Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
23 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours 30 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Our classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream has 75 percent less fat but it's still creamy and rich, thanks to one secret ingredient--evaporated low-fat milk.

How to Make It

Combine half-and-half, 1/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, salt, and evaporated milk in a medium heavy saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk mixture. Heat milk mixture to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat until a thermometer registers 160°, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 20 minutes or until egg mixture is cool, stirring occasionally. Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; discard solids. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 3 hours or until firm.

Ratings & Reviews

Very creamy and yummy

February 25, 2017
This ice cream has a rich, golden vanilla flavor.  I used heavy whipping cream instead of half and half (used what I had) and left the vanilla bean mixture in the fridge overnight.  Wonderful flavor!

Creamy, good taste

May 26, 2015
Since buying a Cusinart freezer last month, I've been trying lots of different ice cream, sorbet, and gelato recipes from CL.  They've all been a bit on the "icy" side, but this one is super creamy and tastes like a full-fat ice cream parlor version.  Today, I'm using vanilla extract instead of the bean and adding in minichips.  This could make a great base for almost any flavoring, though I'd save the expensive vanilla bean for those times when you want that flavor to shine.

cobbles's Review

July 20, 2014

merrysanchz's Review

July 14, 2014
Love this recipe! The fact that the heavy cream is omitted and replaced with evaporated milk is just a bonus. The vanilla bean is a splurge but look at the price of commercial ice cream and you will see this is well worth the expense. We have made this recipe twice in the past three weeks.

mahgni's Review

June 01, 2014

freequetzal's Review

October 20, 2013
Amazing recipe! I have tried a few disapointing recipes so far but that one is delicious and only problem now would be to find a way to do bigger batches....but i am limited with the size of my ice cream maker bucket...anyone tried this recipe without an ice cream maker?

jessicapumo's Review

August 09, 2013
I'm lucky enough to have two ice cream freezer bowls for my KitchenAid and we've made a lot of ice cream with them over the years. This is, by far, the BEST I've ever made. My husband is a full-blown ice creamholic and swears this is the best ice cream he's ever eaten. Full disclosure--I accidentally doubled the sugar the first time I made it and everyone liked it so much I purposely double the sugar every time now. The end result is intensely vanilla flavored, incredibly smooth and creamy and impossibly rich. The only down side is the cost of vanilla beans but it's hard to quibble when the result is so amazing. We'll be adapting this recipe for other flavors for sure.

lakecitycook's Review

July 06, 2013
I tried this and it worked great! Even though I had to change a few things: I doubled the recipe and realized I didn't have more evaporated milk so I just increased the half and half. I also used all Stevia in the raw instead of sweetener. Next time I think I'd use at least 1/2 real sugar. I also used vanilla extract instead of the expensive bean. Was still good - and I'm sure will be 5 star next time!

mewitha's Review

June 24, 2013
This is the BEST ice cream recipe I ever tried. My grown daughter dislikes homemade vanilla ice cream, but she made a spectacle of herself when she ate this. I went exactly by the recipe. My daughter asked me to frame this recipe so we would never lose it!!

jmeleeS's Review

June 03, 2013
A bit labor intensive (but isn't all homeade ice cream?) - This recipe lost one star only for personal tastes - I used to love Edy's vanilla bean ice cream, which was nice and white in color speckled with loads of vanilla beans; no one makes that type of ice cream flavor anymore - it all went to French Vanilla and this recipe is no exception. That said, for an at home French Vanilla, this recipe is amazing! Smooth, creamy (not icy at all!) and full of flavor. We put hot fudge on top of ours and it was delicious. I followed directions exactly to a wonderful ice cream; I love that I know what went into it and there are no "added" preservatives of pre-packaged foods! Even my husband who doesn't eat "sweets" was enticed to try some of my bowl and wound up eating at least 1/3 of my serving. Worth the effort / a try (and the expensive vanilla bean ingredient); would make again for sure; enjoy!