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In a nutshell, this Ultimate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is my go-to FULLY SCOOPABLE vanilla ice cream recipe. It might just be the best ice cream you’ve ever made. Created from years of sugar free ice cream trial and error, this recipe is where science meets utter deliciousness. Sound corny? Just try it. THM S, low carb, sugar free
Funny story: in our house growing up it was the running joke that my mom loved vanilla bean ice cream because she liked the *crunch* from the vanilla bean specks. None of the rest of us ever got that sensation and we preferred French vanilla for its deeper flavor.
Whaddya know – when Ryan (my husband) came along, he said the exact. same. thing. No wonder my mom saw him as my Prince Charming from the get go!
Here ya go, Mom. Vanilla bean ice cream just for you, with real specks that crunch.
New and improved
This recipe – originally called “Special Occasion Ice Cream” – was first posted to my website in July 2016. It was my first foray into using cups of cream in an ice cream recipe, and I was blown away by the results. (All of my ice cream recipes up until that point had been relatively low in fat and were best eaten fresh as soft serve, not stored long term in the freezer.)
As good as it was, now it’s even better. I’ve learned a thing or two about making ice cream since 2016, and I wanted to improve my Holy Grail of ice creams. In March 2022 I updated this recipe here on my website and renamed it Ultimate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
This is now my go-to quick, easy, and delicious – FULLY SCOOPABLE – vanilla ice cream recipe, with or without the vanilla bean specks. (Feel free to just add some extra vanilla extract if you don’t have any vanilla bean powder. The specks are mostly for aesthetic appeal.)
You can still find the Special Occasion Ice Cream recipe on page 237 of Necessary Food.
Yes, it’s scoopable!
This ice cream recipe is indeed fully scoopable, thanks to the combination of fat (heavy cream) + a xylitol-based sweetener. THM Gentle Sweet (made with xylitol) has become my favorite ice cream sweetener because it provides the most balanced sweetness and creamy, scoopable texture of any sweetener I have tried.
Xylitol is part of the key to the scoopability of this ice cream, so substituting other sweeteners could change that. Xylitol does cause digestive upset in some people and is poisonous to dogs so I understand that not everyone wants to use it, but you may sacrifice scoopability if you substitute other sweeteners.
Rule of thumb: unless you’re an ice cream guru, don’t change the ingredients around if you want to maintain a scoopable, creamy result. There’s kind of a science to it. 😉
To make this ice cream lower calorie:
I know, I know, 2 cups of cream sounds like a lot. I also tested this ice cream using 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup half and half, and 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (instead of the 2 cups each of heavy cream and half and half listed in the recipe). It was a little more icy and not as creamy as the full fat version, but still delicious! And it was still scoopable after overnight freezing (albeit more icy due to the lower fat and using nut milk instead of all dairy).
You could also try 2 cups heavy cream + 2 cups almond milk, or 1 cup cream + 2 cups half and half + 1 cup almond milk. Just keep in mind that the lower the fat and the higher the ratio of nut milk, the more icy your end result will be.
My other vanilla ice cream recipes:
Please note that these recipes are from many different points of my ice cream journey. You can use the principles in this post to improve on them if you like! A xylitol based sweetener like THM Gentle Sweet will improve scoopability, and vegetable glycerin also improves texture. Lower fat ice creams are best eaten fresh as a soft serve. Feel free to add more cream and swap out some half and half for some or all of the nut milk in these recipes for a creamier, less icy result. (But keep in mind that increasing the fat content may change the THM fuel type if the recipe is supposed to be a Fuel Pull.)
- Basic Vanilla Scoopable Ice Cream
- French Vanilla Ice Cream
- Basic Ice Cream
- Dairy Free Ice Cream
- Foundational Frozen Custard
- Low Fat Soft Serve
- Vanilla Ice Cream for a Traditional 6 Quart Ice Cream Freezer
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