Make Ahead

French Vanilla Ice Cream

April 18, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
Author Notes

I’m not sure what makes this ice cream “French, ” but I am sure that it is the best-tasting vanilla ice cream ever. I've been making it so long I can't remember when I started - AND, if I go to long without it in the freezer, my friends call me on it. ;) It's such a good recipe that in summertime when I want to make a fruit "ripple," I always start with this for the basic recipe. —ChefJune

What You'll Need
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Bourbon Madagascar vanilla extract (the vanilla I prefer for all desserts)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of a small sharp knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the bean and the seeds to the milk in the top of a double boiler. Scald the milk mixture.
  2. Mix sugar and salt. Add the hot milk, stirring constantly, and return to the double boiler. Stir over boiling water until thickened.
  3. Beat the eggs and add a small portion of the hot mixture stirring all the while you are adding it. (You don't want to end up with scrambled eggs!) Return to the remaining hot mixture and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture coats a metal spoon. Chill thoroughly.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and cream, and freeze in a hand-crank or electric freezer, following the instructions given with either.
  5. Teacher’s Tips: 1. Make the ice cream up to step 4 and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, it’s a snap to add the cream and churn it to perfect consistency. Do let it “set up” in the freezer for several hours before serving so the flavor reaches its peak. 2. When the ice cream is partially frozen, you can choose from many interesting adds to toss into the mixture: M and M’s, chopped Oreo’s, buttered, toasted pecans, chocolate chips… Let your imagination bring out the kid in you!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • juleeclip
  • mrslarkin
  • luizinha
30+ years a chef, educator, writer, consultant, "winie," travel guide/coordinator

5 Reviews

luizinha August 5, 2014
Bourbon Madgascar vanilla extract. where do you get all these things. It is nice you are giving the receipes it is hard to find all these ingredients. There are some people who are not into baking get all these products. Thanks [email protected]
luizinha August 5, 2014
also pure cane sugar
luizinha August 5, 2014
where do you get Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste
can you email me at [email protected]
juleeclip January 4, 2014
This sounds great, but haven't seen a french vanilla ice cream recipe yet that uses whole eggs. Should it just be the egg yolks, or is this correct?
mrslarkin May 30, 2013
omg. sounds delish. and i have the perfect thing to pour over it. ;)