Frozen Vanilla Custard


  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together until mixture changes from dark golden to pale yellow becomes fluffy.


  • Step 2

    Heat milk and cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom. Cook just until mixture starts to simmer when little bubbles begin to appear on the surface, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Step 3

    Whisk a ladleful of milk-cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Add another ladleful and whisk thoroughly before adding the next (this will keep the eggs from cooking). Gradually add the remaining milk-cream mixture and whisk thoroughly. Whisk in vanilla. Cool completely (you can place the bowl in a larger bowl with ice water to cool it faster).

  • Step 4

    Pour cooled mixture into a pitcher; cover. Refrigerate until ice cold or overnight.

  • Step 5

    Pour custard mixture into ice cream maker and process (according to manufacturer’s instructions) until custard reaches the consistency of soft ice cream, about 20 minutes. Quickly transfer to a plastic container. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard. Cover container and freeze until custard is firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours.

  • Chef's Notes:

    You can substitute 1 split and scraped whole vanilla bean for 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

    To cool the custard mixture, I float the mixing bowl in a larger bowl with some ice water.

    If you want to make ice cream cones with the leftover egg whites, here’s a great recipe from Chef John.

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