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homemade vanilla ice cream

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

  • Author: Tonya | The Midwest Kitchen Blog
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 10 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 11 hours
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: stove top


Sweet, delicious, and creamy homemade vanilla ice cream is a delightful treat. 


This rich homemade vanilla ice cream recipe is made using whole vanilla beans, organic whole milk, heavy whipping cream, eggs, and sugar.  A few ways you can serve this ice cream is with homemade chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, over a warm apple crisp, or baked spiced pears.


  • 1 whole vanilla bean, or 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar


How to Prepare Vanilla Bean for Ice Cream:

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise. Open up the vanilla bean, and run your knife along the inside to scrape out all the seeds. Repeat with the other half of the vanilla bean. Add the vanilla bean seeds and pods to a medium pot. 

How to Make the Ice Cream Base:

  1. In addition to the vanilla bean or vanilla extract add in the heavy cream, whole milk, and salt. Mix together. Heat the milk/cream mixture until it starts to steam, but not boil or simmer. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. While you are waiting for the milk/ cream mixture to warm up, start separating your eggs. The easiest way to separate the egg yolks from the whites is to crack the whole egg into one bowl. Using your hands, gently scoop out the yolk. Allow the egg whites to fall down into the bowl through your fingers. Then add the egg yolk into a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the other 4 eggs.
  3. Next, add the sugar and whisk the eggs and sugar until it becomes pale yellow in color, light and fluffy, and has a silky ribbon consistency, for 2 - 3 minutes. It will be chunky at first but keep whisking.

Temper the Eggs:

  1. Pour 2 cups of your warm milk/ cream mixture into a measuring cup. Add a few tablespoons of the milk/ cream to the egg mixture, then whisk to combine. Add a few more tablespoons, whisk. Then add ¼ cup and whisk. Repeat until all the milk is gone from the measuring cup.
  2. Next, pour your egg/ milk/ cream mixture back into the pot, whisking in the remaining milk in the pot. Cook this mixture on low heat until the ice cream base has thickened a little and has reached a temperature between 170F and 175F degrees, mixing occasionally. Your mixture will look creamy and will start to steam. This will take about 20 minutes.
  3. Once your mixture is up to temperature, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve/ strainer into a large mixing bowl, to remove any egg chunks and the vanilla bean pod.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the ice cream mixture to cool on the counter for 2 hours, then transfer it to the refrigerator to cool completely for another 2 - 4 hours. 

Churning the Ice Cream Base:

  1. Churn your ice cream base according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Your ice cream should look soft, fluffy, and incredibly creamy, like soft-serve ice cream. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer your homemade ice cream into freezer-safe containers to completely freeze, for about 6 - 8 hours. Enjoy!


Homemade ice cream can last for several weeks in the freezer.

Keywords: ice cream, vanilla ice cream, homemade, homemade ice cream, homemade vanilla ice cream recipe

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