How to Make Vanilla Ice Cream

make homemade ice cream
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Making ice cream requires little more than whisking dairy and sugar together with your desired flavorings, like vanilla or mint, then loading it into that ice cream maker that’s been sitting around since your wedding all those years ago.

Eric Berley, one-half of the duo behind Philadelphia’s Franklin Fountain, suggests keeping it classic at home with vanilla bean.

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“Real vanilla ice cream is the gentleman’s choice in a sea of flavors,” he says. “She’s rocksolid and never disappoints.”

Here’s how to whip it up yourself with an ice cream maker.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4-plus hours


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Prep time

10 min.

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups light cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
Whisk sugar, creams, and vanilla extract together in a mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved. Slice open vanilla bean, scrape out pulp inside, and add pulp to mixture. Whisk thoroughly to distribute. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Set up your ice cream maker and add chilled base to frozen ice cream bowl. Spin ice cream until it takes on the appearance of soft-serve, about 35 minutes. Remove blades and cover surface of ice cream with parchment paper.
Freeze ice cream at least 4 hours, ideally overnight, before serving.