You can never go wrong with vanilla ice-cream. Seriously!  Perfect on it’s own as we all know, but you can also add just about anything to it and it’ll be a winner.  Roasted nuts, fruit preserve, chocolate sauce, fresh fruit, cake… now I’m just making myself hungry.

Well for me, it was when I made ridiculously sweet marshmallow topped brownies for my daughters 16th birthday that I figured we just had to have an amazing vanilla ice-cream on the side to add a nice balance.

I don’t have an ice-cream making machine so we’re going old skool and doing it all by hand.

What you need…

  • 250ml whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g Sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (split lengthways)
  • 500ml full cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

How to do it…

Put the milk, salt and sugar into a saucepan and heat gently on the hob without boiling.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod with a sharp knife and add the pod along with the seeds to the warm milk and remove from the heat to infuse for an hour.

Now you need to make an ice bath. Using two bowls, one larger than the other, put some water and ice into the larger bowl and then place the smaller bowl sitting inside it.  It only takes a little ice and water, so test that your bowl doesn’t overflow when pressed down before moving on.  Pour the full cream into the smaller bowl in your ice bath and leave to one side.

Now to make the custard. Using a separate bowl, mix your egg yolks together.  Reheat your milk/vanilla mix which has been resting for about an hour, and add it to the eggs a little at a time while whisking continuously.

Return the mixture to the heat, stirring constantly using a metal spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan until it thickens up enough to coat the spatula. Be patient and keep stirring.

Pour the custard through a sieve into the ice bath with the cold cream. Add the vanilla extract and stir allowing to cool completely.

(If you’re lucky enough to have an ice-cream maker then you can let your mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours, or even all night, before putting it in the machine.  But for the rest of us lowly machineless saddos, it’s a slow process to freeze our ice-cream the old fashioned way.)

Pour the mix into a suitable container.. ceramic, plastic, stainless steel etc and put it in the freezer. Remove the mix every 45mins or so and scrape the frozen ice-cream from the sides and whisk the mixture up again.  Repeat the process for as long as you can manage, I only did it 4 times before surrendering and heading to bed and it was creamy and perfect.  So when you feel it’s right, leave it to freeze completely.

Lip smacking deliciousness any time of the day.

I scream


vanilla ice cream