This homemade Chardonnay Ice Cream With Tropical Fruit uses a custard-style base (with eggs) to make a creamy deliciously scoopable homemade ice cream with an extra boost of flavor.
» You have to check out these amazing 47 ice cream recipes. This chocolate chip ice cream is to die for!
I know it sounds strange – Chardonnay ice cream!? But we like making interesting flavors and have never shied away from something unique. I read about this Chardonnay Ice Cream with Smoked Sea Salt on The Food Network and being the wine lover I am, I just had to try it.
Instead of the smoked sea salt, I thought it would be really tasty with tropical fruit, so I changed it up a bit. The Chardonnay gives the ice cream and interesting flavor that, I’ll admit, is not great all on its own, but with the fruit, it’s quite delicious.
We use our ice cream maker for this recipe, so be sure to put the barrel in the freezer a day ahead so it’s good and frozen by the time you want to use it.
Don’t Forget the Ice Cream Scoop!
I love this ice cream scoop. It’s a heavy-duty stainless steel scoop that’s easy to grip and it makes scooping so easy!
Ingredients You Need
This ice cream uses a custard base, so it has egg yolks in it.
- Half and half or heavy cream – There is a debate out there about how much butterfat the best ice cream has. It can range anywhere from non-fat all the way up to 20%. Using half and half and whole milk results in the best texture and fat level for me. Use heavy whipping cream if you like your ice cream super creamy.
- Whole milk – I always use whole milk – we’re not pretending this is a low-fat dessert.
- Egg yolks – Set the eggs and milk out about 15 minutes before you start to get them to room temp
- Sugar – Granulated sugar is fine in this recipe. If you’re going to replace it with a sugar substitute, I recommend using only allulose, because it doesn’t harden like erythritol and the others do. This makes a big difference.
- Vanilla – Use the highest-quality vanilla you can. The flavor of the vanilla is strong and can be a little off-putting if you use a low-quality vanilla. You can also add vanilla bean to this recipe.
- Salt – A little bit of salt helps to balance the sweetness.
- Chardonnay – It’s just a 1/3 cup of Chardonnay. You can use any bottle you like – doesn’t have to be expensive. I use a stainless steel Chardonnay with no oak flavor. It gives a brighter flavor to the ice cream.
- Tropical fruit – You can use peaches, pineapple, mango, strawberries, papaya – any topical fruit you like. I usually buy a bag of frozen chopped tropical fruit to use if fresh fruit isn’t in season.
How to Make Chardonnay Ice Cream
We use the same egg-based custard ice cream base for chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, and most of the other flavors of ice cream we make. It’s an easy base and it tastes great and very creamy.
The other great part about using this base for everything is that it starts to become second nature to make it. There are quite a few steps to making custard-style ice cream, but it’s not hard, and it’s very much worth the effort.
Step One: Heat the Ice Cream Base
Combine the cream, salt, sugar, egg yolks and pinch saffron in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken in about 15 minutes. Don’t let it boil or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.
Step Two: Chill
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl set over ice. This will help the bring the temperature of the mixture down rapidly so it can be stored in the refrigerator.
Add the milk and chardonnay, stir it in, then leave it on the ice until it’s cooled. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. It needs to be fully chilled before you can churn it.
Step Three: Churn the Ice Cream
Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions until set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl, cover, and freeze for at least 2 hours.
To serve, scoop the ice cream into a bowl and garnish with fresh or frozen tropical fruits.
Pour into a freezer container or loaf pan and store in the freezer.
Milk vs Cream
I’m often asked if it’s possible to use milk or cream or half and half interchangeably in an ice cream recipe. It is actually okay to do that. It will, however, change the final product. The creaminess and scoopability of the ice cream is what will be affected.
If you use only milk, I would suggest only doing so with whole milk. 2% or lower fat milks don’t have enough fat to make a creamy ice cream. It will end up being a little icey and not easy to scoop.
What I do most often is use whole milk and half and half to make a creamy, yet lower fat ice cream. I find this to be the best combination for my preference. You could use whole milk and cream if you like a creamier, thicker ice cream.
So basically, you can use any combination of any of these products that you want. Maybe experiment with a few different combinations to find the one you like most.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this ice cream have to be made in an ice cream maker?
This ice cream recipe is made in the ice cream maker. It’s an easy way to churn the ice cream mixture to make it freeze faster and make it super creamy, so we prefer it.
However you can still make it without an ice cream maker. At the end, mix in only half of the heavy cream and reserve the rest. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. When ready to eat, add the ice cream cubes to the blender with the remaining heavy cream and blend until smooth.
Do I have to add eggs to the ice cream?
Eggs add flavor, prevent ice crystallization, and create a smooth and creamy texture, so they are an important ingredient for delicious ice cream. You can make ice cream without eggs. Here is a vanilla ice cream recipe that doesn’t include eggs.
Can I add flavoring to the ice cream besides Chardonnay?
You can leave the Chardonnay out of this ice cream and replace it with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, if you want. You can also use any flavoring or fruit you want in this ice cream. I love the aromatics and flavor of fresh ripe peaches, but you could also use strawberries, blueberry, or mango.
What Ice Cream Maker to Use?
If you’re really wanting to make great ice cream at home, you have to invest in an ice cream maker. I’ve had the same one for many years and it’s never made a bad ice cream.
The one I recommend is the Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker. It comes in a few different colors and it looks neat and tidy. You just have to keep to recipes that are small enough to fit, which shouldn’t be a problem.
The Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker is a slightly more professional model that’s 2 quarts and has an LCD screen and 3 settings plus an improved paddle with faster processing time.
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Chardonnay Ice Cream With Tropical Fruit
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- Pinch of saffron optional
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup chardonnay
- 1 cup tropical fruits chopped
- Combine the cream, salt, sugar, egg yolks and pinch saffron in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken in about 15 minutes. Don’t let it boil or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.
- Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl set over ice. Add the milk and chardonnay, stir and leave until cooled. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions until set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl, cover, and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- To serve, scoop the ice cream into a bowl and garnish with fresh or frozen tropical fruits.
- Sauce pan
- Be sure to chill the ice cream maker bowl at least a full day in advance so it’s cold enough to make the ice cream.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.