Ice Cream of the Week: Basic Vanilla

There are two schools of ice cream thought in the US — Philadelphia style and French style. The difference between the two being whether or not the base is a custard (using eggs) or not. This being the first Ice Cream of the Week post I thought I would go with a very simple, traditional Philadelphia style ice cream.

I’m using a Cusinart Ice Cream Maker that makes 1.5 quarts of dessert, so most recipes will be sized accordingly. Before you begin make sure the freezer part of your ice cream maker is well frozen.

Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp table salt

    The process of making this ice cream is fairly easy, but there are several steps that are important. Combine the half-and-half and the cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer (approx 175° F) then remove from the heat. Scalding the dairy changes the texture of the finished ice cream — making a smoother product. Combine the all of the ingredients into a container that can be stored in the fridge (with a good lid or plastic wrap covering). Ice cream base that is cold makes better ice cream. Aging the base also makes for a richer flavor. After aging the base (4 hours up to 24 hours) freeze according to your freezers directions. Mine takes about 30 minutes. Ice cream can then be transferred to a container to harden in the freezer or served immediately (although it is quite soft at this stage).

    Quality ingredients make a difference here because there are only 5 ingredients. Simplicity is the key.