Vanilla Ice Cream

President Ronald Reagan in 1984 proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month — July 19 this year — as National Ice Cream Day. 

The average American consumes 22 pounds of ice cream a year, with vanilla the most popular flavor and chocolate the favorite topping.

I offer two recipes for making vanilla ice cream. The first is a recipe for classic vanilla custard ice cream and the second for a no-cook ice cream. 

Custard-based ice cream takes a little bit longer to make, but the results justify that extra effort. This ice cream uses egg yolks cooked with cream, cooled for several hours or overnight and then creamed in the ice cream maker. The yolks give it a richer flavor, creamier texture and make the ice cream easier to serve. The more yolks used, the richer the base and the more color added.

The second recipe produces a no-cook ice cream. This is easier to make, and whiter in color, but it melts more quickly and is a little more difficult to serve.

Either ice cream can be used as a base for any flavor. And with all of the fresh fruits available this time of year it’s easy to make strawberry, raspberry, black berry or peach ice cream.

Both recipes require an ice cream maker.


Classic Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
4 extra-large egg yolks
1-1/3 cups whole milk
2-2/3 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Easy No Cook Vanilla Ice Cream

1-1/3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of sugar
2-2/3 cups heavy cream
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Classic Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
Warm the milk and two cups of cream in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Slice the vanilla beans in half and scrape over the mixture. Add the beans, salt and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks together with 2/3 cup of cream. Slowly add one cup of the hot mixture and blend thoroughly, then transfer back to the saucepan. Return saucepan to the stove and continue cooking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. (When you stroke your finger across the back of the spoon, it should leave a clear line.) Remove from the heat, strain (for any cooked pieces of egg) and cool to room temperature before refrigerating several hours or overnight.

With the freezer bowl completely chilled and after chilling the custard, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker canister and let mix for 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened. It will be soft with a creamy texture. Serve right away or transfer to a container and freeze.

Easy No Cook Vanilla Ice Cream
Be sure ice cream canister is completely chilled.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment on low speed, combine the milk and sugar. Whisk for one or two minutes or until the sugar fully dissolves. Add the heavy cream and vanilla. Blend completely.

Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl, turn it on and let mix for 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened. It will be soft with a creamy texture. Serve right away or store in the freezer. If stored in the freezer, let ice cream stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.