Vanilla Bean Ice Cream {Recipe}

vanilla bean ice cream A few months ago, a friend on facebook asked for a vanilla ice cream recipe and I realized, with all the ice cream I've made, I've never made a plain vanilla. I have a go-to vanilla recipe that I've used as a base for other flavors, but hadn't made it by itself yet.

vanilla beans cooking

Maybe that's because I've never been one for vanilla much myself. But boy, is it growing on me, especially when it is flecked with those real vanilla bean specks.

I've now made this recipe a couple of times and it so creamy and delicious that it could never be called boring. The first time I made it, we had it to accompany this delicious Meyer Lemon Cake and then last week I made it again for Gigi's 4th birthday party (more coming on that soon!).

vanilla ice cream prep

This recipe is printable but if you're in an email or reader, you may need to click over to print it.

vanilla ice cream ingredients


Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

adapted from Jeni Britton makes around 1 quart


2 cups whole milk 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened (I use whipped) 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 2/3 cup sugar (organic cane juice sugar) 1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped pinch of salt


1. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch (adorable mini whisk optional for this step). In another large glass bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth (this is really easy with whipped cream cheese).

2. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the cream, sugar, brown rice syrup and vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the milk to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the vanilla flavors the milk, about 4 minutes. Take off the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture gradually. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute.

3. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in an ice water bath (a larger bowl with ice water) and let stand or refrigerate until cold.

4. Strain (optional) the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Pack into container and freeze until firm (about 4 hours or so). Go ahead and lick the spoon, because it's darn good!


homemade vanilla bean ice cream- yum!

Spiced Apple Ice Cream

spiced apple ice cream "If the sheer sensual joy of eating homemade ice cream is enough for you to shed your guilt [of healthism/nutritionism], throw away phony industrial foods, and return to eating real foods, all the better." ~Nina Planck, Real Food

Looking for a delightfully autumnish ice cream recipe? This one is sure to hit the spot! I modified a recipe from ReadyMade Magazine article about the book, Spice Dreams (guess I need to get a copy of that!), with Jeni's method of a no-egg custard.

After you go pick your fall apples, you'll definitely want spare some for this treat.




Spiced Apple Ice Cream

from {adapted from ReadyMade Magazine} makes just over a quart


For the spiced apples:

  • 2 large apples (or 3-4 small), cored, peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into quarters (about 2 cups)
  • about 1/2 cup honey (or 2/3 cup sugar)- this can be adjusted to your taste
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the ice cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

1. Combine the spiced apple ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples are tender and all the liquid is gone, about 10 minutes. Let the apples cool a bit and then place them in the fridge to chill.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl (I used my stand mixer), whisk the cream cheese until smooth.

3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the cream, 1/2 c. sugar, brown rice syrup and 1/2 t. vanilla. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

4. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.

5. Pour the ice cream mix into an ice cream maker (strain if desired) and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the chilled spiced apples to to the mixture in your ice cream maker during last minute of mixing and churn until just mixed.  Pour into airtight container(s) and freeze for at least 2-4 hours.





spiced apple ice cream 2

spiced ice cream

Mexican Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream

mexican chocolate ice cream I figure to be as authentic as possible, I have to share my kitchen successes as well as my not-so-successful ventures. This Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream didn't come out quite as I would have liked it. I was combining recipes and something went awry.

But, have no fear, if this flavor sounds delicious to you, I have an alternative option... start with my amazing chocolate ice cream recipe, and then simply add these spices, to your saucepan when cooking the milk and sugar:

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

That's what I'm going to do next time. :)

In addition, you can bet I'll be trying this vegan alternative, not because I'm vegan (I'm definitely not) but just for the fun of it, and because I'm always on the lookout for ice cream recipes made with sugar alternatives. I've never made ice cream with coconut milk, so I'm intrigued to say the least.

spiced ice cream

Hopefully this post is simply whetting your appetite for more spiced ice cream goodness. I have three "successful" recipes to share with you that are out-of-this-world, so stay tuned!

A Few Tasty Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

a few tasty homemade ice cream recipes For my birthday one of things I wanted to do was have a few friends over for some homemade ice cream. I have the most awesome ice cream maker-- a bowl attachment for my KitchenAid mixer! My sweet hubby bought me this tool for Christmas a couple of years ago and I recently got super amped on using it.

I made three recipes, all adapted from the Martha Stewart Original Classics cookbook for our little shindig. The only trouble with making multiple batches is that the bowl has to be frozen ahead of time (I keep mine in the freezer at all times), thawed before washing, and then refrozen for 15 hours before using again, so it does take some planning.

Martha's recipes all conclude with "freeze in a plastic container up to 1 week," but seriously these are so good, they probably won't last that long, and I imagine they actually would stay fine for longer if necessary.

I love making homemade ice cream! You can definitely look forward to more ice cream recipes here from me. I'm hoping to experiment with some made with natural sweeteners too if that's possible.

Here are the choices we enjoyed and boy, were they delicious...

Lime Frozen Yogurt

{makes 1.5 quarts}

1 quart plain low-fat yogurt 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 large limes- mine were homegrown and very juicy so it only took about 3) 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup light corn syrup 1 teaspoon grated lime zest 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place yogurt in a fine sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a medium bowl; chill for about 1 hour, until 1 to 1 1/3 cups liquid has drained from the yogurt. Discard liquid; set yogurt aside. 2. In a bowl, combine lime juice, sugar, corn syrup, lime zest, and vanilla; whisk until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add strained yogurt; whisk to combine. Transfer to an ice-cream maker; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

lime frozen yogurt, rich lemon ice cream, blood orange gelato

Rich Lemon Ice Cream

{makes 1 quart}

2 large eggs 4 large egg yolks 1 1/4 cups sugar 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (Martha says 5, took me 4 juicy ones) 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 1 cup milk (I used whole)

1. Prepare an ice-water bath (a big bowl of ice and water). In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest. 2. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the cream and milk. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve or cheescloth-lined strainer into a clean bowl set over the ice-water bath to chill. 3. Transfer the chilled mixture to an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Blood Orange Gelato

{makes 1 quart}

2 cups milk (I used whole) zest of 1 blood orange 1 cup blood orange juice (about 5 blood oranges) 5 large egg yolks 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup heavy cream

1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and orange zest. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Steep for 30 minutes (with lid on). 2. In a small saucepan, cook juice over medium-low heat until reduced by three-quarters, 30-40 minutes. Allow syrup to cool completely (I put it in the fridge for a bit). 3. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, return the milk and orange zest mixture to a simmer. 4. Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisking constantly, add half the milk to egg-yolk mixture. Stir into remaining milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. 5. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl set over the ice bath to chill. Stir in orange syrup, then freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

digging in to homemade ice cream

Yum! The Blood Orange is by far the most time consuming but it's the best in my opinion. I can't wait to make more!

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?