Creamy, dreamy vanilla bean ice cream, made the right way with a simple custard base and real vanilla. This ice cream will become your new favorite flavor!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Creamy, dreamy vanilla bean ice cream, made the right way with a simple custard base and real vanilla. Say hello to your new favorite flavor!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Calories 361 kcal
Author Jerry Traunfeld


  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Vanilla bean split and scraped
  • Blueberries for serving
  • Raspberries for serving


  1. Prepare the custard base: Pour the milk, cream, and sugar (1 C + 2 tbsp) into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. While it’s heating, add the egg yolks to a bowl and place it over a larger bowl filled with hot water. Whisk the yolks as the hot water heats them. They should feel warm to the touch. Set aside.

  2. Infuse the custard: As the milk mixture continues to heat add a pinch of salt. Split the vanilla bean by cutting it lengthwise to open it up. Then, run a knife lengthwise and scrape the vanilla beans onto the knife. Scrape the beans back onto the vanilla pod and add the pod with beans to the milk mixture. The instant the cream comes to a rolling boil and rises in the pot, lift it off the heat. With the whisk in one hand and the saucepan in the other, pour the boiling cream into the egg yolks as you whisk constantly but gently. Don’t whisk rapidly or you will cool the custard before the yolks have a chance to set. At this point the custard should be fully cooked. An instant-read thermometer set in the custard should register 170 F to 180 F and it will coat a teaspoon (if for some reason it did not get hot enough, you can pour it back in the pot and very slowly heat it up, stirring with a rubber spatula). Cool the ice cream mixture by placing the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice or chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

  3. Make the ice cream: When the ice cream mixture has chilled, strain it through a chinois using a ladle to get all of the custard through. Pour into a well frozen ice cream maker (use according to the manufacturer’s directions) and churn until it’s ice cream, about 20 minutes. Place the ice cream into a container and freeze for 1-2 hours. (This is called tempering so the ice cream is scoopable.) Then, scoop and serve. Garnish with blueberries and raspberries.

Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Amount Per Serving (188 g)
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 184
% Daily Value*
Fat 20.4g31%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 331mg110%
Sodium 160mg7%
Potassium 193mg6%
Carbohydrates 39.6g13%
Sugar 38.8g43%
Protein 7.5g15%
Vitamin A 850IU17%
Calcium 160mg16%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.