Introduction: Vanilla Ice Cream. Simple and Delicious (or Simply Delicious).

About: I'm a biologist interested in all things sciency. I love to figure out how things work and to make my own stuff, be it food, woodworking, electronics or sewing.

If you read the lable of contents on most store bought ice cream, you'll notice that it contains a bunch of ingredients like water, emulsifiers, thickeners, artificial flavours and color.
I find this a bit disturbing when all it takes to make fantastic ice cream is four ingredients. Once you start making your own, there's no going back.

Step 1: What You'll Need

We have tried a bunch of different recipes for ice cream but this is definitely the favorit. As luck would have it, it is also the simplest one.

You will need

2 eggs
1.5 dl sugar
2 dl whole milk
3 dl cream
1 vanilla pod

Measuring cup
Pan (optional)
Ice cream maker (optional but highly recommended)

You can vary the ratio between cream and milk. A high fat content gives soft ice cream, while lowering the fat content gives harder ice cream.

For reference, the cream I use has a 38% fat content and the whole milk has a fat content of 3.5%.

Step 2: Add Some Vanilla Flavour

There are several ways of doing this. You could add some kind of vanilla extract, but I much prefer using real vanilla.

Cut the vanilla pod open lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife. Add the seeds, the pod itself and ca 2 dl of the liquid to a pan (remember to remove the pod afterwards. only the seeds go in the ice cream). Heat it untill you see the vanilla seeds distributing nicely. It doesn't have to boil. Doing this helps distribute the vanilla seeds that have a tendency to clumpt together. The heat also helps bring out the flavour. You could skip this step and add the seeds to the sugar instead. Stiring them around in the sugar also helps to distribute them, though not as well as the heating.

Step 3: Mix It All.

First mix eggs and sugar (optionally with vanilla seeds added).
Mix the heated cream with vanilla together with the rest of the cream before pouring it all into the egg and sugar mix. Stirr it all together. Depending on the cooling capacity of your ice cream maker, you might have to put the mixture in the fridge for a while since you heated some of the cream.

You can make the ice cream mix a day in advance and keep it in the fridge.

IMPORTANT: This recipe uses whole eggs, and the mixture is not heated. This means you have to be sure your eggs don't contain salmonella. We are lucky enough to not have this problem in Norway, but sadly salmonella is quite common in eggs around the globe.

Step 4: Freeze

After cooling the mixture for a while, pour it into a running ice cream maker. It is important to have it running before you start pouring, so the first bit doesn' t stick to the cooling element in the bottom.

Leave it in the machine until you have soft ice cream. At this point you can eat it straight, or you can put it in a box and store it in the fridge.

This ice cream contains quite a lot of fat, so it can not be stored as long as most store bought ice cream. You should eat it within a couple of months (as if a box of home made ice cream ever survived that long).

It is possible to make ice cream without a dedicated machine. You can put the ice cream mix in a container in the freezer and stir frequently. You really have to do it often to keep the ice cream from crystalizing or separating. To be honest I have never produced anything I was happy with without the ice cream maker.

Step 5: Enjoy

Now sit down and enjoy the finished product.

I recommend topping it with some canned cherries. You can find a recipe for those in this instructable : Canned cherries