Smoky Vanilla Ice Cream

This smoky vanilla ice cream achieves its unique flavor by steeping heavy cream overnight in a charred piece of wood that has been taken from the fire and cooled down.

Smoky Vanilla Ice Cream

This smoky vanilla ice cream achieves its unique flavor by steeping heavy cream overnight in a charred piece of wood that has been taken from the fire and cooled down.


  • 8 oz piece of hardwood (like hickory)
  • 3.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt


  • Prepare a fire and add your 8oz piece of hardwood.
  • When the hardwood piece is completely charred but still held together in one piece, remove it from the fire and allow to cool down.
  • Steep 3 cups heavy cream and milk in a container with the charred log overnight.
  • Carefully remove the charred hardwood and strain the remaining cream and milk through a cheesecloth.
  • Combine ½ cup sugar with the milk and cream and bring to a gentle simmer on the stovetop.
  • Combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar with your 8 large egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup of cold heavy cream and whisk together thoroughly.
  • Add ½ cup of the simmering liquid to the cold egg yolk mixture, making sure to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  • Add another ½ cup of the hot liquid to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine.
  • The idea here is to bring the egg yolks up to temperature without scrambling them.
  • Now, slowly whisk the warmed egg mixture into your cream and milk liquid, keeping the heat on low.
  • Cook and stir the mixture on low heat until the liquid has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Cool the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Strain the cooled mixture into your ice cream maker and process for 30-40 minutes, or until you have reached your desired consistency.


The final texture of the ice cream will be softer coming out of the ice cream machine than you might expect. The consistency will harden after you put this ice cream into the freezer for a few hours.
This is an incredible addition to pancakes or waffles in the morning.
You can incorporate a Tablespoon or two of bourbon into the ice cream while it is finishing mixing, if you prefer a more adult version.
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