Glace au Beurre Noisette | The Best Ice Cream Ever in the Whole World

Four Common Ingredients

I kept this recipe unpublished for so long because it’s a part of my favorite party trick. I let my guests taste the ice cream and ask them to name four its ingredients. I hear all kind of answers — caramel, toffee, some say vanilla bean seeds because they see tiny brown dots, etc. Everybody is genuinely surprised when I name milk, sugar, eggs, and butter.

I learned this recipe at school years ago.

Ice Cream Machine: Brown Butter Ice Cream
Ice Cream Machine: Brown Butter Ice Cream

After making it the original way, I realized without churning in a professional ice maker it melts too fast at a room temperature. To make it a bullet-proof recipe for a home kitchen, I modified the steps.

Four Simple Steps

Step 1. Make Beurre Noisette.
Step 2. Make Creme Anglaise.
Step 3. Emulsify them while keeping the bowl in an ice bath.
Step 4. Refrigerate for 8 hours to stabilize, whip, portion, and freeze.

Don’t be intimidated by the terms Beurre Noisette, Creme Anglaise, Emulsify. These beautiful words mean simple things.

Beurre Noisette is brown butter. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. First, you melt it. Second, you let all the water evaporate from the butter — the loud noise you hear is water turning into the steam. Butter contains 13-17% of water. Third, watch milk proteins become dark brown — it’s the same reaction as when you brown any other proteins like meat, fish, poultry, cheese. That’s it! If you have a kitchen thermometer, the temperature of cooked brown butter is 275-280F/135-138C, no higher than 284F/140C.

Creme Anglaise is a cooked mixture of eggs, milk, and sugar. Whisk them combined in a saucepan over medium heat and cook whisking until thick and fluffy. That’s it! If you have a kitchen thermometer, the temperature of cooked Creme Anglaise is 167-180F/75-82C, depending on milk fat contents and milk to eggs ratio.

Emulsifying here is blending/whisking brown butter into the Creme Anglaise. For an experienced cook, everything can be done with a whisk, but using a blender makes this step much easier. Blend the emulsion first using a blender, then transfer it into the bowl, which floats in the ice bath, and then whisk it until cold (~40F) and thick.

Four Basic Kitchen Tools

All you need to have in your kitchen is measuring cups, saucepans, bowls, blender, and a good whisk. A kitchen thermometer is a bonus.

Let’s Say You Don’t Care for Ice Cream

Use it as a cream for cakes, cupcakes, macaroons, etc. Fill your eclairs or choux pastries with it. Pair it with poached or macerated apples and pears and sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnut, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate pearls. Hot black coffee and scotch are the best drinks to accompany.

Glace au Beurre Noisette | The Best Ice Cream Ever

Cook Time5 mins
Total Time12 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: brown butter, custard, dessert, recipe
Servings: 3 cups


  • 1 cup milk whole
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 each eggs large
  • 8 oz butter Plugra


  • Make Beurre Noisette. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue cooking it until the water evaporated and milk solids are dark brown. If using a kitchen thermometer, turn off the heat when butter reaches 275F/135C.
    Brown Butter
  • Place the saucepan in a cold water bath to cool down. I usually fill my kitchen sink with water 1-1.5" deep for this step.
  • Make Creme Anglaise. In a separate saucepan, whisk eggs, sugar, and milk. Place it over medium-low heat and cook continuously whisking until thick. If using a kitchen thermometer, turn off the heat when the mixture reaches 180F/82C and continue whisking until it stops steaming.
  • Use the same cold water bath to cool it down.
  • Transfer Creme Anglaise into a blender jar and add a small amount of Beurre Noisette. Secure lid and blend on low speed for ~50 sec. Continue adding the remainder of brown oil in a slow, steady stream through the opening of the plastic lid insert until nice and smooth (~20-30 sec).
  • In a large bowl, combine ice and cold water 1:1. Place a smaller bowl inside the ice bat, transfer the emulsion into it, and whisk it until cold (~40F) and thick (it'll take a few minutes).
  • Transfer the ice cream base into a closed container and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to stabilize.
  • If you portion and freeze the ice cream now, its flavor will be more intense, and it will melt slower. If you whip it first, then portion and freeze, you will incorporate more air into the ice cream to make its flavor milder, its texture softer. It'll melt easier.
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