Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

It’s already the end of July and the ice cream maker has yet to make an appearance. Sure, when I first got it, it was my best friend.  Every week last summer I’d be churning out a different frozen treat for the family. What’s happened, have I gotten lazy. Is a freezer full of  commercial ice cream laced with propylene glycol and ethyl acetate suddenly acceptable. I think not!

I am a lover of classic comfort food, and to me nothing is more classic than strawberries and cream. One of my favorite ice cream recipes, is the Williams-Sonoma Vanilla Bean.  C’mon people, no chemical additives here, just sugar, eggs and cream.   Pure and simple. I like to top the ice cream with a fresh strawberry sauce and some chopped pistachios, and call it a day.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

From Williams-Sonoma “Ice Cream”


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk and 1 cup of the cream. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and then add the vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, combine the egg yolks, sugar and remaining 1/2 cup of cream in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.
  3. Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the vanilla bean.
  4. Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days before serving.

Makes 1 quart

Fresh Strawberry Sauce 

  • 4 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Place the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  3. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and chill. If there’s too much liquid in the mixture, then just spoon some off.
  4. Spoon over your homemade ice cream and top with a few chopped pistachios for a little crunch.

Mama’s Tips:

Leave the ice cream out on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving, to make it easier to scoop.

Recipe: Intermediate

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31 Comments on “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberry Sauce”

  1. Nancy Tanner says:

    I love the jelly jar… we have a ton of fresh raspberries right now so I might try to use those with some of our neighbors strawberries. Our bunnies munched up all of our beautiful strawberries. Have you tried to substitute the dairy for a non dairy liquid, just curious if it would still hold up? My son loves ice cream, but it doesn’t love him so much!

  2. carol says:

    Oh my my Mama S!!! You out-did yourself today! B E A U T I F U L!! photos and a delicious treat!! You are the best!

  3. Beyond The Green Door says:

    Love the recipe and love the idea of serving it in mason jars!!

  4. Mama, that looks fantastic. I realised earlier that my Grandmother, who has sadly recently passed away, had an ice cream maker I can pilfer… I can’t wait to make some ice cream now! The weather has simply got so hot here! It’s ridiculous!

  5. This looks fabulous! :-)

    I love the “explore topics” option on wordpress – I keep finding great blogs!! :-)


  6. Your photos are torturing me my friend, this looks heavenly… :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. Tamara says:

    Wow these looks so good. Strawberries and vanilla ice cream….nothing could be better. Mama you continue to post the most beautiful photographs. Some of these photos should be framed.

  8. nkmaria says:

    This looks so good! Thanks for sharing!

  9. A gorgeous treat on any day I’m sure. I’m craving strawberries and springtime so looking at this beautiful parfait makes me very, very happy! :)

  10. Michelle says:

    Such lovely photos.

  11. Cute way to serve ice cream! Love the jar.

  12. Danguole says:

    Simple, and pure, and perfect! Love it.

  13. Looks DIVINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Yum, looks like a perfect summer dessert :) You can’t beat icecream in the summer.

  15. Seriously awesome photos. Totally jealous and very hungry now.

  16. That look gorgeous and so cute in the jar :)

  17. Same story with our ice cream maker. Though I did just clear a space on a more visible shelf so maybe it’s time to break it out again. Gorgeous photos and love the pistachios as a garnish – nice touch!

  18. Beautiful photos, lovely recipe!

  19. Too beautiful to eat! Lovely recipe too :) I could eat this right now.

  20. spicyheels says:

    Hello Mama… I am from India. We Indians dont usually have an ice-cream maker. Can you please tell me an alternative method of making this into an ice-cream. Can I directly keep it in a freezer?

  21. Brooke B. says:

    Looks amazing! What a treat.. can’t wait to try! Thank you for sharing. (:

  22. Hi,

    This is a fantastic recipe, and great fun to make with the kids. Thanks so much for posting it.

    All the best, Alex

  23. Carole says:

    Looks great. Thanks for joining in the Food on Friday fun. Cheers

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