Friday, July 26, 2013

Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

Homemade, old-fashioned vanilla custard ice cream, made with a combination of whole milk, heavy cream, half and half, eggs and vanilla.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

I don't treat myself to homemade ice cream as much as I would like to, and when I do, often it's a basic version made in my Cuisinart ice cream freezer, the kind that has the bucket you keep in the freezer and makes a soft serve ice cream in under 30 minutes. That's not counting chilling times and freezing times of course, but it's pretty handy for when you want to make ice cream without all the ice and salt and such... so long as you have the freezer space to keep the bucket frozen.

For those holidays, big picnics, parties and reunions, you'll still need the big batch 4-quart or larger machines, like that pictured below, and you'll need that size for this recipe, although I usually do a half recipe very successfully in my smaller Cuisinart freezer too.

Remember when you had to hand crank these? Often a job delegated to the children, it was pretty neat seeing the end result!
I'm pretty basic with my ice cream flavors, butter pecan and strawberry being my top two favorites. I sure won't turn down an offer of some fresh peach or chocolate or, well, pretty much any other flavor of ice cream either... but good ole vanilla is always the reliable standby. It stands on its own of course, but it's also versatile enough that it goes well paired with everything from chocolate and fruit sauces to cakes and cobblers.

While I do enjoy the easy "cheater" versions of ice creams, often made using condensed milk and pudding mix as the binder, every once in awhile I find an excuse to make a good, old-fashioned, rich and decadent, cooked custard ice cream - and when I do, this is the one.

There isn't much to making a custard ice cream really. You simply make an egg custard, just as you would with a homemade banana pudding, then you chill the custard, preferably overnight. When you are ready to make the ice cream, you simply add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and make according to the directions on your brand. This will give you a wonderful soft serve ice cream if you can't stand to wait a minute longer. For a firmer ice cream, you just need to transfer it to a covered container and freeze it until firm. My husband loves it soft but I like it firm and it really is worth all the effort... and the wait.

Of course, the best vanilla ice cream is made with a whole vanilla bean. When you see those little specks in ice cream, you know you've got some great vanilla flavor.

Whole vanilla beans are not a pantry staple for me, however, so unless I buy them with purposeful intent for things like this, I just use good ole pure vanilla extract which is always in my pantry. I wrote the recipe for vanilla extract, but included the directions for vanilla bean in the recipe notes. If you can fit vanilla bean in your budget, use it; if not, vanilla extract makes for a mighty fine ice cream too.

While I'm on the subject of extracts, my preference is to always use natural, pure vanilla extract over imitation, especially where the flavor is so central, such as here. Yes, it does cost a bit more, but if I'm gonna spend time making something homemade and from scratch, I want to use quality ingredients. Like my feelings about butter vs. margarine, there are very valid reasons for this!

{Southern Style Hissy Fit Soapbox Moment Warning}

Imitation vanilla is a cheap product made from artificial flavorings, almost all of which come from wood product run-off from paper pulp factories... and almost always contains the associated chemicals from that process.

Have you ever smelled a paper factory? There used to be a paper mill somewhere in the vicinity of Mobile, Alabama and on certain days you could smell the stench in the air all the way over to my hometown Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Imitation vanilla also has an off putting and bitter taste to me and frankly, like anything artificial, you usually need to use more, often twice as much, to get the true flavor you want. I'm not gonna tell you what to do in your kitchen, so, of course the choice is up to you, but given that, I think I'll pay a little more and stick with the pure version of extract myself, or even make it myself.

{tucking away the soapbox}
Homemade vanilla custard ice cream with sliced bananas, chocolate sauce and chopped walnuts. The only thing missing is whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. It's one of my favorite ways to eat homemade ice cream!
Here's how to make my old fashioned, vanilla custard ice cream.

Recipe: Old Fashioned Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Inactive time: 12 hours | Yield: About 3-1/2 quarts

  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract

Whisk together the milk, sugar and eggs in the top of a double boiler, cooking until mixture thickens and custard coats the back of a spoon, (about 170 degrees F), about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, several hours or overnight.

Stir in the cream, half and half, salt and vanilla until well blended; add mixture to the tub of a 4 quart ice cream maker, freezing according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a freezer safe container, cover and freeze for several hours, or overnight, until firm.

Cook's Notes: Makes about 3-1/2 quarts, but can be halved for a smaller 1-1/2 to 2 quart freezer. If you find any lumps in the custard after cooking, press through a strainer before refrigerating. For vanilla bean ice cream, add 2 whole vanilla beans and reduce the extract to 3 teaspoons. Slice the pods in half lengthwise and use a knife to scrape out the seeds, adding both the seeds and the pods to the custard mixture. Cook as directed, let the custard cool for 30 minutes before removing the pods; cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate Syrup: Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of light corn syrup. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring regularly until syrup reaches 235 degrees. Remove from heat and add in 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and slowly stir in 1 cup of evaporated milk. Let cool completely, then store in refrigerator until needed. Makes about 2 cups.


Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Homemade Peach Ice Cream
Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet
Chocolate "Frosty" Ice Cream

Posted by on July 26, 2013
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, but please do not repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

As an Amazon Associate, Deep South Dish earns from qualifying purchases. See full disclosure for details.

Hey Y’all! Welcome to some good ole, down home southern cooking. Pull up a chair, grab some iced tea, and 'sit a bit' as we say down south. If this is your first time visiting Deep South Dish, you can sign up for FREE updates via EMAIL or RSS feed, or you can catch up with us on Facebook and Twitter too!

Articles on this website are protected by copyright. You are free to print and sharing via Facebook share links and pinning with Pinterest are appreciated, welcomed and encouraged, but do not upload and repost photographs, or copy and paste post text or recipe text for republishing on Facebook, other websites, blogs, forums or other internet sites without explicit prior written approval.
Click for additional information.

© Copyright 2008-2023 – Mary Foreman – Deep South Dish LLC - All Rights Reserved

Material Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from the provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

DISCLAIMER: This is a recipe site intended for entertainment. By using this site and these recipes you agree that you do so at your own risk, that you are completely responsible for any liability associated with the use of any recipes obtained from this site, and that you fully and completely release Mary Foreman and Deep South Dish LLC and all parties associated with either entity, from any liability whatsoever from your use of this site and these recipes.

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. CONTENT THEFT, EITHER PRINT OR ELECTRONIC, IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE. Recipes may be printed ONLY for personal use and may not be transmitted, distributed, reposted, or published elsewhere, in print or by any electronic means. Seek explicit permission before using any content on this site, including partial excerpts, all of which require attribution linking back to specific posts on this site. I have, and will continue to act, on all violations.

Email Subscription DSD Feed