Famous Favorite Desserts Thomas Jefferson's Ice Cream Recipe

About the favorite desert of Thomas Jefferson, history and recipe of his ice cream.


Thomas Jefferson was president from 1801 to 1809, the first to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C. Among other good works, Jefferson is credited with bringing baked Alaska to the U.S. from Paris. Instead of serving ice cream under meringue, however, Jefferson's ice cream was encased in balls of warm pastry.


1 quart heavy cream

6 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla or grated vanilla bean

Scald the cream, and then gradually add to it the egg yolks, which have been beaten until creamy and then beaten some more while gradually adding the sugar and salt. Leave on stove, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick. Remove from stove and strain. Now stir in the vanilla, and pour the mixture into a hand-crank ice-cream freezer, around which ice and salt have been packed in a ratio of 1 part salt to 3 parts ice. Crank freezer until ice cream is thick. Pour out the ice cream into a mold which is surrounded with salt and ice in a ratio of 1 part salt to 4 parts ice. Place in a cold spot until it sets and serve immediately. Makes 3 pints.

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