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Three scoops of vanilla bean ice cream in a white bowl.

Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (Frozen Custard)

Heather Smoke
Rich and creamy frozen custard, flavored with vanilla bean, and slowly churned.

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5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Freeze Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings2 quarts


  • Ice Cream Maker


  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 tbsp good-quality bourbon or whiskey, optional


  • In a saucepan, whisk together 1 cup of the cream with the milk, vanilla bean seeds, egg yolks, sugar, brown sugar and salt.
  • Heat the custard over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to steam and just bubble slightly around the edges. Do not let it boil.
  • Remove the custard from the heat, and pour through a mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg. Cover and refrigerate the custard until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.
  • After chilling the custard, use an electric mixer to whip the remaining 1 cup of cream until soft peaks form. Gently whisk the whipped cream into the chilled custard.
  • Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the bourbon.
  • Transfer the churned ice cream to lidded containers, and freeze until firm enough to scoop, at least 8-10 hours.


  • The bourbon is optional, but the alcohol helps to maintain a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Homemade ice cream is best eaten within about 2 weeks.
Keyword Frozen Custard, Ice Cream, Vanilla Bean
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