Cream Cheese Ice Cream · GF (1 quart)

Feel free to substitute the cream cheese with fresh goat cheese for a slightly more sophisticated flavor. The difference between the two is night and day, cream cheese screams cheesecake while goat cheese leans more toward cheese plate. In either case, the method is the same.

10 oz cream
10 oz whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped; seeds reserved
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (important)
6 egg yolks
12.5 ounces sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt or more, to taste
2 lemons, juiced
1 ounce vodka, or use your favorite liquor on to add just a hint of flavor

In a medium pot, bring the milk and cream to a simmer together with the vanilla bean. When the mixture begins to bubble, shut off the heat and cover with a lid. Steep for one hour, or as long as 24; if you plan to steep it for longer than 4 hours, stash the pot in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, put the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth and creamy. This is pretty important because if you don’t, it will just break into curds when combined with the hot custard base. Beating it into a creamy mixture will allow it to incorporate smoothly.

When your vanilla steep time has elapsed, return the dairy mixture to a simmer. Meanwhile whisk together the yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.

Once the dairy begins to simmer, fish out the vanilla bean and use a spatula to scrape out all of the heavily flavored cream from inside the pod. That stuff is liquid gold, make sure not to lose a drop. It’s easier to scrape out the vanilla pod while it’s still warm (hence bringing the mix to a simmer) because when cold, the vanilla-goo congeals and sticks more resolutely to the bean.

Now, whisk some of the hot dairy mixture into the egg yolks, one ladle-full at a time, until the egg mixture is quite warm. Then whisk the egg mixture into the pot of cream and turn the heat to medium or medium low, depending on your comfort level. Stir constantly, making sure to scrape all along the bottom of the pot while to avoid allowing any of the mixture to curdle.

Continue cooking and stirring until the ice cream base thickens markedly (“coating the back of a wooden spoon” being the popular description of done-ness), but you only need to stir until the mixture reaches about 145°.

Immediately shut off the heat and strain the custard through a sieve and into the bowl of cream cheese. Whisk until the cream cheese completely melts into the custard base. Also whisk in the lemon juice and alcohol.

Cool in an ice bath and refrigerate overnight. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.


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Any questions?

Sep 18, 2011 ·  9:23 PM

I have taken such a liking to goat cheese lately and this sounds delicious!

 · Elyse @The Cultural Dish ·

Sep 18, 2011 ·  9:47 PM

Thanks Elyse! It’s really good with roasted figs…


Jun 22, 2013 ·  4:28 PM

Holy Crap!!!

Cream cheese AND Ice cream?… I’ll force my friend to do the dirty work… can’t wait to get this one in my belly!

 · Kenny · 

Jun 26, 2013 · 12:24 AM

Hi Kenny, haha, I know, right? Pure evil.


Sep 25, 2013 · 10:02 PM

In the middle of making the recipe, but the yolks and sugar are quite thick. Is the ratio correct. Made all your amazing ice creams but the sugar ratio is half this amount. Is it because of the cream cheese. Don’t want to proceed and waist all that cream.

 · Passionflour · 

Sep 25, 2013 · 10:44 PM

Hi Passionflour! Yeah, the mixture is a little thick, cream cheese has a tendency to freeze as hard as a brick and the higher sugar content helps lower the freezing point. Hope it’s not too late for you to persevere!


Sep 25, 2013 · 11:28 PM

Thanks Stella! Makes sense. After I strained the base into the cream cheese, it did leave some curdled cream behind so I strained it again before cooling. Think I could whisk the cream cheese into the base?..just a thought. Also, the base didn’t get as thick as other bases. My yolks may have been small. Should I scale out the yolks by grams instead of just 6 yolks?

 · Passionflour · 

Sep 29, 2013 ·  4:11 PM

Hi Passionflour. It’s okay that it looks a bit curdled, cream cheese is prone to doing that, but it won’t affect how it churns up. So long as all of the cream cheese is incorporated, you should be fine. I don’t the eggs will be a problem, though. It’s pretty flexible about content there…

The diary/egg bit may seem thin, but once it’s added to the cream cheese it should all work out.


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