Simple Ice Cream Custard


As the days begin to grow ever so slightly shorter and the sun scorched hills in my little town beg for autumn's rainfall, I find myself savoring the tastes of summer as the next season comes gently knocking on her door. Fresh ice cream, cold and creamy and especially appreciated on a hot August day, is one of those tastes. Though helping yourself to a spoonful of ice cream in the cooler months is always a delicious thing, there's nothing quite like having it when the sun is beating down without reserve.

Homemade ice cream takes a bit of extra time as you have to let the custard cool completely for several hours after heating it all together on the stovetop, but it is absolutely worth it. The taste of ice cream from scratch, even this simple ice cream custard that can also serve as a base for adding fruit or chocolate, is simply unlike any store-bought frozen confection. If you've never had homemade ice cream before, you're in for a treat!

I recommend allowing the ice cream to chill in the freezer after being churned overnight or for at least a few hours to help it firm up a bit. This simple ice cream custard recipe is wonderful as is, but also serves as a great base for adding flavors. Peanut butter, chocolate chunks, berries, or bits of leftover brownies or would all make great additions.


Simple Ice Cream Custard

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla paste

  • 6 egg yolks

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, salt, vanilla and sugar. While the cream is mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. When the cream is steaming and has reached a temperature of 175 degrees, scoop 1/3 cup of the hot milk and slowly whisk it into the egg yolks (do not skip this step, as pouring all the milk in at once will cause the eggs to curdle with the rapid temperature change). Continuing to whisk, add another 1/3 cup of the hot milk, then a final 1/3 cup. Finally, pour the remainder of the hot milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until completely combined. Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator.

Chill the custard in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours until very cold.

After chilling, churn the custard according to your ice cream machine's directions. For a soft serve consistency, serve immediately. To firm the ice cream, place in a freezer-safe container and allow to freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight, then serve.