Want to know how to make the creamiest, silkiest ice cream? A foolproof method for making a rich, vanilla-infused custard, and a secret ingredient that keeps everything unbelievably smooth, will ensure you nail this classic summer treat, every time. We’ve also thrown in an optional velvety chocolate sauce to drizzle over, for an extra touch of indulgence.
5 simple steps to the perfect vanilla ice cream
1. Use an ice-cream machine
Why use an ice-cream machine? It constantly churns the mixture as it freezes, preventing large ice crystals forming and ensuring a smooth end result. Prices start from around £10.
2. Infuse with vanilla
Infusing the cream with vanilla pods will ensure a flavour-packed ice cream. Don’t throw away the pods afterwards – rinse, dry, then mix them into a bag of sugar and they will perfume the grains, ready for bakes or a seasonal bowl of strawberries.
3. Take your time
Pour the hot cream over the eggs in stages, while whisking constantly. This will cool the milk to ensure the eggs don’t scramble, while remaining hot enough for the custard to thicken quickly once back in the pan.
4. Stir the custard
Constantly stir the custard throughout cooking to stop it from scrambling (use a spatula). It may catch at the bottom of the pan as this is the hottest point, so keep scraping the bottom to keep the temperature of the mixture even. If the custard starts to scramble, stop stirring, strain through a sieve into a clean pan and continue cooking.
5. The best custard consistency
The custard is ready when it thickly coats the back of a spoon. Dip the spoon into the custard, then run a finger across the back of it – it should leave a thick, clean trail.
6. The secret ingredient
Adding alcohol stops water particles from clumping during churning – ensuring the ice cream is smooth, without lumps of ice and producing a softer set so you’ll get a good scoop straight from the freezer.