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Freezer French Vanilla Recipe

Freezer French Vanilla Recipe

When kids learn how to mix up vanilla ice cream by hand, the rewards are even sweeter. Use this recipe as an opportunity to teach your kids how to scald milk, use a double boiler, and test that a custard mixture has thickened.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pint whipping or heavy cream, chilled
  • Candies, cookies or fruit (optional)


Scald the milk in a saucepan by heating it until it approaches the boiling point (it will look frothy and bubbles will appear on the edges). Set it aside.

In the top of a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt, add the scalded milk, and whisk until smooth.

Freezer French Vanilla - Step 3

Cook the egg-milk mixture over simmering water stirring continuously for 10 minutes, or until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. (If you don't own a double boiler, use two similar-size saucepans, placing one on top of the other.) You'll know the custard mixture is ready (and the egg yolks are cooked) when it coats the back of a spoon.

Remove the pan from the double boiler and add the whipping or heavy cream. Mix thoroughly. Carefully pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch pan, cover, and place in the freezer. (At this point, you could use an ice cream maker if you have one.)

Every hour or so, stir the mixture and scrape the edges of the pan to keep the ice cream smooth as it freezes. After about 5 hours, it should be frozen. Cover and keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Makes 1 quart.

Freezer French Vanilla - Step 6

If you want to make your ice cream extra creamy, before serving, let it soften for 15 minutes, scoop it into a bowl, and beat it with a mixer.

Freezer French Vanilla - Step 7

To jazz up your ice cream, you can mix in candies, cookies or fresh fruit at this stage. Try folding crushed Oreo cookies, fresh diced strawberries, chocolate chips or broken peanut butter cups into slightly softened ice cream. Let the kids experiment with their own combination of ingredients, and they'll have a flavor that rivals gourmet ice cream.