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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Speckled with vanilla bean and reminiscent of soft-serve, this ice cream is light, ultra-creamy and full of vanilla flavor.

Homemade ice cream may seem time-consuming, but it's really just about preparation. The custard should be made ahead, and you can churn your ice cream and store it in the freezer several days ahead of when you want to serve it. Nonfat dry milk powder is a unique addition to this ice cream recipe; it helps absorb excess water, keeping this extra-creamy without any of the iciness that sometimes happens in ice cream. Egg yolks add richness without an overpowering egg taste or yellow color, providing a pure vanilla flavor.


8 servings

Total Time

45 minutes + chilling & freezing

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Test Kitchen Tip

Don't forget to freeze the bowl for your ice cream machine about 24 hours before you want to churn the ice cream.


Beat egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale yellow, 2 minutes.

Combine cream, milk, remaining ½ cup sugar, dry milk powder, and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan; heat milk mixture to 175° over medium, stirring often. Whisk ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture to temper.

Pour tempered yolk mixture back into remaining hot milk mixture, whisking well. Heat custard to 180° over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, 57 minutes.

Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard vanilla bean. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Churn custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a container, seal, and freeze overnight.

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