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Ice Cream Base

Summer always inspires me to make ice cream but finding the right recipe was tricky. Many were short cut versions or recipes which substituted pretty much everything. So I searched and searched and found 3 that I liked. This is a combination of all three. It yields two pints of creamy deliciousness. Please note: This is not for anyone on a diet. There is absolutely nothing that is substituted to make this less fatty. If you are watching your weight, be warned, this is incredibly good ice cream and packed with fabulous luscious voluptuous calories.

The ice cream base is just that, a base. Leave it as is and it's a dynamite vanilla custard like ice cream. It's my gift to all you creative cooks. I have made all sorts of creations with this base. From a candied orange/Armagnac with pecans flavor (obviously for grown ups) to a s'mores flavor. I've pretty much done it all. But please share your flavors! I would love to see what you all whip up.

To start you will need very few ingredients BUT you will need an ice cream maker. I use an old Italian one from Viva. It's one of those units with it's own refrigeration system. But there are so many options out there such the KitchenAid attachment. Please make sure to read the directions.


A little note about ingredients. I have learned that the level of quality in the ingredients makes a huge impact on the end product. So I use these ingredients because it makes the best ice cream. I have given alternatives that are equally great but more easily found:

4 Duck eggs (pasture raised) OR 6 chicken eggs (pastor raised)

1.5 cups heavy cream

1.5 cups whole milk

1 vanilla bean pod, split

pinch of salt

8 tablespoons cane sugar (regular white sugar is fine but will be sweeter)


1. In a medium sauce pan, add milk, cream, split vanilla bean (if you want, scrape the seeds and put them in, discard the pod) and 6 tablespoons of sugar...oh, and a pinch of salt. Heat on the stove uncovered over medium heat stirring every so often. Do not simmer or boil. Cream mixture should be hot and sugar should have completely dissolved.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, add yolks of the eggs (keep the whites! You can make meringues, marshmallows or something to go with your ice cream) and remaining sugar. Using a hand held mixer, whip up yolks and sugar until the mixture looks pale yellow and creamy.

3. Turn heat off of cream mixture. Using a measuring cup, take one cup of the hot cream mixture and using a whisk, drizzle it into yolk mixture while whisking. This is called tempering the egg yolks.

4. Once incorporated, take the warm yolk mixture and drizzle it into the cream mixture while whisking gently. Turn heat back on to low/medium low and stir constantly. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the back of a wooden spoon is nicely coated with the creamy yummy custard.

5. Remove custard from heat and pour through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Stir the custard for a bit to help it cool. Now, if you want to be exact, you can make an ice bath using a larger mixing bowl and put the custard bowl on top so you stop the cooking process ASAP. But, yeah, I never do it and my ice cream turns out great.

6. Remove one cup of the custard and put it into a container, cover it and place it in the freezer. Cover the mixing bowl with the custard and place that one into the fridge. You can leave them in their respective places for up to 24 hrs. But they must be in there for at least 4 hours.

7. Remove custards from freezer and fridge. Scrape the frozen custard into the chilled custard. Stir every so often until the frozen custard has completely dissolved. This will make the custard extra cold. The trick to making a creamy (not grainy icy) ice cream is making sure the custard is very cold before churning it.

8. Place cold custard into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your particular maker.

9. No matter what ice cream maker you have, churn the custard until it resembles soft serve ice cream. Pour the soft serve looking ice creaming your containers.

10. Place the containers in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours. Enjoy!

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