Ultimate vanilla ice cream

Ultimate vanilla ice cream

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(33 ratings)

Ready in about 2 hours


8 big scoops
Is Angela Nilsen's vanilla ice cream the smoothest, creamiest homemade ice cream in history?

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per scoop

  • kcal269
  • fat21g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre0g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 284ml carton double cream
  • 300ml full fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 115g golden caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 large free-range egg yolk
  • have lots of ice cubes at the ready


  1. Put the canister from the machine into the freezer a day before you want to make the ice cream. Next day, pour the cream and milk into a medium heavy-based pan, then tip in half the sugar. Slit the vanilla pod down its length with a small sharp knife and scoop out as many of the tiny black seeds as you can into the cream mixture. Cut the pod into three and drop it into the pan.

  2. Heat the cream and milk over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost boils – you’ll see a few bubbles at the edge. Take off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes so the vanilla can infuse.

  3. Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the rest of the sugar and beat with an electric hand beater for about 2 minutes until the mixture has thickened, is paler in colour and falls in thick ribbons when you lift the beaters. Using a measuring jug, scoop out about 125ml/4fl oz of the cream mixture and beat into the egg yolks to slacken them. Reheat the cream until it just comes to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture.

  4. Return the pan to a low heat and cook, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Watch that it doesn’t boil – as soon as you see any bubbles about to burst to the surface, it should be thick enough, so take the pan off the heat so the mixture doesn’t curdle.

  5. Pour the custard into a heatproof bowl, then sit it in a bigger bowl one third full of iced water to cool (this takes about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally to stop a skin forming. Put the bowl of custard in the fridge for 3-4 hours, preferably overnight, so it gets really cold.

  6. Get the ice cream machine running, scoop out the vanilla pod pieces, then slowly pour in the cold custard. Leave it to churn for 10-30 minutes (depending on your machine). When it stops, it is probably too soft to eat, so spoon into a plastic container, cover with cling film, then a lid, and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. (It will keep in the freezer for 3 months but don’t take it out, then refreeze.) Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

  7. To make it by hand: in step 1, heat the milk, vanilla, and half the sugar without the cream (the custard will be slightly thicker). At the start of step 6, whip the cream so it’s light and floppy, not too stiff, and fold it into the cold custard. Freeze for 3-4 hours, stirring once an hour until almost frozen, then freeze as above.

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Comments (45)

nledieu's picture

LOVED this! This was my first attempt of 'real' ice-cream and I did it by hand....it worked really well and was so creamy! I over whisked my custard, but it worked great and the custard is lovely just on its own! Will definitely make again!

aliemily66's picture

Amazing ice cream, delicious creamy and well worth the effort.

veebear's picture

Really easy, intensely vanilla, ice-cream - gorgeous!

nicoleroberts's picture

Delicious. Everyone who tried it loved it and it's far superior to shop brought.

dz1000's picture

I thought this was going to taste wonderful because of all the 5 star ratings but i guess those people haven't tasted quality home made ice cream before because i was very disappointed when i did this recipe and tasted the result. The reason it is so poor, i now realise, is because this is English style ice cream. This means it will not come anywhere close to the delicious taste of home made Italian ice cream you find in Mediterranean countries and that i have been lucky enough to have tasted. This is so poor in comparison to that ice cream that i am even thinking the bbc are keeping the best recipes from us for some reason. Surely there must be better recipes out there than this.

nickynl82's picture

Amazing yum yum

lib502's picture

The perfect creamy vanilla ice cream. I only chilled the custard for about an hour but this did not affect the churn time in my ice cream maker at all. I won't be buying vanilla ice cream ever again - this one is just too good.

jinxycrow's picture

I have tasted and made ice-cream for years and i have never ever tasted one like this it is sooooooooooooo good and creamy.If i had one gripe it would be the quanity did'nt make enough but hey i will double or triple it next week

philpott's picture

I used this recipe as a base to make green tea(matcha) and black sesame seed ice cream. I double the recipe, divided into 2 and added the matcha powder and sesame paste in the 2 batches, divine.
Next time I will reduce the sugar and triple the recipe so we can also have the custard . It was time consuming and lots of washing up but once in a while is well worth the sacrifice!

cjnidge's picture

This recipe is a little time consuming but totally worth it! I've had so many compliments for this ice cream, so utterly delicious!

flossi's picture

This ice cream is gorgeous.

milissafrances123's picture

i'm sure this recipe would have been lovely....if it didnt wait until the last step to tell you an alternative method if you dont have a machine by which point i have already done the first few steps, which was really really frustrating!!!

mum2be's picture

Is this recipe safe for pregnancy? I've been told you shouldnt eat partially cooked eggs when pregnant and so am a little concerned. If this recipe isn't safe could you reccommend an alternative recipe for ice cream which may not use eggs?

warrenlfrost's picture

Does one have the same success mixing this recipe by hand,i would really love to make this for my guests on the weekend,and i have no ice cream machine.

laboni's picture

Amazing creamiest vanilla icecream ever! Wonderful

vivaves's picture

Simply stunning. Creamy, sweet and utterly delicious. I made it by hand as I don't have the spare money or space for an ice cream machine, and the texture was perfect. It is quite easily the best ice cream I have ever tasted, and I know exactly what's in it.

marychef's picture

I'm just making it now. It looks fabulous but I wish the recipe had mentioned the 3 or 4 hours in the fridge or overnight in the cooking/preparing time.
I'm looking forward to it with strawberries!

wilz22's picture

i just made it last night...for the first time ever for me,the custard didn't curdle..=]=] it's perfect and i'm just waiting for it to freeze now:D

cloclo's picture

Made this quite a while ago, but struggled to find the recipe on here. We found it an extremly easy recipe, and reasonably smooth results. However, the flavour was a little watery. That said, we will be experiments and reporting back!

gervais's picture

Beautiful, see chocolate ice cream recipe also


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