Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream

Truly, what is better than a bowl of vanilla ice cream? A bowl of vanilla ice cream that you've made yourself! Seriously, there is nothing that can beat the taste of homemade ice cream. If you don't own an ice cream maker, I urge you to go out and get one. You'll have so much fun with it this summer and you can make all sorts of wonderful ice creams, sherbets and sorbets. I promise you won't regret it!

As I see it, there are two kinds of people in this world--those who fall into the vanilla ice cream camp and those who choose chocolate as their frozen confection choice. Not sure what this means psychologically speaking, but it is a universal truth!! Now, while I fully admit to being a chocoholic, strangely I opt for vanilla based flavors--not that I'd turn my mouth away from a good scoop of chocolate, of course. And this simplest of vanilla ice creams, without any eggs to distract from the pure vanilla flavor (that's why it's called Philadelphia-style, in fact) is a vanilla ice cream lover's dream! Plus, it comes together very quickly and easily since there are no eggs to cook. If you've never attempted homemade ice cream before, this is the one to try! In fact the hardest part is waiting for the mixture to sufficiently chill so that it can be churned!!

Also, because this is so clean and pure, it makes a wonderful non-distracting topping for brownies or pie or as a filling in ice cream sandwiches.

Or on its own with nothing more than a few sprinkles scattered on top. Like the song, "Vanilla Ice Cream" from the musical She Loves Me, hand someone a bowl of this and you'll be guaranteed to win their heart (I know, I'm a theater nerd--what can I say?!)

Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus at least 8 hours of chilling); Cook Time: 25-30 minutes


  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half, lengthwise

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Recipe

1.  Into a medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup of the cream and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture and add the pod to the pot as well. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

2.  Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining cream, milk and vanilla extract. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

3.  When ready to churn, discard the vanilla bean (or you can rinse it and reuse it) and pour the mixture into your ice cream following the manufacturer's directions. When finished, store airtight.


Note:  Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.

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