Sunday, February 4, 2024

Ice Cream Recipe Review: Jeni Britton Bauer's Ugandan Vanilla Ice Cream

 “Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream” on page 148 of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

  • The online recipe can be found here
  • My other vanilla ice cream reviews can be found here.

I’ve made this recipe several times over the years (so it's definitely a very good recipe) and have previously used Madagascar vanilla beans, but this time I decided to go ahead and acquire the Ugandan vanilla beans called for in the recipe and make it again.

Ok, on to the ice cream.

Substitutions and Techniques:

  • Glucose instead of corn syrup
  • Tapioca starch instead of cornstarch
  • Turbinado sugar instead of white sugar (always) as I prefer the flavor.

I followed the online recipe as written except:

  • I didn't churn right away - I chilled the custard in my mini milk can in a sink of cold water, then transferred the can to the fridge to chill overnight.
  • The recipe doesn't say when to remove the vanilla bean. I fished it out just before churning.


  • As always with Jeni’s base, the custard goes into the churn a little lumpy (it looks almost like rice pudding) but comes out silky smooth.
  • It’s paler in color than the previous recipe, which is no surprise as it’s a Philly-style ice cream and doesn’t have egg yolks in the custard.
  • My husband’s comment when I brought him a small bowl was “good, but the vanilla flavor is a little weak.” I tend to agree, but it is a little odd since it has exactly the same amount of vanilla (one vanilla bean) as in the previous recipe and both steeped overnight. It might be that I used a Ugandan bean instead of one from Madagascar? 
  • I think I prefer eggless custards for most flavors of ice cream, but vanilla is the exception to that general rule - I love the slightly eggy flavor in a good French vanilla ice cream, so to me, this one is lacking. 
  • This ice cream is definitely a little softer (easier to scoop) when frozen solid than the previous recipe, and the texture is excellent both freshly churned (like soft-serve) and when frozen solid.

Jeni has developed some phenomenal flavors of ice cream (her Backyard Mint recipe is one of my all-time favorites), but this just isn't one of them.


  • Had a little Chambord on it a few nights ago. Boozy raspberry liqueur on a homemade ice cream, what’s not to love?

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