Custardy Recipes

Sweet Cream Base for Ice Cream*

  • 1 (American) cup milk (~ 220 ml)
  • ~ 1/2 cup sugar (amount depends on your preferences regarding the sweetness of your ice cream and on what you’ll add to the base later on, e.g. you need more sugar for chocolate icecream made with unsweetened cocoa and molten dark chocolate)
  • 2 large eggs (I usually take 3 eggs, just to be on the safe side)
  • 2 cups whipping cream

Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl, add the sugar, blend well and whisk until fluffy. Bring the milk to the boil and let it cool for a few minutes before stirring into the egg-sugar mixture. Wipe pot clean if necessary, pour the egg-sugar-milk mixture back into it and carefully heat (overheating or even boiling will cause lumps to appear = not good) it until it thickens (stir, stir, stir, stir!). Pour into bowl or jug, let it cool down, then stir in the cream and add other liquid or creamy ingredients of your choice (e.g. fruit mash, chocolate spread, peanut butter).

To prevent your cream base from skinning, cover it with cling film while it cools down.


  • 500 ml milk
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 table spoons of (vanilla) sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

Slice vanilla pod open and remove the itty bitty black thingies inside, put both pod and thingies into a large pot with the milk and cream. Bring to the boil, then let it cool down for a few minutes. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl, add sugar, whisk until fluffy. Remove vanilla pod from the milk-cream mixture before you pour it over the eggs. Stir well. Wipe pot if necessary, pour the mixture back in and heat it (stir, stir, stir, stir, stir!) until it thickens. Pour into a jug. Serve hot or cold. (If you put it in the fridge over night, the custard thickens some more. Thin it down with a little bit of milk, if necessary.)


* Based on the sweet cream base no. 1 from Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book. They don’t cook their base, though. I’ve found that if I cook the base and thus allow it to thicken, the ice cream will have a better, creamier texture later on.

** Based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe for custard from Cook with Jamie. He uses just the egg yolks, though, and a bit more cream.