Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is Always in Season

by Lotoya Vongrechin on December 21, 2012

VA Blog Post 113 - Vanilla Ice CreamWith Christmas day just a few days away, I decided to reach back to my childhood for a fun recipe everyone will enjoy.  I it’s my go too dessert that can be served simple or kicked up.  My grandmother made the best homemade ice cream. I still haven’t tasted anything better than her simple, fabulous vanilla, and believe me, I’ve sampled all kinds!

The beauty of vanilla bean ice cream is that it’s delicious on its own and it goes with just about anything. Crumble the cookies Santa left behind and stir them into a scoop or two. Set up a make-your-own-sundae bar with fresh fruit, chopped nuts and mini cookies. Top off a slice of cake or cobbler—like my grandmother used to do. As the final course of a special holiday feast, there’s nothing more delish!


  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract

Cooking Tools

  • measuring spoons and cups
  • whisk
  • saucepan
  • pitcher
  • electric ice-cream maker

1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla flavor. If using a vanilla pod, slice open the pod and remove bean/paste.  Add entire pod to mixture. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Pour mixture into a pitcher. Cover pitcher opening with plastic wrap and chill mixture for 8 to 24 hours.

4. Remove vanilla bean pod and pour cold mixture into a 1-1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and time may vary.)

5. After mixture freezes, remove the ice cream from the maker and store in a freezer-safe container. If necessary, to further harden ice cream, put it back into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. Scoop and serve. 

 Yields 1 to 1-1/2 pints.   

photo styling by Lotoya Vongrechin

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