This Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (frozen custard) is simple recipe made with a custard base for an even richer and creamier result! Just 20 minutes of hands-on time needed!
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This Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, also know as Frozen Custard, is a slightly richer version of my Easy Homemade Ice Cream.
Like the easy ice cream, it’s made with a base of cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. It does include one secret ingredient, though: egg yolks!
The egg yolks in this recipe help stabilize the ice cream, which results in an even richer flavor! The fat in the egg yolks also helps prevent the formation of ice crystals, so it lasts longer too and won’t melt as quickly.
However, it does take slightly longer to make. Don’t worry though — it’s still pretty simple!
Now, both versions are delicious, so if you’re not sure which one you’ll like better, make both! It’s a fun way to know which one to make for next time…and you get to have more ice cream. WIN!
Interestingly enough, my kids prefer the other method while my husband and I prefer the custard method. Both are delicious, but it just depends on your preferences!
- Cream: heavy whipping cream is a definite must for homemade ice cream.
- Milk: whole milk will give a creamy texture. I don’t recommend using low fat milk because your ice cream will be more watery and icy.
- Granulated Sugar: you can use anywhere from ¾ cup-1 cup of sugar depending on how sweet you want your ice cream. If you prefer things less sweet, stick with the lower amount.
- Egg Yolks: using just egg yolk in homemade ice cream creates an extra rich flavor, creamier texture and a more stable ice cream.
- Vanilla Extract: use pure vanilla extract for that big flavor we all love! You can also use vanilla bean paste or real vanilla bean seeds.
How to Make Frozen Custard
- Chill the bowl: Stick the bowl of your ice cream maker into the freezer as instructed in the manual. This usually requires 24 hours so plan ahead.
- Combine and cook: Whisk the egg, milk, cream, and sugar together in a large saucepan until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook until thickened. Stir in the vanilla, then taste and adjust as needed.
- Refrigerate: Transfer the mixture to a glass dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until completely cold. Give yourself a few hours for this!
- Churn, then freeze: Place the chilled cream mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until it reaches soft serve consistency. Transfer to a baking dish and freeze until firm.
Ice Cream FAQs
While frozen custard and ice cream are similar in many ways, they are slightly different. No cook ice cream is made with just cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla and prepared cold, then frozen.
Frozen custard is made using all of those same ingredients, but with the addition of eggs. It’s also prepared in a saucepan and cooked before chilling. Ice cream is more basic, quicker, and easier to make, but tends to be icier and less rich in flavor. Custard is a little more labor intensive, but has a richer, creamier, and more complex flavor. It’s also more stable and doesn’t get melty as quickly out of the freezer.
While using full-fat cream and milk help create a creamy homemade ice cream, the real secret to creamy ice cream is the egg! The extra fat in egg yolk helps prevent crystallization and stabilizes the ice cream for a thicker, creamier texture and richer flavor.
This homemade vanilla Frozen Custard will last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tips and Notes for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- Just use yolks. Using just the yolks as opposed to the whole egg creates an even richer flavor and velvety smooth texture.
- When you cover the mixture with plastic wrap, lay the wrap so it’s just touching the surface of the cream. This helps prevent a skin from forming.
- Speed up the initial chilling process by placing the cream mixture in the freezer instead of the fridge. Just be sure to stir it every 10 minutes or so!
- Let it sit. Before serving, I like to set the ice cream out in the counter for 5-10 minutes to let it soften up a bit. This gives an extra creamy texture!
Ice Cream Add-In Ideas
- Candy. Add in a couple handfuls of your favorite candy! Try M&Ms, mini marshmallows, Reese’s Pieces, or chopped up pieces of any candy bar you like.
- Cookies. Mix in your favorite crushed up cookie. Try Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, or crushed Oreos.
- Brownies. Chop up your favorite store-bought or Homemade Brownies for some chocolate-y goodness.
- Sauces. Swirl in chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or Strawberry Sauce.
- Nuts. Add a couple handfuls of chopped up walnuts, pecans, almonds, or a swirl of your favorite nut butter.
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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ¾-1 cup granulated sugar (use more or less according to your tastes)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Freeze ice cream maker bowl according to instructions.
- Whisk all ingredients together (except for the vanilla) in a large saucepan until smooth.
- Place the pan on medium heat, and cook and whisk constantly until thickened. It will be noticeably thickened, but not thick like pudding. Stir in vanilla. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired (if you think it is too sweet, add a splash of cream).
- Pour into a large glass measuring cup or bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface to keep a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate until completely cold (you can speed this up by placing it in the freezer and stirring every 10 minutes).
- Place in the ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes or until a soft serve consistency.
- Pour into a glass loaf pan or baking dish and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.
- I recommend letting sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months.
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