Learn how to make your own homemade vanilla ice cream!
I believe that every person who likes to cook and loves ice cream should know how to make the classic vanilla ice cream at home. Whether you have friends coming over, or you have kids who really love ice cream (because who does’t?!), this recipe is great! It’s much easier than you might think and tastes much better than store bought ice cream. Summer is almost over, so this will be the last ice cream recipe that I will share this year, but i’m a huge fan of ice cream and eat it all year round!
What I love about this, is that you know what’s actually in your ice cream. When we buy ice cream from a store or an ice cream shop, it sure does taste great but we don’t really know what is it really made of.
This recipe is actually my Mum’s recipe, I remember when I was a child and my Mum would make this egg custard base ice cream without using an ice cream maker as she never owned one. She would put the mixture in a plastic zip lock bag and would give it a good mix and shake every couple of hours and return it back to the freezer. She used to make this vanilla ice cream but always added some cinnamon, raisins and occasionally chocolate chips.
There is no trick in this recipe, but to make sure that it really does work you need a reliable kitchen thermometer. I use the Superfast Thermapen 4 and it’s definitely the best kitchen thermometer that I have ever owned. This Thermapen is the world’s quicker thermometer, as it actually gives you an accurate reading in just 3 seconds which I find very useful for recipes like this one since you don’t want to overcook the eggs, because the mixture will curdle if you do.
The Thermapen is waterproof, it comes with an intelligent backlight which means that the light is activated when using the Thermapen in a dark environment, for example the oven. There is a motion sensor in the Thermapen, so it knows when you are using it, but when you put it down it sleeps. It measures temperature over the range of -49.9 to 299.9 °C (-58.0 to 572.0°F). And finally, it comes in very cool 10 different colours and my favourite (as you can see in my pictures) is red!
I use my Thermapen for so many things, for example cooking meat and chicken, baking cakes, making marshmallows, tempering chocolate, and we even used it to make some homemade soap with the kids! I strongly recommend that you get one for yourself, as this little device will make sure that your food turns out perfect every single time! You can order yours today from www.thermapen.co.uk
Now back to the recipe, the main ingredient here is the egg yolk which gives the ice cream this nice light taste, it also helps thickening the milk and turning it into ice cream. However, when using eggs to make an ice cream you have to be really careful, as I mentioned before, you don’t want to curdle your eggs. So when making the base you need to remember these very important two things. First, temper the eggs to avoid cooking them. You start off by warming the milk, and in another bowl you will have the egg sugar mixture, start scooping little portions of milk and whisking the milk in the egg mixture. This will warm the eggs, but won’t cook them which is exactly what you want. Do the first two scoops of milk like that, then add the rest of the milk and it should just work fine.
The second thing that you need to remember is to cook the egg-milk-sugar mixture on low heat, keep stirring and scape down the bottom and sides of your pot constantly.
If you manage to follow these 2 rules, this will ensure that your ice cream will be perfect without any curdles of cooked eggs. But if you’re worried that that may have happened, just strain the mixture before churning.
I have never owned an ice cream maker until 2 years ago, I decided to buy one for myself. You might wonder what does an ice cream maker do so I’m going to explain. If you freeze your ice cream mixture without churning, it will freeze into a solid brick of ice. So churning the ice cream breaks down the formed crystals, and while churning it incorporates some air into your ice cream. After churning you get soft ice cream, which is great to serve if you have little kids and don’t want to give them ice cream that’s too cold. Otherwise, just put it into a container and freezer for at least a few hours before serving.
There are so many ways to serve this ice cream, it works great with chocolate fondue, with banana split or maybe strawberry sundae. I like to add chocolate syrup or top it with fresh fruit.
Ultimate Vanilla Ice Cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 caster sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon optional
- 3 tbsp raisins optional
- chocolate syrup optional
- In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar. Mixture should become pale in colour.
- In a saucepan, warm the milk and add the vanilla. Let it simmer and remove from heat.
- Temper the eggs by adding 1/2 cup of milk to the sugar-egg mixture and whisk, then add one more scoop and whisk again. And finally, add the rest of the milk and mix it all together.
- Return the mixture into the saucepan, and cook on low heat while stirring constantly. This is when you use your thermometer. Keep cooking and stirring until the temperature reaches 76c (170F). If you are worried you may have curdles of cooked egg, strain the mixture. Stir in the heavy cream. If you choose to add the cinnamon and the raisins, add at this stage.
- Transfer the mixture into an ice bath (a bowl inside another bowl that is filled with ice), and let the mixture chill for about 15 minutes.
- Once the mixture is chilled, transfer to the ice cream maker machine, and follow manufacturer's directions.
- Freeze in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
This post is sponsored by Thermapen®. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Little Sunny Kitchen happen. All opinions are my own.