For home production of ice cream, many historical references speak of frozen custardessentially ice cream with egg yolk added to provide smoothness and soften the ice cream.

Be Warned: Custard ice-cream is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!

Below is a recipe adapted from a book on the history of English dairies & ice houses.

Custard ice cream, with the addition of mint leaves, mint essential oil, and chiseled mint dark chocolate chips.

Rich Custard-Based Ice-Cream

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Flavoring:
    • 1/4 cup freshly picked mint leaves, muddled
    • 5 to 10 drops food grade Peppermint EO (mine came from a farm in Oregon)
    • 1/2 bar Mint Dark Chocolate, finely shaved or chopped

Makes about 3 ¼ cup. Tip: Use leftover egg whites for macaroons.

Caution: Do not fill ice cream maker more than half full. Custard ice cream expands greatly – more so than regular ice cream.


Combine milk, half the sugar, and mint leaves in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to just below boiling point. Remove from heat, cover, steep 15 minutes or more, then strain out leaves.


Meanwhile, in a double boiler, combine the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and beat until mixture is pale and thick enough to hold shape when trailed. Warm up milk mixture, then slowly pour the milk over the egg mixture while whisking. Heat mix to 185 degrees while stirring often.

Once temperature and thickness is achieved, remove pan from heat and place into an ice water bath to cool (mixture will thicken more once cool). Stir occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

When ready to freeze, fold custard and cream together with essential oil, then pour into ice cream freezer. When almost done, pour in chocolate shavings.


If you’ve made ice cream at home before, you have likely learned that most ice cream becomes rock hard when frozen for more than a few hours. Not so with custard!

  • I made a batch of custard ice cream and froze the contents in 8 oz. glass containers.
  • 24 hours later I sampled the product – scoopable!
  • A few days later, I sampled another jar – still just as scoopable! I also noticed that the product did not immediately melt (if eaten fresh, custard ice cream will melt fairly fast like regular home made ice cream, but once frozen longer will hold its shape reliably well and scoops into a nice round curl).

For more detailed instructions, reference “Recipes from the Dairy” – a worthwhile addition to your dairy library!

Weir, Robin, Caroline Liddell and Peter Brears. Recipes from the Dairy. London: National Trust, 1998.