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Basic Egg Custard for Homemade Ice Cream


"The Perfect Scoop" is my favorite book about how to make ice cream (David Lebowitz). This is my "go to" custard recipe, where I can experiment with new flavors.

I much prefer a custard based ice cream, over just milk or heavy cream. Personally, it's a richer and creamier texture. Make this a day before and then add your favorite summer fruit, or any kind of flavor that you like.

I show you how to make this on my food blog, "A Feast for the Eyes" at:

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  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup half and half (I used whole milk)
  • 1 cup heavy cream


Servings 1
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 210mins
Adapted from


Step 1

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Pour the half-and-half and cream into the top of a double boiler** and heat over hot water until hot, but not boiling. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.

**NOTE: I carefully heated the milk and cream in my microwave, being careful not to let it boil.

Slowly pour the hot cream into the eggs and whisk until smooth.

Return to the double boiler** and cook over medium-low until thick and bubbling around the edges.
**NOTE: I used direct heat, being very careful to stir constantly and to keep the temperature on medium-low. It took about 15 minutes for the custard to thicken, so be patient!

The custard will coat a wooden spoon.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To make the ice cream, blend the chilled cream and your choice of flavor and or berries or even pumpkin puree.

Turn on the machine, and then add the cream mix into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

When the ice cream is the consistency of whipped cream, stir in the chopped berries or nuts.

Transfer to a shallow quart container, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze in the refrigerator's freezer for at least 3 hours until ready to serve.


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