French Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a classic French vanilla ice cream recipe that is simply a creme a l’anglaise  (egg custard) frozen in an ice cream maker.  You will be very, very happy if you eat it right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours in your freezer.  After that it will get hard and need a little thawing before you serve it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
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Serves: 6
Classic French recipe for vanilla ice cream. Read embedded links before printing.
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a 2 inch piece of a split and scraped vanilla bean
  1. In a medium, heavy bottomed pan, over a medium heat, cook the milk, vanilla bean (not extract), sugar and salt until it just starts to simmer.
  2. Temper the eggs with the cooked mix using one of these methods
  3. Add the combined mix back to the stove, and cook stirring, until the mix hits a temperature of 170 F or you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon and leave a track that doesn't fill in right away. This should only take a minute or two. Do not overcook or bring to boil.
  4. Immediately pour the mix into a medium heat proof bowl and whisk in the cold cream and vanilla extract if that is what you are using.
  5. Pre-chill as needed. Read this for options.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Serve right away or after 2 - 6 hours hardening in your freezer as you prefer.
  8. Store in a freezer-proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed against the top of the ice cream to prevent frost buildup.


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