Real vanilla ice cream

Real vanilla ice cream

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus chilling and churning

More effort

Makes 1 litre
Make super-creamy vanilla ice cream and eat it as it is, or add different flavours to suit all tastes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal159
  • fat13g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs9g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.04g


  • 500ml full-fat milk



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

  • 300ml pot double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 large egg yolks (freeze the whites for next time you want to make meringue - see tips below)
  • 140g golden caster sugar


  1. Put the milk and cream in a saucepan. 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 milk mixture. Add the pod to the pan, too. Heat the whole lot 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 mins so that the vanilla can infuse.

  2. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Gradually pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until combined. Pour everything back into the cleaned pan, return to a low heat and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Make sure it doesn’t boil or you will end up with scrambled eggs.

  3. Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, then sit it in a bigger bowl, one-third full of ice and water, to cool it down – keep stirring every now and then to stop a skin forming. Chill to make sure it is completely cold, putting cling film directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.

  4. Pour the custard into an ice-cream machine. Churn following manufacturers’ instructions until frozen, then spoon into a metal or plastic freezer-proof container. Cover and freeze until solid. If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, pour the custard into the container and freeze. Every 2-3 hrs, take the mixture out of the freezer and give it a stir. Once it is softly set, beat it well with electric beaters, then freeze solid. It will keep in the freezer for 3 months. Remove from the freezer 15 mins before serving to allow it to get soft enough to scoop.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th May, 2012
To stop your ice cream going rock solid after churning in the ice cream maker, all you have to do is add a tbsp or 2 of alcohol - such as rum, or vodka (it acts as an antifreeze - and gives the icecream a perfect texture) You won't be able to taste the alcohol - if you are making a lage quantity (like in this recipe.) I often find that a coffee liquor like Tia Maria works well with Vanilla ice cream - as it compliments the vanilla flavour, masking any alcohol taste. So just add near the end of the churning process, and let the ice cream machine do the mixing for you!
29th Sep, 2011
i made this it was mint it tasted soooooooooooooo nice i made it again xxxxx
9th Jul, 2011
would anyone be able to tell me how to stop icecream from going rock hard in the freezer after it as been churned in a icecream maker
9th Mar, 2011
This was so lovely & creamy, I made this as an extra dessert for a fussy eater and it was so quick and easy - will definitely be making this again come the summer!
14th Jul, 2010
Wow, what a stunner. This was the best tasting vanilla ice cream I've ever made, and it was dead simple. The texture came out perfect in my ice cream machine. Definately added this to my favourites'.
9th Jul, 2010
I made the vanilla version - flavour was absolutely sublime. I don't have an ice-cream machine so I kept taking it out of the freezer and beating it but I still ended up with quite a chunky texture. (I'm not sure if I left it too long before the first beating or should have kept on doing it after the 3rd go?) The only thing I would say is that you do need quite a lot of spare time to do it as you have to allow time for the milk infusion & cooling of the custard too.
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Anna_giles's picture
25th Jul, 2013
Next time I make this recipe I am definitely going to use about 20g less sugar as it is extremely sweet.
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