Sage Ice Cream

The peppery, earthy, herbaceous flavor of sage is lightly infused into a creamy sage ice cream with a sweet, vanilla base.

This French style ice cream recipe starts with a smooth and rich custard made with egg yolks. This ensures that our Sage Ice Cream is decadent and super creamy.

Aside from being sophisticated and completely delicious, sage ice cream is also gluten-free and nut free.

a footed glass bowl of sage ice cream, garnished with fresh sage leaves.

I have the most beautiful sage plant growing in my backyard right now. I knew that I needed to impart sage’s gorgeous herbal flavor into a batch of creamy ice cream, and so I did just that, and here is the delicious result!

You can make this specialty ice cream flavor with fresh sage that you grew yourself, or pick some up at the grocery store. Either way, you are going to be blown away by the flavor of this recipe.

We’ll start with a classic, French-style vanilla ice cream base, but we’ll infuse the milk with sage leaves to give it a herbaceous, gorgeous flavor that’s unlike any ice cream you’ve ever tasted.

Would you like to make more sophisticated, refined, grown-up ice cream flavors? You should try our Matcha Ice Cream, Avocado Ice Cream, and Coffee Ice Cream recipes next.

For another specialty flavor of ice cream, try this Black Licorice Ice Cream. Cannoli ice cream is also a reader favorite.

Why You’re Going to Love this Sage Ice Cream Recipe

Unique Ice Cream Recipe – You won’t find Sage Ice Cream in any grocery store freezers. This is a gourmet ice cream recipe for people who want to enjoy the earthy brightness of fresh sage in their ice cream.

An Easy Sage Ice Cream Recipe – There are other recipes out there for sage ice cream with browned butter, orange rind, wild honey, and other added ingredients. This recipe doesn’t need any of that! With only 7 ingredients, it’s delicious and simplified so that the flavor of the herb really shines.

Tested Recipe – All of our homemade ice cream recipes are tested again and again to make sure that they are simple, delicious, and the best that they can be!

The ingredients needed to make fresh sage infused ice cream, all in separate bowls on a marble counter, viewed from overhead

Ingredients in Homemade Sage Ice Cream

Egg Yolks – These create the base for our ice cream custard. We’ll gently heat the egg yolks to cook them into a creamy egg yolk ice cream base.

Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and amazing ice cream texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the perfect choice.

Whole Milk – Milk is cooked with fresh sage leaves and left to steep briefly to infuse the flavor into the ice cream.

Salt – Just a bit of salt balances the sweetness and makes everything taste a bit brighter.

Fresh Sage Leaves – I use whole sage leaves rather than ones that have been chopped. It’s much easier to remove whole leaves from the custard, and we don’t necessarily want pieces of herbs in the ice cream. Any type of fresh culinary sage can be used.

Heavy Cream – Making ice cream with both heavy cream and whole milk is what gives us the best creamy texture.

Vanilla Extract – Vanilla is a must for almost all of our ice cream recipes, but it is especially important in this one. It elevates the simple flavors of milk, sugar, and cream, and creates a flavor base for the sage to work with.

a collage of 8 images showing the steps to take to make sage ice cream in an ice cream maker.

How to Make Sage Ice Cream from Scratch

Start the day before by making sure that the bowl for your ice cream maker has at least 24 hours to freeze solid.

  1. Add the milk, salt, and fresh sage leaves to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Be sure not to boil. Place a lid on top of the pot and let the sage steep for 20 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
  3. After steeping, add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined. This step is called tempering the eggs.
  4. Then, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk.
  5. Heat the saucepan on low. Stirring constantly, heat until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take a few minutes. 
  6. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove the sage and any pieces of egg that may have cooked. Then, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure to have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the ice cream base. This will help keep it from forming a skin while chilling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  7. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  8. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. 

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.

a metal ice cream scoop scooping through homemade sage ice cream

How to Store Sage Ice Cream

Store this homemade Sage Ice Cream in the freezer in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month.

Before serving, allow your homemade ice cream to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes so that it softens slightly and is easy to scoop.

Tips for Making This Sage Ice Cream Recipe

Use quality ingredients – When making homemade ice cream, you’ll want to make sure you are using high-quality ingredients for the best outcome. Be sure that your sage leaves are fresh.

Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes.

Don’t skimp on the fat – High-fat milk and cream are essential when making homemade ice cream. Opting for a low-fat option often leads to icy ice creams and inconsistency in the texture.

Don’t go crazy with the add-ins – If you’re adding in additional ingredients, pick one or two and make sure they are chopped into pieces no larger than a blueberry or pea.

Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to homemade ice creams, it also helps with the texture. Sugar is essential for the creamy texture of ice cream.

Why Is Homemade Ice Cream So Hard to Scoop?

Directly out of the freezer, homemade ice cream will be too hard to scoop. This is because we haven’t added anything to it to keep it soft. Commercial ice creams often include extra ingredients to allow them to stay soft at freezer temperatures.

To get your homemade ice cream soft enough to scoop, simply allow it to sit on the counter for 5 minutes.

a bowl of scoops of sage ice cream, garnished with fresh sage herb leaves

No Churn Sage Ice Cream Directions

Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you prepare the ice cream base as directed in the recipe.

Pour the sage-infused ice cream mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours to help add air. This will help create a creamy, smooth texture.

How to Enjoy Sage Ice Cream

Truly, I don’t recommend adding anything to this herb-infused ice cream. It’s beautiful as is, and since the flavor is already unique, trying to figure out what might taste good along with it can be tricky.

If you’re looking for toppings that will taste good with sage ice cream, try some of these:

  • Toasted walnuts, almonds, or cashews
  • Fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup

Sage Ice Cream makes an amazing topping for all of your favorite fruit pies, pumpkin pie, or pecan pie.

Pair this homemade sage ice cream with homemade pumpkin spice ice cream for a delicious combo.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

We have so many homemade ice cream recipes for you to choose from! For your next batch, try something fruity:

Or maybe you’re in the mood for something chocolatey?

Our Favorite Ice Cream Making Tools:

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Did you make this Homemade Sage Ice Cream Recipe? Leave a Comment Below letting us know what you thought and if you added any additional add-ins.

a footed glass bowl of sage ice cream, garnished with fresh sage leaves.

Sage Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 7 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 55 minutes

The peppery, earthy, herbaceous flavor of fresh sage is lightly infused into a creamy, sweet, vanilla base in this recipe for homemade Sage Ice Cream.

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves (about 20 leaves or 1/4 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl. Add the milk, salt, and fresh sage leaves to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Be sure not to boil. Place a lid on top of the pot and let the sage steep for 20 minutes. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
  3. After steeping, add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined. 
  4. Then, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk. Heat the saucepan on low. Stirring constantly, heat until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take a few minutes. 
  5. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove the sage and any pieces of egg that may have cooked. Then, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure to have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the ice cream base. This will help keep it from forming a skin while chilling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  6. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  7. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. 
  8. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • You can use any kind of culinary fresh sage for this recipe, either store-bought or from your own garden. I used 20 sage leaves. Since the size of sage can vary, I’ve also included the weight, which is .25 ounces. Typically at the grocery store, sage comes in packs of .67 to 1 ounce for reference.
  • I like to use whole sage leaves rather than chop them up because you just want to infuse the milk with the sage. It is easier to remove the sage from the custard with a fine mesh sieve if they are larger pieces.
  • When you are straining the sage out of the custard, press the sage with a spatula to make sure you get all of the flavor out of the sage. 
  • Sage ice cream is a vanilla ice cream that is infused with a light, herbaceous flavor from sage leaves. It pairs beautifully with your favorite fruit pies, pumpkin pie, or pecan pie.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 228mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 30gProtein: 8g

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