 2 or 3 green cardamom pods into the custard as I am making it and infusing it with this flavour. Omigod!

            2. re: geg5150

              If you stained the custard, it should be OK.

              Next time, try this. NYs recipe is very similar to mine. In addition to the vanilla extract, I scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean into the mixture.
              If you have a stand mixer, this is a breeze.

              Pur the eggs and sugar into the mixer bowl and turn it on to low to combine. Increase speed to medium. Note that the color of the mixture is yellow. Beat until the color changes to a creamy color and the mixture increases in volume - 3-4 minutes. You have now "cooked" the eggs.
              Add the cream, milk and extract. Mixture can go directly into your ice cream freezer. No chilling required.

              This basic recipe can be altered by adding fruit. Our favorite is fresh peach. Peel and chop 2-3 ripe peaches. Add 1/4 c. more sugar.

              Strawberries and blackberries also work well.
              Good luck.

              1. re: Pampatz

                I use the whole vanilla bean when I make a cooked (w/ heat) custard. otherwise Penzey's vanilla extract lends a fine vanilla flavor.
                I have some blackberries frozen from last summer so I'm thinking of adding to ice cream. However I'm concerned about the water content. peaches seem to work fine in ice cream. However when I used strawberries, they were unpleasantly hard in the ice cream.

          2. Although this recipe calls for 4 to 6 eggs (I use the 6) I don't think it tastes "too eggy." People really seem to love the old fashion taste of this vanilla.

            One Hundred Year Old Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
            4 to 6 eggs
            1 1/4 cup sugar
            5 cups milk (Can be a combo of large can of Carnation evaporated milk and milk or /12 & 1/2. The canned milk actually give the old fashion flavor more of a boost)
            2 1/4 cups heavy cream
            1/2 tsp salt
            4 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

            Beat the eggs and sugar. Continue to beat well until the mix is very stiff. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a chilled gallon size freezer and freeze according to manufacturers directions.

            Pack and freeze

            1. I've been using Alton Brown's "9,8,3,2,1" recipe he used on his "Churn, Baby, Churn 2" episode. It's actually a great starting-off point for all kinds of ice cream.