Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream combines classic ice cream ingredients with real vanilla beans. Using the seeds of these beans adds an intense vanilla flavor that makes this homemade ice cream shine in a big way. Vanilla ice cream elevated!

Homemade ice cream is a fun tradition, regardless of what method you use. I’ve recently been using my KitchenAid Attachment, but we also use a four-quart electric mixer for larger batches. You can adjust my recipes to work in either method!

A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream in a pan.

Ice Cream with Vanilla Bean

I know I say it a lot, but this really is a favorite flavor here. I love trying lots of different flavors, but plain vanilla is just so good. However, adding real vanilla beans is even more amazing! You can easily find them on Amazon (linked below) and some grocery stores. Use the REAL thing, friends. It’s worth it times 100!

For other delicious ice cream flavors, join my Ice Cream of the Month Club (i.e. follow the blog for a new recipe each month)! Some of my recent flavors include Coffee Toffee Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. My advice? Try them ALL!

What is Vanilla Bean?

Vanilla is the fruit of an orchid plant, and looks like a dark brown bean pod that is long and skinny. Vanilla orchids are grown in tropical climates, and the majority of the world’s supply comes from Madagascar. Vanilla is enjoyed in many forms, especially to add flavor to frosting, ice cream, and a variety of desserts.

The vanilla bean is normally used to make vanilla extract or vanilla paste, both of which are easily found in most grocery stores. Pure vanilla extract is made from real vanilla beans while imitation vanilla extract uses artificial vanillin flavoring.

My hand holding a waffle cone filled with vanilla bean ice cream.

Ingredients needed:

  • Dairy – Both heavy cream and whole milk is needed.
  • Eggs – I used five egg yolks for this recipe.
  • Sugar – Just a cup of granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla Beans – I used two vanilla beans for this ice cream. THIS is the key ingredient!
  • Salt – Just a pinch of kosher salt.

How to prepare vanilla beans

Preparing a vanilla bean is simple. Use a sharp knife to slice the bean in half lengthwise, while leaving the underside intact. Then scrape the seeds out and combine them into the recipe’s other ingredients. The outer pod can be used to infuse the vanilla flavor even more, as I did with this ice cream recipe.

You can also use whole beans to make your own vanilla extract or vanilla paste. This process takes at least a couple of months, as they need time for the flavor to infuse.

How to Temper Eggs

You’ll want to temper your eggs so that they are safe to eat. You can also use pasteurized eggs instead if you can find them in the grocery store.

  1. Pour the whole milk into a small saucepan and add the just-scraped vanilla, as well as the pods. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 165 degrees on a digital thermometer, stirring often. Do not boil.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar, and whisk well.
  3. When the milk reaches 165 degrees, take a small measuring cup and pour into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour it in. Do not stop whisking, and continue to pour about a cup of hot milk into the eggs.
  4. Then pour the contents of the bowl into the saucepan and place it back on the heat. Continue whisking and heating until the mixture reaches 165 degrees.
  5. Remove from heat, discard the vanilla pods, and let cool. You can also strain the custard here if you’d like.
  6. Refrigerate.

How to make Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  1. Prep. If using a KitchenAid attachment, place the bowl into the freezer a full day in advance (or at least 15 hours) before churning.
  2. Temper the eggs. See directions above. I don’t always strain the custard, but you can if you’d like to.
  3. Prepare vanilla beans. See directions above for my simple process to prepare the vanilla beans.
  4. Combine ice cream ingredients. In a large measuring bowl, combine the cooled tempered egg mixture (whole milk, eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla bean seeds), the remaining sugar, heavy cream, and salt. Mix well.
  5. Churn. If using a KitchenAid attachment, start the mixer with the attachment so that it’s turning BEFORE you pour the liquid in. Then pour in whisked ingredients and let it churn until finished. You’ll know it’s done when the mixer starts slowing down and it rises to the top of the bowl, approximately 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove. Use a rubber scraper to pour the ice cream out of the bowl into a pan or container. 
  7. Freeze. Freeze the ice cream until ready to serve. The ice cream will be a bit soft so it needs a couple of hours to firm up.
A closeup on a cone of vanilla bean lying in a pan.

Tips for using a KitchenAid Attachment:

  1. Place bowl attachment in freezer. You’ll want to be sure to store the bowl in the freezer for AT LEAST 15 hours before using. Since we have an extra freezer in our laundry room, I keep ours in there all the time. That way we can make ice cream on a whim!
  2. Run mixer in advance. Attach bowl to the KitchenAid mixer and add the attachments. Start mixer on the lowest setting BEFORE adding ice cream mixture. This will prevent the bowl from freezing up.
  3. Add liquid while mixer is running. Then carefully pour the liquid into the bowl attachment while it’s running.
  4. Let it slow down slightly. The ice cream is done when you see it expanding to the top of the bowl and the mixer starts to slow down.

What should I add vanilla bean ice cream to?

Well…duh. I’ve got LOADS of choices for you. Get ready to swoon!

Closeup on a pan of vanilla bean ice cream.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

I also used these Native Vanilla Beans for this ice cream.

xoxo ~Sue

A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream in a pan.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream combines classic ice cream ingredients with real vanilla beans. Using the seeds of these beans adds an intense vanilla flavor that makes this homemade ice cream shine in a big way. Vanilla ice cream elevated!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade ice cream, homemade vanilla bean ice cream
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
chilling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 395kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ cups whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar – divided
  • 2 whole vanilla beans
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  •  If using KitchenAid attachment, place the bowl into the freezer a full day in advance (or at least 15 hours) before churning.
  • Prep vanilla beans. Use a sharp knife to slice the beans in half lengthwise while leaving the underside intact. Scrape the seeds out.

Temper the eggs.

  • Pour the whole milk into a small saucepan, and add the just-scraped vanilla and the pods. Heat over medium heat until it reaches 165 degrees, stirring often. Do not boil.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar and whisk well.
  • When milk reaches 165 degrees, take a small measuring cup and pour into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour it in. Do not stop whisking, and continue to pour about a cup of hot milk into the eggs.
  • Then pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan. Continue whisking and heating until the mixture reaches 165 degrees.
  • Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla pods, and let cool. Strain the custard, if desired. (I don't always do this, but you can.) Refrigerate.

Make ice cream.

  • In a large measuring bowl, combine the cooled tempered egg mixture (whole milk, eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla bean seeds), the remaining sugar, heavy cream, and salt. Mix well.
  • Churn. If using a KitchenAid attachment, start the mixer with the attachment so that it’s turning BEFORE you pour the liquid in. Then pour in whisked ingredients and let it churn until finished. You’ll know it’s done when the mixer starts slowing down and it rises to the top of the bowl, approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Use a rubber scraper to pour the ice cream out of the bowl into a pan or container. Freeze the ice cream until ready to serve. The ice cream will be a bit soft so it needs a couple of hours to firm up.

Notes

You’ll want to temper your eggs so that they are safe to eat. You can also use pasteurized eggs instead if you can find them in the grocery store.

Nutrition

Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 133mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 1224IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg

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