Italian Crema Ice Cream

Photograph: Anders Schonnemann

"Eggtacular" may not be listed in the dictionary, but grammar be damned, that's exactly what this ice cream is. Rich and custardy, with a silky melt, The Ice Creamists' mixes yolks, sugar, and milk to make The Custardy Suite.

Tips: For instructions on how to make this ice cream without an ice cream maker, see the "Tweaks" section of the Gin & Tonic Sorbetto post.

Tweaks: Extremely carefully is the best way to make the custard for this cream. Start with egg yolks that have been allowed to come to room temperature before whisking in the hot ingredients. And if you want to whisk in a teaspoon of vanilla extract into the yolks, we won't bat an eye.

Reprinted with permission by Matt O'Connor. Copyright © 2013. Published by Octopus Publishing. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 7 hrs
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to steam but not boil.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until pale and slightly fluffy. Gradually and slowly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring frequently until the custard thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let boil.

  3. Pour back into the bowl and set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooled to room temperature. For more rapid chilling, fill a sink halfway with cold water and ice and place the bowl of mixture in it for 20 minutes. Never put the hot mixture into the refrigerator.

  4. Once cooled, cover the mixture and refrigerate, ideally

    overnight, but at least for 6 hours, until thoroughly chilled

    (at least 40°F). Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream

    machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If making by hand, see the instructions in previous post.

  5. When the churning is completed, use a spoon or spatula

    to scrape the ice cream into a freezer-proof container with

    a lid. Freeze until it reaches the correct scooping texture (at

    least 2 hours).

Special equipment

ice cream maker