Wednesday 20 December 2017

French Vanilla Ice Cream

Why French vanilla?  No idea, except that's the name in the recipe book.  I'm using my home-made vanilla extract based on vodka and a heap of vanilla beans.  Sooo - not French in fact.  This is another recipe from the book Dinner with Georgia O'Keeffe, by Robyn Lea.  The dishes are generally fairly simple ones, often based on the produce from her extensive vegetable garden.  She was undoubtedly a hippie before anyone else, eating a mostly vegetarian diet. 

Mr P. is a big fan of vanilla ice cream so this one is for him.  I, on the other hand have a sad tale to tell you.  For one, I was allergic to dairy my whole life but didn't know it till I was in my thirties.  As kids, we ate heaps of ice cream, and drank loads of milk, which led to years of stomach aches for me.  The smell of warm milk still makes me want to heave.  Yep, I know you really needed to hear that :=)  

our friend Gay holding her bowl of melty ice cream

Two, I had a pair of boots which I loved dearly.  They used to sit at night on the floor, near the head of my bed - like Linus and his blanket.  One day I had a virus thingy, so mum put me to bed, boots nearby.  And she gave me vanilla ice cream to soothe the savage beast.  Yep, you can guess what happened next.  I threw up, over the edge of the bed, and splat! right into my beautiful boots.  See, another reason not to be fond of the creamy, lactose-ridden substance.  I didn't eat it again for years, and am still wary of its hidden dangers.     

Makes just over 1 Litre:


2 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup of honey

1 cup (250 mLs) thickened cream

1 cup (250 mLs) condensed milk

2-4 tsp vanilla extract or paste

50g. roasted, chopped macadamias or your fave nut

fresh fruit to serve


Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thick and luscious

Gradually beat in the honey till even more thick, luscious and voluminous 

Now add the cream, condensed milk and vanilla to the bowl

Beat till just combined

Pour the mixture into a baking tray and place in the freezer till partially firm - this took about an hour

Put a large bowl in the freezer at the same time to chill 

After an hour or so, whip the egg whites in your supremely, superbly clean bowl (with ultra-clean beaters) till stiff peaks form

Now take out the tray and place the eggy, freezy mixture into the chilled bowl

Spoon in the egg whites, and give it all a good turn with a large, metal spoon

Then grab the electric beaters and give it a good whizz till combined - but go at it like a Buddhist monk, not a Sumo wrestler

Pour the shiny, smooth mixture into an ice cream container with a lid

Into the freezer it goes till nicely frozen

Serve with fresh fruit, and the roasted nuts scattered over the top 


You may not be as keen on vanilla as Mr P., so only use 2 or 3 tsp if you fear it will be too much for you

(Turns out French vanilla refers to an egg custard based method of making ice cream - you probably knew this already)

We found the amount of honey more than adequate, but the original recipe does call for half a cup!  Georgia decided to make it only a quarter cup, and you could possibly go for even less, depending on the type of honey you have

ingredients gathered

egg yolks and honey beaten together 

cream, condensed milk and vanilla added in 

pour the mixture into a tray and freeze for about an hour 

beat the egg whites till stiff (and sorry for themselves)

after an hour in the freezer (I feel like diving into the bowl)

add the egg whites to the mix (extra vanilla was added here)

ready for the freezer 

our Tassie mate Gay and Mr P. ready to indulge

They told me in no uncertain terms to "Hurry up! The ice cream is melting."  This really is a smooth, creamy, vanilla-enhanced dessert, just perfect with the addition of the beautiful Summer cherries, and a handful of freshly roasted and blitzed nuts.

another look at my macadamia doodle :)

So my friends, that's it for another year.  The Pickings' household is taking a Christmas break, and the blog will be back next year in January sometime.  Date to be decided :=)  Well, except for a brief IMK Lite on January 1!  So if you have any time and the inclination, hope to see you briefly here for In My Kitchen.

my beany doodle


  1. I like how this is sweetened with honey rather than sugar, bet it tastes delicious!

    1. Yes it’s tasty. I used a rich honey so it gave it a lot of flavour. Cheers sherry

  2. This sounds utterly delicious Sherry!

    1. oh yes thanks Emma. We all enjoyed it! Merry Xmas!

  3. Your childhood memories really don't do a lot to make one want this ice cream. Nice switch from the usual smarmy nostalgia! I for one love French Vanilla, but I'm pretty happy with the high-end ready made variety.

    I hope all you southern hemisphere residents enjoy your longest day while we are suffering from light deprivation! Big world, isn't it? I so appreciate having friends all over the globe.

    best... mae at

    1. Hi Mae
      Yes it’s amazing to think that the other side of the world is having its longest night while we are having the shortest. It’s going to be a warm one today. Happy Solstice:) x

  4. I think my comments have gone missing because I swear I left a comment on this. I'd love to know why it is called French vanilla, not Tahitian vanilla or Madagascan vanilla. I should google it! :)

    1. Hi Lorraine
      Blogger is very moody and swallows many a comment that people tell me they’ve left. It’s so frustrating:(. Thanks for persevering. X

  5. My father loved vanilla ice cream...he wouldn't think of any other kind so he would have loved your version. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.


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