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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a white and turquoise ice cream bowl on a polka dot napkin

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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This rich, luscious Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is made with heavy cream and vanilla bean paste for the best flavor and mouthfeel.  

This versatile ice cream is terrific on fruit pies, crisps or served topped with berries or fudge sauce. You’ll love it!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a white and turquoise ice cream bowl on a polka dot napkin

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It’s June, but it feels like August. Hot, sultry, sticky days…and nights. It was time to break out my ice cream maker. To keep peace in the house, I made plain ol’ vanilla, but not any ordinary ice cream. This Vanilla Bean Ice Cream was ultra-rich, with the ultimate creamy mouth-feel. And cold…yup, that’s important when it’s 90º outside. I took David Lebovitz’s (the ice cream guru) ingredients and used an abbreviated technique.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a cone textured ice cream bowl topped with hot fudge sauce

Tips for Making Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  • I allowed the vanilla bean paste to steep in the hot milk for a few minutes. The original recipe used a whole vanilla bean and called for an hour infusion time. As I was starting the process at 9 PM, I hurried it up bit, but there will be more flavor transfer if you let it steep the full hour.
  • The addition of two whole cups of cream allowed for a silky, decadent ice cream…so don’t skimp or replace with half and half if you want the best results. Just have a smaller helping if you’re counting calories.
  • There was an overnight rest in the fridge…as with all the best ice cream custard recipes. So plan to make the custard the day before you want to indulge.
  • I served this with homemade hot fudge sauce to appease the chocoholics…the perfect summer treat! And this was also the ice cream used in Monday’s Brownie Sundaes with Hot Fudge.

The Ceramic ice cream bowls and ice cream cones used in my photos were found at Anthropologie, summer 2013.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a white and turquoise ice cream bowl on a polka dot napkin

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

A simple, luscious ice cream flavored with real vanilla pods.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 1 quart


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat the milk, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. When the mixture comes to a simmer, take it off the heat and stir in vanilla paste. Let steep a few minutes.
  2. Whisk yolks in 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup (or use a bowl). Slowly drizzle just a bit of the hot mixture in the yolks while whisking constantly. Continue to slowly add the milk to the eggs, then return the mixture to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, till mixture thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon).
  3. Wash the Pryex measuring cup and add the cream to the cup. Strain the yolk/milk mixture (to remove any cooked egg particles) into the cup full of cream and mix in vanilla.
  4. Cool at room temperature, then place custard in a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
  5. To make ice cream, follow manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker.


Inspired by David Lebovitz.

Total time does not include overnight chilling.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g


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