Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
5 Hours 20 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Get out the ice cream maker! Requiring just 5 ingredients, this recipe for classic vanilla ice cream couldn't be easier. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring half-and-half, milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Why? Heating dissolves the sugar and infuses the vanilla into the liquid.

Step 2

Combine yolks and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl, whisking vigorously until thick and pale. Why? Whisking dissolves the sugar and thickens the yolks.

Step 3

Gradually add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to yolk mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add yolk mixture to pan, and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°.

Step 4

What's happening? The yolks are warming up enough to cook with the rest of the hot milk mixture.

Step 5

Strain into a clean bowl set over an ice-water bath, stirring to cool. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Step 6

What's happening? Straining removes the vanilla bean and any tiny bits of egg that may have coagulated, ensuring the smoothest consistency.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews


June 30, 2015
Very nice recipe! The egg yolks add so much creaminess. Easy. Just keep all equipment as cold as possible, to prevent ice