How to Make the Best Vanilla Ice Cream From Scratch

One Scoop Won't Be Enough

Ice cream
Vanilla ice cream. Leah Maroney
  • 01 of 10

    Gather the Ingredients

    Vanilla ice cream
    Ingredients for vanilla ice cream. Leah Maroney

    To make vanilla ice cream at home, you will need:

    Before you begin, make sure your ice cream maker insert is frozen ahead of time! It needs to be completely chilled, so freeze overnight if you can.

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  • 02 of 10

    Heat the Half and Half

    vanilla ice cream
    Heat the half and half for vanilla ice cream. Leah Maroney

    The first step in making two quarts of vanilla custard ice cream is heating 2 1/2 cups of half and half. Only heat until there are bubbles around the edge of the pan. Remove from the stovetop and set aside.

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  • 03 of 10

    Mix Egg Yolks and Sugar

    Vanilla ice cream
    Mix egg yolks and sugar. Leah Maroney

    With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on low to medium speed, beat together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until thickened. This will take less than a minute.

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  • 04 of 10

    Add Half and Half

    Vanilla ice cream
    Add half and half to mixture. Leah Maroney

    Gradually add the warmed half and half and cream to yolk mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

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  • 05 of 10

    Heat Combined Mixtures

    Vanilla ice cream
    Heat combined mixtures. Leah Maroney

    Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Heat the combined mixture only until bubbles form around edge of pot and liquid is steamy, stirring constantly.

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  • 06 of 10

    Step Six - Combine Warm Mixture With Cold Cream Mixture

    Vanilla ice cream
    Combine warm mixture with cold cream mixture. Leah Maroney

    In a large resealable container or bowl, combine the heavy or whipping cream with the vanilla and salt. Mix well. Gently pour the warm half and half mixture into the heavy cream mixture. Combine completely. 

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  • 07 of 10

    Cover the Ice Cream Mixture and Refrigerate

    Vanilla ice cream
    Cover the ice cream mixture and refrigerate. Leah Maroney

    Place a lid on the container and refrigerate overnight. If you've noticed some lumps in your half and half mixture, use a sieve to pour the mixture through into the container.

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  • 08 of 10

    Follow Your Ice Cream Maker Instructions

    Vanilla ice cream
    Vanilla ice cream in the ice cream machine. Leah Maroney

    After you have chilled the ice cream mixture, get ready to run your ice cream maker. Be sure to follow your own particular ice cream maker's instructions. Most call for running the machine as you add the cream mixture. 

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  • 09 of 10

    Is It Done Yet?

    Vanilla ice cream
    Vanilla ice cream. Leah Maroney

    While the ice cream is processing, put the container that you are going to use to store the ice cream in the freezer to pre-chill it. Once the ice cream is made, remove it from the machine. Place in the chilled container and store in the freezer at least 2 hours before serving.

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  • 10 of 10

    Step Nine - the Finished Product

    Vanilla ice cream
    The finished vanilla ice cream. Leah Maroney

    Eat your ice cream plain or top it with any toppings you enjoy!