Homemade Ice Cream

Summer is here, and what better treat than homemade ice cream? You may be wondering why you would make ice cream when you can buy it?

Because it’s delicious that’s why. And it’s not nearly as hard as you may think. You know exactly what’s going in it, and it’s an impressive treat to have for dessert when you have company over.

Follow these tips for the best ice cream you’ll ever make:

It starts with your ice cream maker. There are many types, from hand cranking machines that use salt, to electric ones. I use to use a hand crank one and it was a lot of work so in my opinion, an electric machine is the best, but they all have their own benefits. Whichever you choose, you should choose one with a big bowl, such as two quarts, otherwise you’ll be going through a lot of trouble for what seems like a little bit of ice cream.

You can make simple milk and cream mixtures that turn into a basic creamy treat or you can do more complicated custards that involve cooking eggs that will turn into a much richer dessert. You can add in sauces or chips or nuts, and flavor with just about anything.

The process to make homemade ice cream is simple but not quick, so plan ahead if you’re wanting to have something for a party other specific occasion. If your ice cream maker is an electric one, you’ll have to put the bowl in the freezer for 24 full hours. If you make a cooked custard, it will need to cool completely before you can put it in the bowl (chilling is best) and then once you’ve ran through the cycle (usually about a half hour), you’ll have to freeze your ice cream for a few hours before you can really enjoy it.

Timing is critical. Don’t try to cheat by shortening freezing (of the bowl or finished ice cream), cooling or cooking times. If your bowl’s not cold, your cream won’t freeze; if your mixture isn’t cool, your cream won’t freeze. You get the idea. You can learn the hard way or you can be patient. I recommend patience.

Once your ice cream is done in the canister, you want to get it to a container and in the freezer as quickly as possible. This serves two purposes: If your ice cream melts at all, it will be icy, and if you get the bowl back in the freezer before it thaws completely, you can avoid having to refreeze for 24 hours again before you can use it.

You aren’t limited to just ice cream with an ice cream maker. You can make sorbets, yogurts or any kind of frozen dessert. Simply search out your favorite recipes and get busy!

Once you make your own ice cream from scratch, store bought will never taste the same again!  Have you ever made your own ice cream?

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Photo by Three Points Kitchen

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