This creamy, delicious homemade vanilla ice cream made with half and half is as easy as can be to make. This egg free recipe only takes 4 simple ingredients and will be churning in no time. The ice cream texture is fabulous, too. You can scoop it straight from the freezer.
There is just something special about homemade vanilla ice cream that makes it taste so much better than what you can get at the store. This recipe produces all of the texture and flavor you love in the simplest possible way with the help of a quart of half-and-half.
Table of Contents
About This Recipe
For years, we have enjoyed batch after batch of Mimi’s vanilla ice cream. It it still a hit with our family, but the recipe includes raw eggs, and that makes some people a little bit nervous.
Recently, a reader pointed out that you could use half-and-half in place of the whole milk and cream. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself.
We normally have whole milk in the refrigerator, so I just pick up a pint of heavy cream to make the ice cream. But, if you are going to the store to pick up ingredients for the ice cream, it is even easier to just buy a quart of half and half.
Then, the only thing you even have to measure to make the ice cream is the sugar. You can let your heart determine how much vanilla to put in, though I suggest plenty.
I think the ice cream tastes better with plenty of vanilla in it. Plus the alcohol base that the extract is in helps a bit with the texture.
Making The Ice Cream
All you have to do is dissolve the sugar completely into the half and half. Then stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
That is it! The ice cream base is ready to go into the machine in just a few minutes.
It’s worth mentioning again to not to skimp on the vanilla. I know it is expensive, but using plenty of good quality vanilla is what is going to make this recipe extra good.
This recipe can also be used as a base for other flavors and add-ins. If adding chunks, wait until the ice cream is basically frozen before you add them.
If you add chocolate chips, candy bar chunks or other mix in too early they will sink to the bottom. Adding them with only a minute or two of churn time left ensures the ice cream is solid enough to hold them in suspension.
Ice cream makers
MiMi loves her kitchenaid ice cream maker attachments. She has two and keeps them both in rotation.
She used one to make the original batch of sorbet with great success. She highly recommends getting one if you have the right kitchenaid stand mixer.
I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker that I really like as well. You freeze the bowl ahead of time so you don’t have to mess with ice and salt.
I’ll be honest that the motor is a bit louder than I expected. However, it makes great textured ice creams and sorbets and doesn’t take up a ton of room in storage.
Ice Cream Storage Options
My mom loves the Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop containers that fit in the freezer well, stack easily, and store nicely. She already has a couple and is getting ready to order more.
I have fun quart sized containers that are reusable and dishwasher safe that I like as well. No matter how it’s stored, ice cream tends to disappear quickly around here!
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes homemade ice cream creamy?
The perfect ratio of fat and sugar makes homemade ice cream creamy without using eggs or other emulsifiers. Using half and half for the base helps to get that fat to liquid ratio just right without any extra effort.
Why does homemade ice cream taste better?
Homemade ice cream tastes so much better than what you get at the store because it just uses simple ingredients and lets them shine. There are no stabilizers or preservatives to affect the flavor.
Can I change the flavor of this ice cream?
Yes! Think of this recipe as a good starting point, and then add your favorite flavors and mix-ins. The options really are endless.
Great Topping Ideas for Ice Cream
For a gooier topping, try making homemade hot fudge. It is rich, creamy, and delicious.
If it is summer and you have access to fresh blackberries, easy blackberry sauce is the way to go.
Or for something different, try making apple cider caramel sauce. It is really tasty and the tart apple flavor shines through the sweet caramel.
Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!
Vanilla Half and Half Ice Cream
- 4 cups half and half
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the half and half and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.4 cups half and half, ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Stir in a pinch of salt and the vanilla.1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 pinch salt
- Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to the directions of your machine.
- Scoop into ice cream storage containers and freeze until solid.