How to Make Vanilla Ice Cream

In my opinion, Vanilla Ice Cream is such a classic recipe. It’s something that you can eat perfectly on its own, and goes with just about anything; pie, cake, or even waffles lol.  Ice cream is one of the simplest desserts you can make. It comes out better when you have an ice cream maker, but you don’t have to have an ice cream maker to make ice cream. (However this recipe I’ll be sharing with you today is an ice cream maker recipe. Later I’ll share a recipe with you that doesn’t require you to have an ice cream maker.) Furthermore, your guests will always be impressed when they find out that you’ve made homemade ice cream.  Having a great ice cream recipe in your arsenal is vital.

What is Ice Cream?

Ice cream is a frozen dessert that is made with milk, cream, sugar and could be made with egg yolks.  The use of heavy cream is important in the ice cream making process.  Creams with higher milk fat will lend to a smoother ice cream texture because they contain lower amounts of water.  Lower milk fat will, in turn, produce more ice crystals.  In my opinion, the addition of egg yolks creates a creamier, more luxurious texture. 

There are two different styles of Ice Cream, Philadelphia style ice cream, which is a mixture of cream, milk, and sugar. The other style is French-style ice cream is a mixture of cream, milk, sugar, but you add eggs.  French-style ice cream must be cooked because of the egg yolks. Eggs must be tempered before they are added to the cream. 

What Does it Mean to Temper Eggs?

Tempering eggs pretty much means adding hot liquid to eggs slowly.  You must add the hot liquid slowly to the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from scrambling.  For this particular recipe, you will heat the milk, heavy cream, and sugar.  The egg yolks will be scrambled in a separate bowl.  You will slowly ladle the hot cream into the egg yolks whisking continuously.  Continue to slowly add the warm milk while whisking the eggs and after a few moments, you can safely add the remaining hot liquid.  Adding the hot liquid slowly will gradually bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.

Hmm… How Do You Make Ice Cream Anyway?

So to make ice cream you need a mix of heavy cream, milk, sugar, and egg yolks. But you can’t merely whisk up all the ingredients and freeze them.   The cream isn’t the only thing that lends to smoother ice cream.  Ice cream makers whip air into the ice cream which lends to the smooth, soft texture you look for in ice cream.   

To make the ice cream, you must warm the heavy cream, milk, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.  Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl, and temper the egg yolks.  You will now pour the mixture back into the pot to allow the custard mixture to thicken a little bit more.  The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, and if you draw a line on the spoon with your finger, the custard mixture should hold the line. 

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla

1. Pour 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup of sugar into a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a simmer, and whisk until sugar has dissolved. 
2. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl. 
3. Slowly whisk about half of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks.  Whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. 
4. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until custard begins to thicken.  It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and hold a line drawn through with your finger. 
** Do not bring the mixture to a boil, the eggs will curdle. 
5. Cool the custard until completely cooled.  Then freeze the custard according to the directions of your ice cream maker. 

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