Frozen Vanilla Custard – Western NY for French Vanilla Ice Cream

If you’re thinking that I’ve already posted a video recipe for vanilla ice cream, I have, but for what I consider a “real” vanilla ice cream, which means no eggs. That’s called an American-style ice cream, and features a cleaner, more pronounced vanilla flavor.

The French weren’t into that. They froze their famously delicious custard, and the rest is history. While I prefer the later, I have to admit they won, since it is the style that dominates the freezer case.

I like to use pure vanilla extract over the whole bean, mostly because it’s easier, cheaper, and always consistent. Having said that, it’s hard to argue against the whole bean, so feel free to go full foodie. Speaking of which, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, there are plenty of “hacks” online that work fairly well.

I would have called this French vanilla ice cream, but where I grew up, this is called frozen custard. It’s traditionally served soft, in cones, but I prefer to freeze it firm. That way, I get French vanilla ice cream, and as it melts, I also get soft-serve frozen custard. Now that’s a win-win. Anyway, stay tuned for homemade cones, and in the meantime, I really hope you give this a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 1 quart of Frozen Vanilla Custard aka French Vanilla Ice Cream
5 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or one split/scraped whole vanilla bean)

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