Ice cream is basically custard that’s been stirred to add air and then chilled. If you know how to make custard or “crème anglaise” then you know how to make ice cream 🙂

The main difference between ice cream and gelato is the amount of fat. Ice cream is made with more cream and eggs, it’s fattier than gelato. It has a creamier texture and is chilled at a cooler temperature, which means it won’t melt as fast. Gelato is made mainly with milk and only a little cream if any and less eggs. Both contain sugar but you don’t need much.

Sorbet is a different kind of chilled treat as it’s not custard-based. It’s made of fruit (or chocolate), water and sugar. Some add milk to give more texture but it’s not mandatory. If you’re lactose-intolerant, sorbet is the way to go. I guess I should share a recipe on the blog 🙂

Slice the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds and rub them on the sugar. Put the pod in a saucepan with the milk and cream and bring to a boil.

While the milk/cream is warming up, blanch the egg yolks and the sugar (use a whisk and beat until the mix looks whiter than at the beginnning and a little foamy). At the beginning, don't leave the egg yolks in contact with the sugar without beating or they will start to curdle.

When the milk/cream is boiling, take it off the stove, wait a few seconds and pour a little bit on the egg yolks mixture and whisk together fast. It's called tempering the eggs, to avoid the temperature shock between cold eggs and boiling liquid. You don't want to fully cook the eggs with your milk at that stage!

Then slowly add the remainder of the liquid, whisking gently. Discard the vanilla pod.

Put the mixture back in the saucepan and on the stove on medium heat. Stir constantly so that it cooks evenly. If you don't, what's at the bottom of the saucepan will cook faster and your cream will be lumpy.

When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (which can take 6 to 8 minutes or more), take it off the stove and pour through a strainer (to remove any lumps, just in case) into a bowl.

Film wrap in contact to avoid the top from drying and place in the fridge to cool down for a few hours.

If you have an ice-cream maker, place its bowl in the freezer for a few hours. Then when the cream has cooled down whisk it to soften it and place it in the ice cream maker bowl to churn and chill. Follow the instructions of your ice cream maker.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, place the custard in the freezer once completely cool and stir it 3 to 4 four times, every few hours. Because there won't be as much air inside as with a machine, it will be more compact, you'll need to leave it a room temperature a little bit before serving.