The formula for ice cream has come a long way as there is now a handful of variations ranging from subtle changes to vast changes. Among the subtle ones, the most popular in my book is buttermilk ice cream. It's made just like classic ice cream--it starts with a custard prepared in a saucepan that's then cooled and churned in an ice cream maker--except the milk is completely replaced with buttermilk in the recipe and is added to the base after its cooked.

Thanks to this change, the once creamy flavor of the ice cream now has some tanginess to go with it--something you would expect from yogurt if it was frozen.

Since it's a subtle variation, however, an ice cream maker is mandatory. Those who aren't into buttermilk and want a simpler way to make their own can try this recipe for American-style ice cream. This variation doesn't require a machine to make or cooking for that matter. Now for the recipe.

The recipe


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine the heavy cream and half of the sugar in a large non-reactive saucepan. bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat.
  2. Combine the egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt in a mixing bowl by whisking. Whisk until pale and smooth.
  3. Pour 1/4 of the simmered cream mixture into the yolk mixture to warm it up. Whisk the mixture to prevent the yolks from curdling. Transfer the warm yolk mixture to the saucepan and whisk everything together while it simmers until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Stop cooking the custard and remove from the heat. Whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and salt. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely over an ice bath.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Serve in dessert glasses with fruit or pour into a container and chill in a freezer.

Serves: 5 1/2 cups


  • Chocolate - Add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the saucepan during Step 1.
  • White chocolate - Melt 1 chocolate bar in the cooked custard during Step 4
  • Citrus - Omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 cup of fresh lemon juice or orange juice to the cooked custard during Step 4.
  • Strawberry - Add 3 tablespoons of strawberry puree or jam to the cooked custard during Step 4.
  • Pink grapefruit - Omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 cup of fresh grapefruit juice to the cooked custard during Step 4.
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