Back to Basics Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Over the years, I have accumulated an assortment of kitchen tools and gadgets. Unlike some of my less rational impulse purchases (I’m looking at you 36 cupcake travel tupperware), my ice cream machine gets used on a weekly basis. To anyone who knows me and knows how much ice cream I consume, this will not come as much of a surprise.

When I started to make ice cream a few months ago, I figured that I should start small and master a classic foolproof vanilla recipe before dabbling in wild flavors. Hibiscus hazelnut chocolate chunk would just have to wait.

If you are an ice cream newbie like I was, I highly recommend starting out like this because it gives you a good base to work with moving forward, as well as some time to get to know your ice cream machine.


Lessons from my first few batches:

  • Almond milk messes with ice cream’s texture and is not an appropriate substitute to whole milk in this custard ice cream. Skim milk is also not a substitute to whole milk. No cutting calorie corners with this one. Also, cow’s milk doesn’t last as long as almond milk on the shelf. Always smell milk before pouring into batter.

  • Ice cream batter will expand while being churned. Air is the secret last ingredient to all ice cream recipes so leave room for it in the machine.

  • The freezer bowl needs to spend about 24 hours in the freezer before it is ready to be used. Best to keep it in the back of the freezer at all times where it is coldest, just in case you might want to use it.


  • 3 Large egg yolks
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean


  • Ice cream machine


  • Add egg yolks and sugar to medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour in milk and heavy cream, whisk to combine.
  • Lastly, add in vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour mixture into ice cream machine and churn according to machine instructions (usually about 20 minutes)

* Ice cream lasts about a week in an airtight container in the freezer.