French Ice Cream Custard Recipe
French ice cream is based on a cooked egg custard. Rumor has it you can't call anything "ice cream" in France unless it has at least 8 egg yolks per quart of milk or cream. True or not, this does make for an amazingly rich and delicious custard ice cream base.
Photo: D. Monniaux, under a GNU Free Documentation License
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat cream and milk in small sauce pan until hot, but not simmering.
- Scrape seeds out of a vanilla bean into the milk.
- Take pan off stove and cool.
- Beat egg yolks, sugar and salt with an electric mixer until white and foamy.
- Pour half a cup of hot milk slowly into the egg mixture. Mix.
- Slowly pour in the remainder of the milk and cream and mix.
- Return mixture to pan and cook until it reaches about 82 C (180F). The mixture should coat the back of a spoon and running your finger through it should leave a line.
- Fill a bowl with ice and place a smaller bowl in it.
- Fit a sieve over the smaller bowl.
- Pour the custard into the sieve and strain.
- Let it cool, stirring often.
Use this base as a French vanilla ice cream recipe, or add other flavorings to make a decadently rich desert.
Note that you can save the used vanilla beans to make your own vanilla sugar. Simply rinse them, and when dry, store in a container with sugar.
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