Making home-made ice cream won’t save you money but it is worth it! An ice cream maker definitely makes it easier. You can either buy a stand-alone machine, or many food mixers have ice cream attachments as added extras.

If you don’t have a machine you can still make ice cream, it just takes a little longer. In an airtight container freeze the custard, but after a couple of hours pull it out and beat with a hand mixer. Return to the freezer, repeating the mixing every few hours until you are happy with the texture.

2½ cups cream
1½ cups full fat milk
1 vanilla pod or 1 tbsp vanilla extract with seeds
¾ cup sugar
8 egg yolks

Place the cream, milk and a quarter of a cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape in seeds, adding these and the pod into the saucepan. Bring mixture just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl until pale. Gradually whisk in the warm cream mixture. Transfer the now egg and cream mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. Cooking the custard too fast or not stirring will cause it to curdle.

Remove the custard from the heat and allow to cool. I do this at room temperature, stirring it every few minutes and then when cool enough cover and place in the fridge. You can speed this process up by placing the pot in an ice bath and stirring every now and then until cold.

Once the custard is cold, churn it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions then transfer to a 1.2 litre container, cover and freeze.


There are literally thousands of variations you can make using the base vanilla ice cream recipe. Here are just a few.

Using our vanilla ice cream recipe replace the quarter cup of sugar in the cream and milk mixture with 250g of chopped chocolate (I used Whitaker’s 50% dark). In the final stage of churning the ice cream, add in 1 cup brownie crumbs (I used a Volare brownie) and swirl in 1 cup of cherry sauce (I used Barkers Black Cherry, apple and vanilla compote).

Using the vanilla ice cream recipe, hull and chop 500g fresh ripe strawberries. Puree them with a quarter of a cup of sugar then add this to the custard before churning. Stir in some freeze-dried strawberries just before freezing (I used Fresh AS, available from Vetro Hamilton and Sweetpea Parties).

Raspberry, pistachio and rose
Raspberry & meringue
Chocolate caramel swirl

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