If Haagen Dazs It, You Can Too (Vanilla Ice Cream)


I love ice cream. Always will and always have. Even when I went through a “I think I’m allergic to dairy” phase. [I was 13 and still discovering who I was. I also had giardia.]

This is adapted from Thomas Keller’s fantastic recipe in Bouchon, and employs a water bath, which I learned about from the Modernist Cuisine at Home book. 

Ice cream makers range in price from $30 to WAY too much money. Get the cheap one. I use a Cuisinart model I bought for $45.


  • 500g Heavy cream
  • 500g Whole milk (don’t be an idiot; get full fat milk.)
  • 150g Sugar
  • 150g Egg yolk (about 8 large, or 6-7 extra large)
  • 2.5g vanilla bean (1 vanilla bean)
  • 2.5g sea salt


Method 1

  1. Preheat a water bath to 83˚C. 
  2. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Add milk, cream, and salt to the bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add everything to a ziplock bag, remove as much air as possible, and drop into the water bath. Cook for 45 minutes.
  5. Chill the bag in ice water. The colder it is when it goes into the ice cream maker the better.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve into the ice cream maker and proceed according to your manufacturer’s directions.

Method 2

  1. Bring milk, cream, and vanilla (including seeds!) to JUST BARELY a simmer.
  2. Turn off the heat and let cool for an hour.
  3. Whisk together sugar, salt, and egg yolks, then add to the milk mixture.
  4. Bring back up to faint simmer.
  5. Chill overnight.
  6. Add to ice cream machine and proceed according to your manufacturer’s directions.