Crème Fraîche and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche Ice Cream scooped into sugar cones.

As a stay at home mom, I often have grand plans in my mind of how I’m going to keep the boys entertained without resorting to the tv most of the day. Some days I nail it and they spend most of the day outside but other days they watch tv. A lot of tv. Now I could berate myself or, even worse, compare myself to the other moms who get all their little kids to the beach on their own without seeming to lose their minds. I try hard not to do that (often) because I’m only seeing a small fraction of their life on social media and I certainly am not seeing how they are really feeling about themselves.

So yeah, I’m a tv mom. But I’m also the mom who makes pretty decent meals most of the time, takes them to the library, the museum (once or twice a year), makes sure their clothes are clean, reads to them, sings to them, rubs their backs when they get sick…and many other ways that I take care of them. This list is always evolving as my babies grow up because I’m trying to give them what they need while still giving myself what I need. Sometimes I need time to get things done for the household or for myself, hence the tv watching.

Homemade ice cream isn’t on every parent’s summer bucket list but it is on mine. It is fun to make, if a little bit fussy, and it is so much better than the stuff from the store. Yes, I load mine up with lots of full fat goodness, but I also serve it in small cones or cute little waffle bowls that I get from the grocery store. I like having a small amount of a decadent treat rather than a large amount of a so-so treat.

Boy eating an ice cream cone

If you find making ice cream a fun activity, give this recipe a try. If making ice cream seems like one more task that makes you feel as though you aren’t living up to a Pinterest summer, please skip it. Go and pick up your favourite ice cream on a stick, fudgsicle, or popsicle, and sit outside with your family while each of you enjoys it and each others’ company. If the kids start to fight or cry because its melting all over them, that’s ok too. You are giving your kids a great summer.

My summer has lots of Netflix, homemade ice cream, and some happy kids. What does yours have?

Glass container with Creme Fraiche and Brown Sugar Ice cream.

Yields 5 cups

Crème Fraîche and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

The creamy tang of the creme fraiche combined with the brown sugar is a delicious combination in this ice cream. It is wonderful on its own but it makes for a decadent treat on top of a summer berry pie.

12 hrPrep Time

12 hrTotal Time

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  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream (35% cream)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of flaked sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup creme frache


  1. Put the frozen bowl component of your ice cream maker in the freezer. It will need at least 12 hours in the freezer before churning the ice cream.
  2. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl or measuring cup so that it is ready to strain the custard mixture after it cooks.
  3. Whisk together the whipping cream, milk, egg yolks, white and brown sugar, and the pinch of salt.
  4. In a medium saucepan heat the cream and egg mixture on medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  5. As the custard heats, it will thicken slightly. When you see that a little bit of steam is starting to rise off of the custard, coat the back of the wooden spoon with the custard and run your finger across the spoon. If the custard does not fill the space left by your finger it is ready to strain.
  6. Strain it through the fine mesh sieve and discard the chunky egg bits that are left behind.
  7. Whisk in the creme fraiche and vanilla extract into the hot custard.
  8. Place plastic wrap directly onto the top of the custard to prevent a skin forming and place the custard mixture in the fridge to chill for at least 12 hours.
  9. After the custard is thoroughly chilled and the bowl of your ice cream maker is frozen solid, place the ice cream maker bowl in your machine. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and let it churn until frozen. It will look like very thick soft serve ice cream when it is ready. This could take 20-30 minutes
  10. Pour and scoop out the ice cream into a container that can hold at least 5 cups.
  11. Freeze at least 6 hours before serving.
Recipe Type: Dessert


To make your own creme fraiche - mix 2 tbsp good quality buttermilk per 1 cup whipping cream in a bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm kitchen on the counter for 24 hours. It will thicken to look like yogurt. Once it is thickened, store in the fridge. If your kitchen is cool it will take longer to thicken. If you don't want to make creme fraiche it is often available at gourmet grocery stores.


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  1. Karen Oddson says

    That looks delicious Strawberry! And my son gets his fill of Youtube in the summer...I try to give him lots of other activities too, but the default for him is my iPad. We have a handcrank ice cream maker, so this might be an ambitious project. But thanks for the recipe!
    • says

      The days are so long. Even if I think I have lots planned there are still hours that need to be filled with something other than them fighting.
  2. says

    Hey Christina, I teach home cheesemaking and crème fraîche is one of the cheeses we make a lot. I made your ice cream today (waiting for it to cool) and am planning to feature it on my blog but was curious why you whip the crème fraîche in last. Thanks! Nicole
    • says

      I add the creme fraiche after I make the custard for a few reasons. The first is that I don't want to heat the creme fraiche in case it takes away from the flavour of that slightly sour yogurty note that it has. The second reason is that it would take longer for the custard to heat through if I added the creme fraiche in with the rest of the milk and cream. The third reason is that adding the hot custard to the cold creme fraiche it starts to cool the custard down a smidge faster. I don't like putting really hot things into my fridge. Am I certain that heating the creme fraiche would change the taste? No, but it seemed like a good idea so I went with it. I hope you enjoyed the ice cream. I'm sorry for the delay in my reply. I haven't been checking my blog lately. Life stuff.

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