Fifteen Spatulas

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine

As I promised last week, here is a post on how to make french vanilla ice cream at home, no ice cream machine required.  This is basically a spin on a semifreddo, which I have made so many times I could do it with my eyes closed.  What’s with all the semifreddo in my life?  Well, after I tasted some, I simply didn’t care for storebought ice cream anymore.  Most of them are these atrocious guar gum xanthan gum whatever gum filled fakeries (exception: Haagen Dazs, which is pretty expensive), and this way I can put whatever I want in my ice cream for CHEAP.  I’ve done this as pistachio, mango, peanut butter, chocolate, melon, and so on, but today I’m going to show you how to make some good old vanilla, so you can take that Summer Berry Cobbler Ramekin Pie I posted the other day to the next level.

Start by whisking up eggs and sugar in a double boiler until thickened and frothy:

Fold whipped cream into the custard, and place it in a glass container:

Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so a skin doesn’t form:

Freeze immediately for 4-6 hours, and enjoy!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine

Yield: 6-8 servings


2 extra large eggs
4 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar+2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract


Start by setting up a double boiler (a heatproof bowl set over a pot with an inch of simmering water), and prepare an ice bath that the bowl can be set into later. Place the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt into the bowl. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds, and add those and the scraped vanilla bean to the bowl as well. Cook for about 10 minutes, whisking frequently so the egg doesn't scramble**, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Immediately remove the custard and place it into the ice bath to cool, and remove the vanilla bean.

**If you do happen to scramble some of the eggs, don't worry. Just strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve after it's reached 160 and beat air back into it with a hand mixer.
In a medium bowl using a mixer, whip the heavy cream until a little frothy. Add in the 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whip to soft peaks.

Remove the egg custard from the ice bath, and add 1/3 of the whipped cream to it to lighten. Fold in the rest of the cream and pour into a container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so a skin doesn't form. Freeze immediately for 4-6 hours, depending on your freezer. Enjoy your homemade ice cream!!!!

26 comments on “Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine

  1. Joanne!!! This looks fantastic!! I can’t wait to try it… Thanks for thinking of us!! :)

  2. OH…ice cream without a machine, that is exactly what I need, it’s very expensive to have one here in my country, so I never make ice cream at home…now I can try. Thanks Joanne…!!!

  3. How creative and yummy! I’m a vanilla freak, so this is something I could definitely get behind. I would never have tried to make ice cream on my own (with or without machine), but I think I could handle this!

  4. Your ice cream looks wonderful!

  5. Great job! Sounds delicious! I have an ice cream maker I got YEARS ago, but nice to know you can make it without!

    • If I got one as a gift I would definitely use it, but for now, there’s not enough room in my kitchen/I’d buy a few other things before I bought an ice cream machine. But one day I’ll get one!

  6. My mom would make this and we called it “limber”. She used to freeze them in ice cube trays

  7. OMG I can’t wait to try this!! THanks, Joanne!

  8. looks so delicious it’s hard to believe it’s so simple. i’ll give it a whirl.

  9. I did this recipe and i only had Vanilla bean paste that 1 Tbsp equals to 1 whole vanilla bean. My family loved it so much they are already planning for me to do the next one. Excellent recipe would recommend.

  10. SOO good! tried it tonight. Didn’t take 30 min to prepare… the longest thing was the wait – and it was definetly WORTH it. i didn’t have vanilla bean nor paste so i used more vanilla xtract – about 1-1/2 tbsp
    Thank you!

  11. Where do you get vanilla bean or paste?

  12. I would love to try this – after looking at quite a few ice cream recipes (all without ice cream machine), yours look the simplest! Yours doesn’t require frequent stirring after putting in the freezer – which most other recipes say to do (in order to prevent build up of ice in the ice cream). So your ice cream still turns out creamy without stirring while freezing? Thanks for sharing!

  13. We made this last night and were so excited to try it, it was part of our breakfast this morning. OUTSTANDING and easy to make. I doubled the recipe and have a surprising amount of Icecream. I was concerned about the texture being “grainy” or “icy” but it is not! It’s smooth and creamy and better than store bought. Just an opinion but since you need vanilla beans (which can be expensive) don’t cheap out on the vanilla extract. Buy a good quality one …you’ll be glad you did as the flavor is so much more intense and pure. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Ended up trying it yesterday and it was FANTASTIC!! Love the creamy texture, tastes like expensive ice cream, and best of all, it wasn’t hard to make! Would love to make other versions, such as chocolate, various fruits, etc. Can you tell us how? Can I just add cocoa powder?

    • Oh you did try it! Didn’t see your new comment until now. Glad you enjoyed it!!! You can definitely play around with different versions. My favorite actually happens to be peanut butter. Just make sure that whatever flavors you’re adding, you’re doing it before you add in the whipped cream (just so you don’t deflate the mixture). For the chocolate version, make sure the cocoa powder is cooked in the egg mixture since raw cocoa powder would make it a bit unpalatable. Enjoy!

      • Thank you for the cocoa powder tip! Do you recommend cocoa powder or melted semi-sweet chocolate? Peanut butter sounds awesome, how much do you put in it and does it need to be softened first? If adding fruit, like mango or strawberries, is it better to use chopped fruit or mashed/pureed fruit? Sorry for the questions! Just want to increase my chances of success when trying different flavors :)

        • I usually do cocoa powder with ice cream. For PB, I usually add about 2 tbsp of peanut butter. For fruit it’d probably better to do pureed because fruit chunks are hard to bite when frozen.

  15. This looks great – though if one were to modify this to make dulce de leche ice cream, do you have any suggestions for how much should be added?

    • Dulce de leche would work well here, however you’d want to cut down on the added sugar since the dulce de leche has a lot in it. You should simply sweeten it to taste, but I’d imagine you’d use about 1/2 cup. Start there and taste.

  16. Lovely wil try for sure as I m new to baking I ve found it easy with step guide

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