No Thanks

Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Vanilla-Custard Ice Cream Base

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • yield: Makes about 1 1/2 pints




  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Step 1

    Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Add vanilla seeds and pod. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.

  2. Step 2

    Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in half of milk mixture. Pour egg-milk mixture back into pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Pour custard through a fine sieve into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water; discard vanilla pod. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour; custard base can be refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2013



Reviews (2)

  • 4 Apr, 2014

    I would like to preface that I am not a novice cook.

    I had high hopes for this recipe because it was simple but this recipe and its instructions are horrible. I just wasted six eggs and a bunch of heavy cream/vanilla. The medium heat is too high and curdled the previously silky egg yolk/milk mixture. I am beyond angry at the waste of my ingredients and time. I have been disappointed by this website's recipes one too many times.

  • 21 Sep, 2013

    This is an easy recipe , however it curdles if you follow these directions. The heat recommended is too high and it will cause your custard to separate and curdle. I think the recipe needs some more detail or correction on the heat component to prevent this common problem from happening. I think I will try another method.