Serious Vanilla Ice Cream

Alton Brown’s vanilla ice cream recipe.

Ingredient List
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces peach preserves or jam (not jelly)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 pinch kosher salt


Combine the half-and-half and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer and bring the mixture to 175 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Add the sugar, preserves, vanilla bean and salt, and keep stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved, then cover and steep 20 minutes.

Fish out the vanilla pod and transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Assemble your ice cream churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re using an electric machine, turn it on, then pour in the ice cream mixture. (This will prevent seizing.)

Churn the ice cream until it reaches soft-serve consistency and almost doubles in volume.

Move to an airtight container and harden in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

Alton Brown