Homestyle French Vanilla Ice Cream

Using an ice cream maker is going to give you the best results in terms of a smooth and creamy texture, however if you don’t have one, this recipe is the next best thing.


Making ice cream is one area where you don’t want to use low-fat ingredients. Ice cream depends on its high fat content to create a smooth and creamy blend, and it also prevents it from getting icy and gritty in the freezer.

Because ice cream is made from only a few ingredients, you really want to use the best quality ingredients. This is especially true when adding flavorings. Use good quality chocolate, and pure vanilla extract – or even better, real vanilla beans.

Any flavorings you do add, especially extracts or alcohols, should be added after you have cooked the custard and it has cooled. If you add it to the custard when its hot, the flavors start to deteriorate and won’t be as pronounced.

Keep the ice creams surface covered with plastic wrap while it’s in the freezer. This will help prevent it from ice crystals forming on the surface.

French style ice cream contains egg yolks, which help make it smooth, rich and creamy.


Homestyle French Vanilla Ice Cream

Marla Hingley
Don't have an ice cream maker, no problem!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 8


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or 2-3 vanilla beans split bean, scrape out insides
  • 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream chilled


  • In a double boiler, over simmering water, combine yolks and sugar. Whisk constantly for 4 minutes, mixture should be slightly thickened.
  • Remove from heat. Using a hand mixer, beat mixture for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form.
  • Mix vanilla into custard mixture, then fold into whipped cream. Mix gently until well incorporated (you don’t want to lose volume by over-mixing).
  • Pour into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Smooth top, then press plastic wrap onto surface of ice cream. Chill until frozen, about 4 hours.


For Chocolate Ice Cream, add 6 oz of melted GF semi-sweet chocolate (that’s been slightly cooled) to the custard mixture after you whipped it for 3 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Almond Brittle


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  1. This cooked custard style ice cream really needs the sugar to create a smooth texture that will be creamy and not rock hard once frozen. If you have an ice cream maker you could try this:
    2 egg yolks
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup whole milk
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 packets French Vanilla Stevia (or whichever brand to taste)
    Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Chill for 1 hour, then pour into an ice-cream maker.

  2. After cooking the eggs and sugar, chill until cool. Then whisk everything together (including the un-whipped cream) until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow its directions, and enjoy!

  3. Not everyone who is gluten intolerant is lactose intolerant. So I try and have a mix of recipes that are sensitive to a variety of allergens. Which is why last week I sent out the recipe for Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  4. What is the best way to preserve left over ice cream? I made the dairy free strawberry ice cream which was delicious, however, the remainder took a day to thaw out! Please advise on how to keep leftover gluten free ice cream manageable from freezer to the table. Thank you.

  5. There are a few things you can do to try and get a softer homemade ice cream:
    1. Since sugar doesn’t freeze, the lower the sugar content of your ice cream, the harder it will freeze. So try adding an additional 3-4 Tbsp (to taste).
    2. Alcohol doesn’t freeze, so you can add up to 3 tablespoons of (40 proof) liquor to 1 quart (1 liter) of your ice cream prior to churning. Using vodka won’t affect the flavor of your ice cream, but if you do want a touch flavor try Grand Marnier (orange) or Amaretto for a light almond flavor.
    3. Don’t skimp on the cream. Since fat doesn’t freeze, the thicker cream you use the better (since it contains very little water). You can also add an additional egg yolk to increase the creaminess of the ice cream, making it less likely to freeze solid.
    4. Of course, your best chance at light and fluffy ice cream is to buy an ice cream maker. It’s the air that is whipped into the mixture that gives it that texture, and prevents it from freezer into an impenetrable block.
    Hope this helps!

  6. Not for this recipe, since you need to beat the cream in thick whipping cream. Unfortunately milk alternatives do not whip.

  7. I will put it on my list of recipes to make and let you know when its perfected!

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