The key ingredients to delicious homemade ice cream are cream, milk, sugar, eggs and whatever you choose for flavoring (eg. fruit, brown bread, wine, etc). Even then you can choose from custard or cream base recipes (using cream, milk, eggs and sugar) to quicker recipes (omitting the eggs and sugar) to gelato (italian ice cream) to sorbets (water ices).
Making Ice Cream by Hand
- Prepare your ice cream mixture, then chill it over an ice bath.
- Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.
- After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it. As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
- Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it's freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or use a stick-blender or hand-held mixer.
- Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready. Transfer the ice cream to a covered storage container until ready to serve.
Making Ice Cream with an Ice Cream Maker
What a thought.... delicious ice cream in just 20-40 minutes! You can create exciting, colorful variations, textures and flavors when you have your own ice cream maker. Impress the kids as well as your friends at parties and summer barbecues. A machine to take pride of place in your kitchen.
With an automatic ice cream maker, you can enjoy homemade ice cream quickly and easily.
Some more expensive models have an inbuilt freezing element. Some ice cream recipes call for making a custard, folding in whipped cream, and immediately freezing the mixture.
An ice cream maker must freeze the mixture, and must simultaneously stir or churn it to prevent the formation of ice crystals and aerate it to produce smooth and creamy ice cream. Most ice creams are ready to eat immediately, but some, especially those containing alcohol, must be chilled further in a freezer to attain a sufficiently firm consistency.
Some machines, such as certain low-priced counter-top models, require that the resulting mixture be frozen an extra four hours or more (or overnight), depending on the recipe, in order for the ice cream to harden to a desired consistency.
Place the freezer bowl in the freezer a full 24 hours before you plan to make the ice cream. Also, allow enough time for the custard to chill before you plan to make the ice cream, which could take several hours.
- Assemble the ingredients
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Custard Base: break the eggs into a bowl and whisk in the sugar. Continue whisking until it is frothy and lemony yellow.
- Cooking the Custard: In a medium-sized saucepot, heat the milk over medium heat until it just starts to simmer. Gradually add the milk, a little at a time, to the eggs, whisking constantly. When all the milk has been added, pour the milk-egg mixture back into the pan and cook it over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Strain and Cool the Custard: Remove from heat and strain the mixture into a bowl to remove any scrambled egg bits. Cool the mixture slightly, then stir in the cream and vanilla, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold.
- Freeze the Ice Cream: When you're ready to make your ice cream, remove the freezer bowl from the freezer and assemble your machine. Turn the machine on first, then pour in the ice cream base.
- Checking Ice Cream for Firmness: The ice cream will take 15 to 20 minutes to thicken up. When it's finished, the ice cream should hold its shape when scooped with a spoon. At this point further ingredients, such as nuts, fruit, or candy bits can be add. Take care to add them after about 12 to 15 minutes, when the ice cream is starting to solidify. Additional ingredients should not be larger than the size of a chocolate chip.
- Final Freezing: When the ice cream is done, transfer it immediately to a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer.