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Scoop of ice cream in a bowl, with vanilla beans and spoon on the side and ice cream cones in background.

Vanilla bean ice cream

Author: Sarah Brooks
This French vanilla bean ice cream is made with a traditional egg custard for a classic, creamy ice cream that's rich and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Plus chilling time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, French
Servings 6 serves (⅔ cup each), approx.
Calories 414 kcal


  • ice cream churner
  • double boiler optional
  • Electric hand beaters or stand mixer


  • 1 & ½ cups (375mls) full fat milk
  • 1 & ½ cups (375mls) thickened cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 6 egg yokes, from large eggs
  • ¾ cup (165gms) castor sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ tablespoon (15gms) glucose syrup *optional


  • If using a double boiler put water on to boil. Once boiled reduce the water in the pot to a simmer.
  • Add milk and cream to a separate small saucepan. Use a sharp knife to carefully spilt the vanilla bean. Scrap the inside and add the scrapped seeds and bean to the pot with the milk and cream. Put the pot on medium-low until ti comes to a simmer.
  • Add egg yokes and sugar to a medium bowl or stand mixer and beat together until pale.
  • Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding the simmering cream and milk, mixing well between each addition. Once combined add to the top of the double boiler. Add the glucose syrup and mix well.
  • *You can use a regular saucepan instead of a double boiler if you don't have one BUT you will need to use a very low heat and watch and stir it very frequently to prevent mix catching and the eggs scrambling.
  • Cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, making sure to scrap around the edges to prevent lumps.
  • Mix is ready when it starts to thicken and 'coats the back of a spoon' i.e. until it holds the line when you run your finger through it (don't burn your finger!). This could be anywhere from about five to fifteen minutes.
  • NB if the mix gets too hot or starts to bubble too much remove the pot from the heat and continue stirring until it cools. If you cook the mix too hot you will scramble the eggs.
  • Remove from heat, put the top of the double boiler into a colander and allow to cool. Put a sieve over a heat-proof container and strain mix to remove any eggy bits. Put the vanilla pod back into the base, cover and chill for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
  • Put your ice cream storage container in the freezer to chill. If using a self-refrigerating ice cream churner turn on ten minutes before using, otherwise take your freezer bowl out of the freezer at the last min.
  • Stir ice cream base and remove vanilla bean. Pour into ice cream churner and churn, it will be the consistency of soft serve when done.
  • Quickly transfer to chilled container and freeze until firm.
  • To serve, remove from freezer, scoop and enjoy! Fantastic on its own, in a decadent sundae or paired with your favourite dessert. Delicious!


*If you can't get vanilla beans you can substitute with 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste, essence or extract.
*Glucose syrup is available from many supermarkets and specialty baking stores.  It greatly improves the texture and scoopability of the ice cream.  You can make the ice cream without it but the ice cream will set harder and you may need to put it in the fridge for five to fifteen minutes before serving to make it soft enough to scoop.


Calories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 268mgSodium: 55mgPotassium: 165mgSugar: 35gVitamin A: 1225IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 135mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.

Keywords: custard based ice cream, French style ice cream, French vanilla ice cream
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