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French-Style Ice Cream

This traditional ice cream has an egg-rich custard base. Molly Moon’s Christina Spittler says the egg yolks help make a denser ice cream.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes about 1 quart

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  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Set a medium bowl in a large bowl of ice water. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until pale, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, salt and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar is completely dissolved. Whisk the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks in a thin stream.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to lightly coat the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes; don’t let it boil. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into the medium bowl in the ice water. Let cool completely, stirring frequently. Refrigerate the custard until very cold, at least 1 hour.
  4. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker with flavorings, if using, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the frozen custard to a plastic container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.


Add flavorings to the ice cream maker at the beginning of the freezing cycle.
Chocolate-Toffee: 1 cup broken chocolate-and-toffee-covered saltines or pretzels
Blackberry-Sage: 3/4 cup blackberry preserves mixed with 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
Salted Caramel: 3/4 cup pourable salted- caramel sauce
Strawberry-Jalapeño:1 cup strawberries macerated in 3 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño

Photo © John Kernick Published August 2012

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