How to Make Custard Based Ice Cream

(Last Updated On: December 15, 2009)

So if we all scream for ice cream, how loud do we scream when we make it ourselves? A year ago, I got my own ice cream maker and have been turning out tasty treats ever since. I had some problems with some of the first recipes I tried, but it was because the instructions on how to make the ice cream were poor. After gathering information from different sources, I came up with the procedure below. I follow these steps whenever I make a custard based ice cream (that is ice cream that contains eggs). I do have to make some occasionally adjustments based on the ice cream and if I list a recipe on this website that needs adjustments I will inform you of any changes to the procedure.

1. Combine the dairy (whether it’s milk, half and half, or heavy cream) into a saucepan and bring the mixture just to a simmer. Remove from the heat.

2. While that is taking place, beat the eggs with the sugar and a pinch of salt until the mixture thickens. Some recipes call for the use of flour, corn starch, or cocoa powder and this is the point where I would add them.

3. Using a ladle add the dairy mixture to the egg mixture one scoop at a time. This is done so that we don’t produce scrambled eggs. Make sure to whisk the mixture to combine before adding the next dose. Repeat this until about 1/3 of the dairy is left, then you can safely dump the rest of the dairy into the egg mixture.

4. Pour the now combined mixture into the saucepan over low heat. Attach a thermometer and whisk the mixture continually until it reaches 170-175 degrees. At this point if you stick a spoon into the mixture it will coat the back of the spoon.

5. Pour the mixture into a bowl. If you are making a fruit-based ice cream, you may add the fruit (prepared according to the recipe) at this point. If the recipe calls for an extract like vanilla, then you would add it after the mixture has an half hour to cool. You never want to add an extract while the mixture is hot or it will lose it’s effectiveness.

6. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and keep it there until cold, this will ensure a better texture for the final product. If you skip this step and churn the ice cream you will end up with an icy ice cream.

7. After the mixture is cold (35-40 degrees), then churn it in your ice cream maker, based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

8. Once finished, put the ice cream into it’s container and place in the freezer for a couple hours to harden.

5 Replies to “How to Make Custard Based Ice Cream”

  1. […] Who doesn’t love a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream with their pie or cobbler? Well I found something that is even better – homemade cinnamon ice cream. First off, it tastes good and second, why spice goes better with a pie than cinnamon. I found a recipe for cinnamon ice cream in the book “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz. This is a custard based ice cream, so it contains eggs. To learn how to make custard-based ice cream see my earlier post on this topic. […]

  2. […] my instructions on how to prepare custard-based ice cream. Make sure you add the cocoa powder with the sugar and […]

  3. […] that do a better job of teaching the hows and whys of ice cream (in an earlier post I explained how to make custard based ice cream).  For those on a diet, each recipe includes an estimate of how many calories, how much fat, etc […]

  4. […] is a custard based ice cream, so if you don’t know how to make a custard based ice cream, read my instructions on how to do […]

  5. […] make the ice cream Check out my instructions on how to make custard based ice cream. Follow those instructions and use your vanilla bean paste or extract as your […]

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