Brown butter ice cream

  • makes 1.5 litres

Brown butter adds a nutty, caramelised flavour to creamy vanilla ice cream in this recipe. It's a little effort but so worth it.



  • unsalted butter 100g
  • whole milk 200ml
  • vanilla pod 1, split and seeds scraped out
  • demerara sugar 150g
  • egg yolks 6
  • double cream 600ml, cold


  • Step 1

    Put the butter in a small pan. Cook on a medium heat and whisk until the butter has turned a dark golden brown and smells nutty. Cool.

  • Step 2

    Put the milk, vanilla seeds and sugar in a pan with a pinch of salt and bring just to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

  • Step 3

    Beat the egg yolks with an electric whisk, gradually adding the brown butter. Reheat the milk then pour over the eggs, whisking as you go. Pour the mix back into a clean pan over a low heat and stir until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Keep stirring and don’t let it overheat or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. The whole process should take around 8-10 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Pour through a sieve into a bowl then stir in the cream. Pour into an ice-cream maker and churn until thick or pour into a freezer box and freeze, stirring every hour or so until frozen. Freeze it in its box until you need it.

  • Step 5

    Before serving put the ice cream in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, so that it is easy to scoop.

    Cook’s notes

    Whisking the butter while it cooks guarantees a deep, even colour as this prevents the milk solids collecting on the bottom of the pan and burning. Freeze the leftover egg whites to make meringues another time. They will keep for 12 months.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 254
  • Carbs 8.9g
  • Protein 1.8g
  • Fat 23.4g
  • Sugars 8.9g
  • Salt 0.1g
  • Saturates 14g