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Ok, maybe I should have said slow cooker bourbon vanilla ice cream base. Or slow cooker custard for ice cream. But I got your attention didn’t I? And read on, because of course you’ll need your freezer, but this is the easiest “proper” ice cream you will ever, ever make!

So you know how you’re browsing Pinterest and you see this mouth-wateringly amazing looking ice cream? Or you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed and words like creamy, rich, glorious ice cream spring up at you? Then you open up the link and see the dreaded ingredient… eggs. Which means custard, which means warming up stuff and pouring it into the eggs and praying that you don’t see white bits floating around. Then it means standing over the stove for what feels like hours till you see the mixture coating the back of the bloody spoon… Well, the word “eggs” doesn’t have to mean these things anymore. Now eggs are first on your shopping list, just so you can whip up some custard, whether you freeze it afterwards or not. Because as you know custard is fabulous poured over apple pie. All you need is a slow cooker and a pudding basin. You’re welcome.

Slow cookers cook at low temperatures. I think we all know this by now. Which means they are kinder on our over-sensitive eggs. A slow cooker won’t shock an egg into a curdled scrambled mess. It will cook it gently, without our constant attention, into a silky, gorgeous, thick, yummy custard (crème anglaise). I am very proud of my brain for making this leap. I’ve already made chocolate custard in the slow cooker for this pie, but it didn’t dawn on me until a few days ago that hey, proper ice cream is made with a custard base. So why not? And here we are. Slow cooker ice cream. I even googled it and I can’t see anything similar… Could I really be the first? I’m sure I’m not, but it feels good to have an idea and not find that another twenty people have blogged about it before me.

So here we have a classic vanilla flavour, which I jazzed up by using homemade bourbon vanilla essence. Due to the large quantity you do get a very slight hint of the bourbon, but if you don’t want that just use regular vanilla. I was going to try using a bean, but discovered my beans had gone mouldy so it was a no-go. I can’t talk much about that, I’m still getting over it…

So there you go. The easiest way to make “proper” ice cream with eggs, is by using your crockpot. Because other easy, eggless ice creams are great, like this peanut butter one, or this lemon cheesecake one, but sometimes you want, need even, the real thing.


5 egg yolks

150 gr sugar, white

350 ml evaporated milk

300 ml cream, full fat

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbs vanilla essence (I used homemade bourbon vanilla, recipe in Greek here)

Step 1

Add the ingredients, one by one, to a pudding basin with a capacity of at least 1 litre (mine is 1 lt and the mixture came up almost to the brim), whisking as you go.

Step 2

Put the basin in the slow cooker insert (slow cooker should be at least 3.5 lt capacity). Pour 500ml of water (room/tap temperature) into the slow cooker insert at the side of the basin (don’t get water in the mixture). Add another 400ml of hot/boiling water from a kettle to the insert, so that the level of the water is just over half way up the side of the basin. Basically you’re creating a warm water bath. Cover the bowl loosely with tin foil so the condensation doesn’t drip back into the custard.

Step 3

Cook on low for 5 – 5 ½ hours, stirring a couple of times in between to check how it’s going. Mine started thickening after 3 ½ hours. You want it nice and gloopy so be patient. Carefully take the basin out of the slow cooker and let the custard cool. Then place it in the refrigerator overnight or until well chilled.

Step 4

Pour the custard into your ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy as a soft serve ice cream or freeze for later. Take the container out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.

Note: Recipe is adapted from this one by David Lebovitz. These quantities yield approx. 700-800ml of ice cream.

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So, what do you think? Leave me a comment!


  • Reply

    what are the measurments? cups spoons?

    • Reply

      The measurments are in grams for the sugar and millilitres for the milk and cream. I’ve just measured out some sugar to see how much it is in volume and it works out to 1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. However, I must mention that most online converters will tell you that 150 gr of granulated sugar is 3/4 cup. The problem with recipes in volume, especially when they are being read across the globe, is that the ingredient might differ from country to country. For example sugar granules in the US might be larger than granules in Greece, thus giving us a difference in measurements. Luckily in this recipe I doubt the difference would make a huge impact on the success of the custard. You can decide and use anywhere between half a cup and three quarters! As for the wet ingredients, 1 cup = 240 ml. So 350 ml of milk is 1 1/2 cups minus 2 teaspoons. And 300 ml cream is 1 1/4 cups. Hope this helps!