How to Make No-Churn French Vanilla Ice Cream

Slofoodgroup Team September 08, 2021

Making French Vanilla Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

You can never go wrong with homemade vanilla bean ice cream but if you really want to impress the beneficiaries of your culinary exploits, kick your ice cream into highgear with more richness and depth by making it French vanilla ice cream.  It really is quite incredible the difference a few egg yolks can make! This recipe for no-churn French vanilla ice cream really couldn’t be any more simple. It just takes about 10-15 minutes worth of prep and cook time and 4-6 hours of hands-off time for freezing. So you can eliminate the multiple steps (and multiple days) it takes to make ice cream using your electric ice cream churn and can have your vanilla bean ice cream the same day you make it.

For our no-churn French vanilla bean ice cream, we used fresh Papua New Guinea Vanilla Planifolia. Related to the prized Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, they boast deep elements reminiscent of chocolate and cream and a sweetness found in few other vanilla beans. 

Easy French Vanilla Ice Cream From Scratch


  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk 
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Split your vanilla beans and remove the seeds. Reserve the pods for another use, such as for making vanilla sugar.
  2. Mix together your heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk, vanilla beans, and sea salt and warm them in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  3. While the cream mixture is simmering, place your egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk briskly until it is light and airy 
  4. Temper your eggs by pouring in the cream mixture a little at a time, whisking continuously so the eggs don’t turn into a scrambled mess. Starting with just a few teaspoons at a time and then picking up the pace a little as you get through the mixture. This whole process should take at least a few minutes. 
  5. Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated together and thoroughly mixed, pour the entire mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to ensure there are no milk or egg solids in your ice cream. Continue to whisk until the mixture is somewhat frothy. 
  6. Pour the mixture into a container with at least 4-inch depth. Cover the mixture lightly with plastic wrap, so that it is touching the ice cream mixture. This will prevent skin from forming on top. 
  7. Freeze your ice cream for about 6 hours or until fully frozen. 

Serving Suggestions

French vanilla ice cream is perfectly decadent on its own, but if you are looking for some additions, we recommend the following. 

  • Fresh fruit and a sprinkle of Ceylon cinnamon
  • Almond cookies and salted caramel
  • A drizzle of maple syrup and pecans
  • Honey cookies and fresh ground mace blade



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