Buttermilk Ice Cream is tangy, sweet and refreshing. It’s wonderful on it’s own, but it also tastes amazing when paired with fruit compote (strawberries and blueberries, especially)! If you sometimes find traditional ice creams too sweet, this might be the perfect dessert for you. Tart buttermilk balances the sugar, while vanilla provides that familiar, woodsy-sweet aroma. The results are exotic yet classic. You’re going to love this buttermilk ice cream recipe!
Ice cream is one of my favorite things to make from scratch, and this year my homemade frozen desserts got a serious upgrade. I am so excited!
For years I used a typical commercial ice cream machine, with a bowl that needed to be pre-frozen so it could work its magic. During hot summer months, I made homemade ice cream so often that the bowl was always taking up space in my freezer.
Not anymore! After doing a bit of research, I decided to treat myself. I’m now the proud owner of a Whynter 2.1 Quart Ice Cream Maker.
This machine is heavy, it’s practically the size of a microwave, and it’s expensive. Most people don’t need it, just like most people probably don’t need a Vitamix blender (which I use all the time, but again, this is my job).
The reasons I decided to purchase the Whynter ice cream machine:
- It makes just over two quarts of ice cream at once. That’s a lot!
- I don’t need to freeze the bowl before using. This is huge for me. I’m a full time food blogger and freelance recipe developer. I need my freezer space.
- The ice cream base can go directly from the stove top into the machine. No need to chill for several hours in the refrigerator.
These reasons made this purchase a no-brainer for me, but unless you regularly prepare homemade ice cream, I don’t recommend this type of investment for obvious reasons.
Since practically no one will be using this type of machine to prepare my recipe, I’ve included instructions that will work with a standard machine. Please note that this recipe yields more than one quart, so if you have a small machine, you may need to churn the ice cream in two batches.
Now on to the recipe.
Will this buttermilk ice cream recipe work with homemade buttermilk?
I do not recommend using homemade buttermilk with this ice cream recipe. Homemade buttermilk substitutes are intended to be used in baked goods only.
Buttermilk substitute curdles, and you don’t want grainy ice cream (at least, I don’t). Commercial buttermilk is smooth and creamy.
Just like this ice cream.
What Is Half-And-Half?
This recipe calls for half-and-half. What is half-and-half, and how do you make it if you already have cream and milk in the fridge? Read my tutorial on how to make half-and-half so you can save time and money!
Looking For More Buttermilk Recipes?
Buttermilk Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or 50% heavy cream + 50% whole milk)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the half-and-half and vanilla to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl.
- Once the cream is simmering, turn the heat to low. Slowly pour the liquid into the yolks while whisking to temper the eggs.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and continue stirring in a figure 8 motion until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the back of the spatula, around 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk.
- Transfer to a clean bowl and cover, placing plastic film directly against the surface of the liquid to prevent a skin from forming, and chill until the mixture is cold, then prepare in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
Please note that this recipe yields more than one quart, so if you have a small machine, you may need to churn the ice cream in two batches.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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