This luscious French Vanilla Ice Cream is made with a custard base and vanilla bean for the smoothest, creamiest texture and the richest, most luxurious taste.
French Vanilla Ice Cream is a French-style ice cream made with an egg yolk custard base. (As opposed to a Philadelphia-style ice cream that does not contain egg yolks.) This creates the creamiest, smoothest, luxuriously rich ice cream.
Replacing some of the sugar with corn syrup allows the French Vanilla Ice Cream to freeze faster and without large ice crystals. This produces an ice cream that is smoother and remains hard in the freezer.
Egg yolks are whisked with sugar until pale and creamy. A vanilla bean is cut in half, scraped, and steeped in warm milk. The hot, vanilla bean-infused milk is slowly whisked into the egg-sugar mixture and the mixture is heated to about 180 degrees F. Heavy cream is added and the mixture is allowed to chill before churning.
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds.
- Combine the vanilla bean, seeds, corn syrup, salt, and milk in a medium sauce pan and heat over low heat. When milk is warm turn off heat and allow to set while vanilla bean infuses the milk, about 30 minutes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg yolks and sugar and mix until pale yellow and fluffy.
- Heat milk until hot (about 175 degrees F). Remove vanilla bean pod.
- While mixer is on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolks in a thin stream.
- Mix thoroughly and pour mixture back into sauce pan.
- Heat over medium low heat until it reaches 180 degrees F. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Add heavy cream to mixture.
- Allow mixture to cool. Chill in the refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees F, about 4 hours or overnight.
- Churn in ice cream machine until a soft serve consistency, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a chilled container, cover with plastic wrap and press onto the surface of the ice cream.
- Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
- Ice cream can be stored in freezer up to 5 days.
If you don't have the patience to wait a few hours for the ice cream to chill to 40 degrees in the refrigerator, here's a shortcut:
Chill ice cream base in an ice water bath until the ice melts.
If the ice cream is in a metal bowl it will cool more quickly.
Put the ice cream base in the freezer, stirring often and scraping the sides so that the ice cream on the sides of the bowl don't freeze. Remove when base reaches 40 degrees F.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated