This ice cream, provided for us by Chika Tillman of ChikaLicious Dessert Bar in New York City, is made with a classic custard base, which yields a very smooth, creamy dessert. Chika uses pink peppercorns in hers, but we loved it with black pepper too. And if you’re a really big pepper fan, you can leave in the peppercorns, rather than straining them out.

Special equipment: You’ll need an ice cream maker with a 2-quart capacity. We prefer the stand mixer ice cream attachment from KitchenAid.

Game plan: If you’re using an ice cream maker with a freezer insert, make sure it’s completely frozen before beginning the ice cream.

  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 1 hr plus steeping and freezing time
  • Active: 1 hr

Ingredients (5)

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black or pink peppercorns, crushed with the bottom of a heavy pan
  • 8 egg yolks


  1. Heat the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and beat well with a wire whisk.
  3. Return the cream mixture to medium heat and bring to a simmer again. Remove from heat. Temper the hot mixture into the eggs by slowly pouring the cream into them in a thin stream, while constantly whisking the eggs with a whisk.
  4. Strain the egg-and-cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer back into the saucepan. Return it to the stove and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the custard base has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Cool the custard in an ice bath until it is completely cold.
  6. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in a covered plastic container and store in the freezer overnight.