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French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

Slofoodgroup Team August 29, 2022

How to Make French Vanilla Ice Cream From Scratch

French vanilla bean ice cream is so decadent—especially when made from scratch. It is loaded with rich and creamy ingredients like egg yolks, sweet whipping cream, whole milk, sugar, and the seeds of vanilla beans, of course.

Making homemade ice cream can be daunting, though. If you are using a churn, there are quite often many steps and it can take days. While it is worth it, because the end result is a light and airy, easy-to-scoop treat, there it is possible to make no-churn, pop-in-the-freezer, overnight ice cream, as well. 

We wanted to create a recipe that could be used for both. So that’s just what we did.

We started with the traditional ingredients: whole milk, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla bean seeds, but we wanted to alter it a bit to up the level of delectability, ensuring it is absolutely indulgence-worthy. So we swapped out the plain, white sugar, with a combination of creamed honey, vanilla sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, added both vanilla beans and vanilla extract, and a couple pinches of fleur de sel. 

Homemade French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Honey and Fleur De Sel


  • 6 egg yolks (we prefer farm fresh eggs, which tend to be richer with a creamier yolk)
  • 1 ½  cup sweet heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 5-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup creamed honey
  • ¼ cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • Seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans (we used these)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Divide your heavy cream and mix one half of it with the sweetened, condensed milk and your fleur de sel. Set aside. 
  2. In a pot, mix together the remaining heavy cream, milk, creamed honey, seeds from your vanilla beans, and vanilla extract. 
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir continuously until all of the honey has been fully dissolved into the mixture and bubbles begin to form around the edges. Take care not to scorch the milk. 
  4. Whisk your eggs together with your vanilla sugar in a separate bowl. 
  5. Use the hot milk mixture to temper your egg yolks; whisking in just a quarter cup of the hot liquid into the eggs at a time to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs. 
  6. Return the mixture to the pot and turn the heat up to medium.
  7. Stir the mixture immediately and often, until it has thickened to they consistency of a syrup. Remove from the burner. 
  8. Use a fine mesh strainer to run the liquid through and strain it in with the whipping cream and condensed milk mixture. Stir together. 
  9. Allow the mixture to fully cool over an ice bath, or by placing uncovered in a refrigerator and stirring every 20 minutes or so. Once the custard has a good chill on it, you can start the process of turning it into French vanilla bean ice cream. If you are doing no-churn, simply place it in the freezer over night, with a piece of parchment paper sitting gently atop the custard, or follow your ice cream makers manufacturer instructions for an airy, churned version.