This ice-cream recipe is a labour of love, and very much worth the wait.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (6 votes)


  • 8 vanilla beans
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk 
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream 
  • 120 g caster sugar 
  • 5 egg yolks 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drying time: overnight

Chilling/freezing time: 2 hr

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead

  1. Place the pods on a baking paper-lined tray and into a 50˚C oven. Dry overnight or until crisp.
  2. Place the milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk. Reserve the beans. Place the cream mixture over low heat and bring to 90˚C.
  3. Meanwhile, place the yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until pale. Whisking continuously, gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture until well combined. Pour back into the pan and stir over low heat until the custard reaches 82˚C. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over an ice bath to stop the custard cooking further. Stand until cool, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until cold, then churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze for 2-4 hours or until set.
  4. Place the reserved vanilla beans in a spice grinder and blitz into a fine powder.
  5. To serve, scoop the ice-cream into 4 large, chilled bowls. Using a small strainer, dust the ice-cream liberally with the vanilla powder and serve immediately.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.


Photography by Adam Liaw.