Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream

This is for serving with the Christmas pudding. I will make packet custard too, but will liven it up with a grate of nutmeg and a slurp of brandy. I would like to say I’d be making custard or sweet white sauce from scratch…. my Mum might get the urge after dinner. You never know 😉

This is the basic ice-cream recipe I use. Whether it be vanilla bean flavour or flavoured with fruit puree, it always works for me.

I have a Krups ice-cream maker. You put the base in the freezer overnight and then attach the motor and paddle. You sit the thing on the bench and plug it in. It swirls around and around, getting thicker and creamier all the while. I think it usually takes about 30 minutes. Then it gets scraped into plastic tubs and goes into the freezer.

I have half a mind to also make rum and raisin ice-cream this afternoon…


  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 1/2 a cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of full-cream milk
  • 1 cup of cream
  • vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to taste. A good way to ascertain “taste” is to add the flavouring to the milk and have a little taste. Remember you also have to add the cream and the egg so make allowances for that. Also be aware that freezing diminishes flavour somewhat, so maybe a little bit more for good luck!

In a heavy bottom saucepan put the egg yolks, the sugar and the milk. Give it all a good whisk. The mixture needs to smooth.

Switch to a spoon or spatula for the next bit. If you continue to use the whisk, there will be a lot of foam as the custard heats and it will be harder to keep an eye on the consistency of the mix.

Put the pan on a low heat be prepared to just stand there and stir. It really doesn’t take that long. I just stare at the sink, or daydream for a bit. Just as long as that custard keeps getting stirred.

You need to get the custard to thicken without it boiling. Don’t be scared. You’ll see it happening. It is not going to be really thick either so don’t wait for that to happen. More like runny cream coating a spoon in a thin layer. If it does boil the egg will scramble and you will need to start again. That’s not the end of the world either. At least next time you’ll know what to look out for.

When the custard has thickened up a bit, take the pan off the heat and add the cream, and the vanilla if you didn’t add it with the milk.

Put the mixture into a jug and pop it into the fridge until it is cold.

Churn according to your ice-cream makers instructions OR freeze the mix in a container and then blend the frozen mix in the food processor. I have done this and it works beautifully. The same premise as the ice-cream maker really, adding lots of air to the frozen custard and breaking up the prickly ice crystals so you have a luscious, smooth ice-cream.

If I do the rum and raisin version I will post again with photos.

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