How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

Start with a big batch of vanilla ice cream and then tailor it to suit your sweet tooth with mix-ins that create new flavors.

One Base, Many Flavors

This recipe produces a really great custard base, which is lusciously smooth, dense and has a silky texture. The flavor should be rich, but not too buttery. It's flavored with vanilla bean which will complement any of your mix-ins.

Get the Recipe: Ice Cream Base


Whisk together 10 egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk a small amount of the cream into the egg mixture. Add enough cream to warm the eggs.


Once the eggs are warm, add them back into the pot of remaining cream.


Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the custard over low heat. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken.


When the custard seems to be getting thicker, lift the rubber spatula and run your finger through the custard. It is done when the custard clings to the spatula.


Pass the custard through a fine mesh strainer or chinois into a shallow dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and immediately place in the refrigerator.


Allow the custard to "ripen" for 6 to 12 hours for the best result. If you are in a rush, at least make sure the custard is thoroughly chilled. The custard will be quite thick once it has chilled.

Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Freeze a bowl and have it ready for the freshly made ice cream. Immediately freeze the ice cream to harden. Once your vanilla ice cream is done, have fun mashing other ingredients into it to create your own flavors.

Optional Mix-ins:

1. 1 cup dried cherries soaked in 2 tablespoons brandy

2. 1 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted and cooled, plus 1/4 cup of maple syrup to drizzle over the ice cream

3. 1 cup ganache (1/2 cup heavy cream brought to a simmer, add 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate and gently stir until smooth.)

Cherry Ice Cream

For the cherry variation on the recipe, soak dried cherries in brandy during the time it takes to freeze the ice cream. Then strain the excess liquid off of the cherries and mixed them into the ice cream.

Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

To create the chocolate swirl variation, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a simmer, add 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate and gently stir until smooth. Cover the top of the ice cream with a thin layer of chocolate ganache.


As you scoop the ice cream out of the bowl the ganache will swirl into the ice cream and add a wonderful chocolate-fudge flavor.

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Add toasted pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup to the ice cream for Maple Pecan Ice Cream.