Corn Ice Cream might be an unconventional flavor, but the sweet buttery flavor of corn makes a delicious ice cream with a deliciously creamy texture. If you enjoy custom ice cream flavors like the ones you find at Salt & Straw, this might just be the one for you!
We definitely scream for ice cream and you can too! Be sure to check out some of our other fan favorite flavors like Old-Fashioned Fresh Peach Ice Cream, Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream, and Apple Pie Ice Cream.
The first time I ever had corn ice cream was at my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. Paul took me to Prospect for dinner for my birthday years ago and they served a dessert that involved cornbread, blackberry puree, and corn ice cream. It was a complete revelation for me and I knew that I had to try making corn ice cream myself at home one day.
This flavor is so unexpected but so delightful that I had to make it when we were having a few friends over so they could all try it. While it's not everyone's "favorite", we all enjoyed it and our friend Brian raved about it and took the leftovers home.
I made it plain this time around for a straight corn ice cream with no distractions, but a blueberry, blackberry, or caramel swirl would all be fantastic with the flavor of the corn base. You could either swirl it in or serve it on the side for pouring it over the top, ice cream sundae style.
- Sweet corn: This is the a fun way to use some of the fresh summer sweet corn you can find at your local farmer's market during the summer. But if you are craving corn ice cream and sweet corn isn't in season, you could use frozen corn instead.
- Heavy cream and milk: I recommend using both heavy cream and whole milk for the creamiest, best results.
- Egg yolks: This is a cooked custard-based ice cream, which gives premium scoopability to your ice cream and the best mouthfeel.
- Sugar: Just the right amount of granulated sugar helps boost and highlight the natural sweetness of the corn without taking over.
- Vanilla extract: I like using my homemade vanilla extract to enhance the other flavors of this recipe.
- Salt: Just a pinch is all you need.
How to Make Corn Ice Cream
Start by slicing the corn kernels off the corn cobs using a sharp knife. Add the kernels to a blender with the milk and blend for 10-15 seconds. Transfer the corn and milk to a medium saucepan and add the corn cobs, heavy cream, salt, and half of the sugar. Heat over medium heat just to a simmer, then remove from the heat and let steep for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour to absorb the corn flavor.
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and discard the corn cobs and any solids. Heat the liquid again over medium heat until it's hot but not boiling.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until light. Gradually pour about 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolks while whisking to gently raise their temperature without scrambling them. This is a technique known as "tempering" the eggs.
Add the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan with the remaining hot liquid and continue to cook and stir until the mixture reaches 170 to 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Cool completely by chilling over an ice water bath to speed up the process or in the fridge for 4 hours or more.
Transfer the chilled custard base to the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze for 20-30 minutes until the ice cream reaches the consistency of soft serve. When the ice cream is done, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and stick it in the freezer to "cure" and harden until it is scoopable, about 4-6 hours.
- Because homemade ice cream doesn't have the preservatives that store-bought ice cream uses, it won't last quite as long in the freezer. This ice cream is best eaten within 1-2 weeks. After that it's more likely that ice crystals will start to form.
- Be sure to thoroughly chill the custard base before churning the ice cream for best results.
What to serve with corn ice cream
This ice cream is fantastic with blueberry pie filling or salted caramel sauce spooned over the top. But it would also be great with Kentucky butter cake or a slice of cherry pie or peach pie. Like the saying goes: "What grows together, goes together."
I also think it would be delicious sandwiched between cookies for an interesting and unusual ice cream sandwich. My first choice would probably be these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.
More Corn Recipes
More Ice Cream Recipes
- Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Southern Blackberry Cobbler Ice Cream
- Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
- Maple Walnut Ice Cream
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Corn Ice Cream
- 4 ears fresh sweet corn
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Slice the corn kernels from off the cob using a sharp knife. Add the kernels and milk to a blender and blend for 10-15 seconds to break up the kernels.
- Transfer the milk and corn to a medium saucepan along with the cobs, heavy cream, about half of the sugar, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until it comes to a bare simmer. Remove from heat and let the corn steep for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour for even more corn flavor.
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the corn cobs and any other solids. Return the milk and cream mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat just until small bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan and the liquid steams when you stir it.
- While the liquid heats, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until light, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolks to gently bring up their temperature without scrambling the eggs. Pour the tempered eggs into the saucepan with the rest of the custard base.
- Cook and stir until the mixture reaches 170 to 175 degrees F on a candy or digital thermometer or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. To cool quickly, place the pan over an ice water bath, stirring it occasionally. Chill in the fridge until cold.
- When the base is thoroughly chilled, transfer it to an ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Transfer the churned ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 4-6 hours until firm and scoopable.
- If fresh sweet corn isn't in season, you could use thawed, frozen corn kernels instead or a can of creamed corn.
- Serve with sugar cones or with blueberry pie filling, blackberry sauce, or caramel sauce.