Learn the secret to rich, indulgent vanilla bean ice cream.
The taste of this dessert is hard to beat. I recommend you chill your ice cream mixture in the fridge overnight before freezing. This will help infuse the amazing flavour of the vanilla bean.
A quick rundown on vanilla beans
The vanilla bean isn’t exactly the most inspiring looking spice in the kitchen. It’s a dried up looking brown pod with a slightly waxy outside layer. But slice into the pod and you’ll discover thousands of little black specks of flavour-filled deliciousness.
At the time of writing this recipe, vanilla was the second most expensive spice on the market – the most expensive being saffron. But don’t let this stop you from using them! A little goes a long way and the flavour is a world away from using vanilla essence.
Once you have your vanilla bean ready to use in the ice cream, you simply take a sharp non-serrated knife and slice into the pod length-ways. Then you scrape out the black insides and it’s ready for your perfect vanilla bean ice cream recipe.
Don’t throw out the outer pods
They’re full of flavour too. You can use these in two ways:
- Toss them into your ice cream base when you’re heating up the milk then discard just before churning the ice cream.
- Add them to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry location for later use.
A cheaper alternative to vanilla beans
Vanilla beans are quite expensive and the cost can add up if you’re using them frequently. If you want a cheaper option, but don’t want to use vanilla essence, consider using a vanilla bean paste. This option offers a similar flavour profile to the bean, however, you don’t get quite the same intensity.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
- 1 1/2 cups thickened cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 vanilla bean
- Heat milk, cream, and sugar in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until simmering then remove from heat.
- Whisk yolks in a bowl until pale then slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk, all the while whisking.
- Slowly pour the yolks back into the saucepan of milk and whisk until combined then add salt, vanilla essence, scraped vanilla bean, and vanilla pod. Continue heating on medium heat until liquid thickens (about 3 minutes).
- Pour liquid into an airtight container and add to the fridge for 3 hours (or overnight).
- The next day, pour the custard base through a strainer and add to ice cream maker. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Once churned, add to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours.