Ultimate vanilla ice cream

Ultimate vanilla ice cream

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(37 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 yolks
  • 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, questions and tips

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5th Feb, 2014
Hi David, Dont worry if you dont have golden caster sugar, normal caster is good as well (kristallzucker), you can always add a small amount of soft brown sugar (brauner zucker ?) to get a more caramelised taste. Golden caster sugar is basically refined sugar from sugar beet with added molasses from sugar cane. Good luck
30th Jan, 2014
make sure you're using 'full cream' milk... it's twice as expensive as the 'normal' fake full cream (added permeate or whatever they call it now - as they changed the process so they didn't have to call it permeate, but it's the same thing - watered down milk) look at the fat content, and make sure it's high compared to the low fat (or supposed full cream milks)
28th Dec, 2013
Hello David, I took mine back to the boil and left it, it was setting when I put it through the ice cream machine next day - and made the most beautiful creamy ice cream I've ever made - just made a double batch!!
stephensonds's picture
5th Nov, 2013
This was really good
30th Jun, 2013
This was the first time I made ice cream with a machine... And it was literally the best ice cream I have ever had in my life. I just made my first batch (it's a small ice cream machine) and at first taste I was in heaven... this recipe is a winner!
14th Mar, 2013
Amazing ice cream! I currently live in Angola and can't get fresh milk or cream so had to make this with UHT milk and cream and it still turned out a treat! Can't recommend enough. Will definitely be making this one again as everyone at my dinner party loved it.
2nd Mar, 2013
Great recipe, although like others I did not read the recipe before I started and was surprised at the standing times required. I was worried it might be too eggy and rich. But not a bit of it. I used a Magimix ice cream maker and the result was fantastic - indulgently smooth and creamy without being too fatty. This will be my recipe of choice. Thank you.
18th Feb, 2013
Great recipe. Easy and worked perfectly first time. Unbelievably my 5 year old prefers it to Haagen Dazs. Not as hard as lots of home made icecream - comes out with a great creamy texture. I'll definitely do this again
23rd Jan, 2013
Great ice cream, the 1st time I made this me and my dinner guests devoured the whole lot straight from the tub smothered in homemade warm chocolate sauce, just gorgeous. This time I'm making it by special request and will double the recipe. One small downside I found it a little too sweet so will reduce the sugar this time but that is personal taste I suppose.
6th Sep, 2012
Delicious ice cream, made more so by the inclusion of about 150g (maybe a bit more) of chopped halva, which I folded into the creamed mixture before putting it into the freezer overnight. Big hit!


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