Skip to Content

Sous Vide Ice Cream

Sous vide ice cream is the best way to make a French/custard-based ice cream. This easy sous vide recipe gets rid of all the annoying parts like tempering eggs and leaves you with a silky, delicious ice cream base.

Any ice cream lover can tell you that it's all about that base.

The better the base, the better the ice cream. The problem with a traditional French custard ice cream base is the god-awful prep involved.

There's egg tempering, and whisking, straining, temp checking, double boilers and tons of dirty dishes. I love ice cream more than the next guy, but if all that shizz is necessary to make it, I don't really want it!

That's where the sous vide comes in. If we can smash the Easy button on sous vide creme brulee, we can certainly do it for ice cream!

This sous vide ice cream recipe is dedicated to the easy way.

Hand holding a drippy sous vide ice cream cone.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jump to:

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 --> New to sous vide? Check out my in-depth sous vide 101 guide!

No. 2 --> I choose to cook my ice cream base in mason jars rather than in bags for a couple of reasons, namely that plastic is a one-time use product, vac sealing the custard in a bag can be a little bit like putting a sweater on an alligator, and It's actually easier for me to use jars. That said, if you prefer to vacuum seal your ice cream base, the recipe does not change.

No. 3 --> Make SURE to freeze your ice cream bowl before you even think of starting! I've done it multiple times, gotten my ice cream all ready and realized I forgot to put it back in the freezer after I washed it the previous time.

No. 4 --> If you don't have an ice cream maker, check below for two ways to make this sous vide ice cream without one!

No. 5 --> I always wrap a folded towel around my ice cream bowl. Once the ice cream base is in the mixer, it gets a "blanket" this helps to keep it cool in my warm house!

An ice cream cone filled with dripping, melty vanilla ice cream propped up in a glass.

Key Ingredients

Milk: Adding whole milk to this recipe reduces some of the milk fat, reducing the richness of the ice cream. This cannot be substituted for low fat or skim milk, those milks do not have enough milk fat and will result in an icy, crystalized ice cream.

Heavy cream: Heavy cream is also called whipping cream, and depending on where you're located, this can be anywhere from 33 to 36% fat. Any of these will work in your ice cream recipe.

Egg yolks: Much like in creme brulee, egg yolks add a creamier mouthfeel and a thicker texture. They are definitely a must!

Alcohol: Alcohol doesn't freeze, so it is added, optionally, to the ice cream base to help prevent the ice cream from freezing too hard. If you're like me and make your own sous vide vanilla extract with 80 proof vodka, you can omit the alcohol and increase the vanilla extract to 2 tablespoons! I personally use the vanilla AND maple whiskey :):)

Ingredients for sous vide ice cream.

How To Make Sous Vide Ice Cream

MAKE THE ICE CREAM BASE:

  1. In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and granulated sugar until completely combined. These first two ingredients are mixed together initially cause they'll need a bit more vigorous whisking and it's easier to do that in an emptier bowl!
  2. Add the eggs, salt, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and rum/whiskey, whisking after each addition until completely combined.
  3. Pour the ice cream base into two 500 ml (pint) mason jars. Fill only until the base of the threads. Wipe the rim if you've spilled anything.
  4. Close the mason jars and seal the lids finger-tight. My trick for getting my jars finger tight is to set the jar on my counter and with only one hand tighten the band until the whole jar starts to rotate, then I add another 1/4 turn. An overtightened jar can burst or buckle because it won't allow the air to escape. Set the jars aside.
  5. Fill your sous vide water bath with hot tap water, then slowly lower the jars into the water bath. Adding the jars while the bath is not at full temperature reduces the likelihood of broken jars.
  6. Set the sous vide to 175f and allow it to preheat with the ice cream base in the water bath.
  7. Cook the ice cream base at 175f for 1 hour.
  8. Once cooked, use a jar lifter to carefully lift the jars out of the water bath. Place them on a wire mesh rack or hot pot holder on the counter for 30-60 minutes, until slightly warmer than room temperature.
  9. At this point, you can speed up the cooling process, or you can pop the jars in the fridge until later (24-72 hours).
    • If you want to make ice cream immediately, place the jars in a sink and slowly fill with lukewarm water. Once the jars are in the water, add a few handfuls of ice to the water bath. Monitor the ice bath, adding ice as required until the jars are well chilled.
    • If you want to make ice cream at another time, place the room temperature jars into the fridge and chill the mixture until ready to use. Use your base within 3 days.

MAKE THE ICE CREAM:

  1. When ready to make ice cream, operate the ice cream maker based on your ice cream manufacturer's directions.
  2. Serve the soft, freshly made ice cream immediately, or transfer to an airtight freezer container and serve once hardened.

No Ice Cream Maker?

There are two ways that I would recommend finishing this recipe:

  1. Transfer the chilled custard to a freezer ziplock bag. Freeze the ice cream flat until completely solid. Then break it into small chunks and process it in your food processor until completely smooth.
  2. Pour the chilled custard into a large mixing bowl. Place the bowl in your freezer, and every 30 minutes, remove the ice cream and stir vigorously until the ice cream is completely frozen.
Sous vide vanilla ice cream in an air tight container.

Batch + Storage Information

Batch:

This sous vide ice cream recipe makes about 1 liter of ice cream base. Once churned, you'll end up with about 1 litre of ice cream.

It can easily be doubled, but your ice cream bowl will likely need to be refrozen for about 2-3 hours in between churning each batch. To overcome that, I simply churn one batch, remove the paddle (to wash) then pop the ice cream bowl into the freezer without rinsing for around 3 hours. Then I churn the remaining ice cream before washing and refreezing my ice cream bowl.

Storage:

To store your ice cream, transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight freezer container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. It's best eaten sooner than later, in my opinion. Then again, I have no willpower. Ha!

Ice cream cone laying on its side.

Variations + Substitutions

  • Vanilla bean ice cream: slice a fresh, plump vanilla bean down the center lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out, and add them to the ice cream mixture. Add half of the vanilla bean to each jar. Remove the bean before churning ice cream. Rinse the bean well, and add it to your jar of homemade vanilla extract!
  • Chocolate ice cream: There are a few more steps involved in chocolate ice cream, so I've split it into its own recipe page. Find it here: Sous Vide Chocolate Ice Cream.

More Sous Vide Recipes To Love

Sous vide -  SOUS VIDE CIRCULATORS are awesome little units. They add the functionality of a whole new appliance to your kitchen while fitting in a drawer. I wasn't 100% sure I'd love sous vide, so I dipped my toe in with a reasonably priced Instant Pot Slim - and it's great! Check out my other SOUS VIDE RECIPES!

Ice cream maker - I have and love a Kitchenaid Ice Cream attachment. It fits right in my stand mixer and works great without having another appliance to add to the collection.

📖 Printable Recipe

Hand holding a drippy sous vide ice cream cone.
Yield: 6 servings

Sous Vide Ice Cream

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 25 minutes

This sous vide vanilla ice cream is blow your mind delicious, and beyond easy. This recipe skips all the normal French custard based ice cream drudgery like tempering eggs and sieving the ice cream base. A quick whisk, pour, sous vide, chill, freeze is all you need to have incredible ice cream.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz's A Perfect Scoop.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole (3% milk fat) milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream (33-36% milk fat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon whiskey or rum, 80 proof (40%) (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and granulated sugar until completely combined.
  2. Add the eggs, salt, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and rum/whiskey, whisking well after each addition until combined.
  3. Pour the ice cream base into two 500 ml (pint) mason jars. Fill only until the base of the threads.
  4. Close the mason jars and seal the lids finger-tight. Set the jars aside.
  5. Fillthe sous vide water bath with hot tap water, then slowly lower the jars into the water bath.
  6. Set the sous vide to 175f and allow it to preheat with the jars in the water bath.
  7. Cook the ice cream base at 175f for 1 hour.
  8. Once cooked, use a jar lifter to carefully lift the jars out of the water bath. Place them on a wire mesh rack or hot pot holder for 30-60 minutes, until slightly warmer than room temperature.
  9. At this point, you can speed up the cooling process, or you can pop the jars in the fridge until later (24-72 hours). If you want to make ice cream immediately, place the jars in a sink and slowly fill the sink with tepid water. Once the jars are in the water for a few minutes, add a few handfuls of ice to the water bath. Monitor the ice bath, adding ice as required until the jars are well chilled. If you want to make ice cream at another time, place the room temperature jars into the fridge and chill the mixture until ready to use. Use your base within 3 days.
  10. When ready to make ice cream, operate the ice cream maker based on your ice cream manufacturer's directions.
  11. Serve the soft, freshly made ice cream immediately, or transfer to an airtight freezer container and serve once hardened.

Notes

no ice cream maker?

There are two ways that I would recommend finishing this recipe:

  1. Transfer the chilled custard to a freezer ziplock bag. Freeze the ice cream flat until completely solid. Then break it into small chunks and process it in your food processor until completely smooth.
  2. Pour the chilled custard into a large mixing bowl. Place the bowl in your freezer, and every 30 minutes, remove the ice cream and stir vigorously until the ice cream is completely frozen.

Batch:

This sous vide ice cream recipe makes about 1 liter of ice cream base. Once churned, you'll end up with about 1 1/2 liters of ice cream.

Storage:

To store your ice cream, transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight freezer container and store in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. It's best eaten sooner than later, in my opinion.

variations + substitutions

  • Vanilla bean ice cream: slice a fresh, plump vanilla bean down the center lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out, and add them to the ice cream mixture. Add half of the vanilla bean to each jar. Remove the bean before churning ice cream. Rinse the bean well, and add it to your jar of HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT!
  • Chocolate ice cream: There are a few more steps involved in chocolate ice cream, so I've split it into its own recipe page. Find it here: Sous Vide Chocolate Ice Cream.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 310mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 30gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Pin This Sous Vide Ice Cream Recipe!

Super Easy sous vide ice cream pinterest graphic.

Smoked pulled pork shoulder in a white dish.
Smoked Pork Butt
← Read Last Post
A nest of sourdough pasta on a floured cutting board.
Sourdough Pasta
Read Next Post →
Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.