5 from 4 votes

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream (The Peter Gerard Recipe)

This is the base recipe and proportions I use for pretty much everything.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Ice Cream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Crank Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 quarts


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups vanilla sugar (450g)
  • 1 quart double (or heavy) cream (946ml)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1-2 quarts whole milk (enough milk to fill the can to an inch or two below the top)


To make vanilla sugar, which I use in most recipes:

  1. After you scrape the seeds out of a vanilla pod (to use in vanilla ice cream), put the remaining vanilla pod in a bag or container of sugar and leave it in the cupboard. After a few days the sugar will absorb some vanilla flavor. I always keep some vanilla sugar on hand.

If you're making vanilla ice cream:

  1. Make an incision along the vanilla pod so you can open it up. Scrape the seeds into the milk. (If you have time, it's best to add the vanilla seeds to the milk the day before so they can steep.)

The basic steps for my standard ice cream recipe:

  1. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Normally I'll whisk until the mixture starts to turn pale.

  2. Mix in the cream and milk, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Transfer the mix to your freezer and crank!

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a vanilla pod, you can add 1 teaspoon (per quart of ice cream) of good quality vanilla extract instead. It's still pretty good. Just make sure you don't use "vanilla essence", which is fake!