Tips and Recipes for Homemade Ice Cream


Don’t you just love this picture of the old school ice cream maker? I snatched it from Google, because it looks almost exactly like the one we had growing up. Rust included, haha! But so many memories come flooding to my mind when I see this ice cream maker. One of the most prominent is the salt tinged ice cream, due to the high volumes of salt poured into the ice surrounding the tin, that somehow got into the ice cream (no matter how careful you are about scraping it out. That is definitely not a problem we have now, with pre-frozen ice cream bowls which make ice cream in 15 minutes, no salt or ice required.

Speaking of 15 minutes – that is pretty quick, but I have a few tips that will help knock 5 minutes off that time, as well as make better ice cream altogether. I will also include the two basic recipes that we love to go off of, when creating all our flavor varieties.

Tip #1

Before this month, I honestly had no clue what the difference was between whipping cream and heavy whipping cream. I learned quickly, because of 2 mistakes. First, I bought whipping cream and tried to make whipped cream. It nearly turned into butter, and never whipped. Then I learned that there are a few things added to heavy whipping cream which help it fluff up and make whipped cream.  Mine didn’t fluff because it wasn’t heavy whipping cream. I used the leftover cream to make ice cream, and it was great!

The next week, I went to buy more cream to make ice cream again. The store didn’t have regular whipping cream, so I got the heavy whipping cream. The ice cream froze just fine, but it left a weird film in our mouths. Like eating ice cream with ribbons of Crisco. I am just making an assumption, but I think the additives that help heavy whipping cream fluff up in whipped cream are exactly what create that film – because I didn’t have this problem when I used the regular whipping cream.

So to get to the point – Use REGULAR WHIPPING CREAM (not heavy) for your ice cream. 

Tip #2

The instructions I have seen for making ice cream (using a newer ice cream maker, not the old school ones), say to freeze the bowl for 18-24 hours, as well as refrigerating the ice cream mix for 1-2 hours, or overnight. I would definitely suggest that you keep that bowl in the freezer as long as you can before making your ice cream, to make sure it is not just frozen but that it is super super cold. But relying solely on a frozen bowl and cold ice cream mixture can still result in a soft and somewhat melty ice cream after you 15-20 minutes are up in the ice cream maker.

In order to get firm ice cream (immediately, not after re-freezing) and a quicker freezing time, put the paddle in the freezer. Also put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes before you plan to make your ice cream. If you are planning to freeze remaining ice cream, put the empty container in the freezer as well.

Basically, you don’t want anything to come in contact with the mixture/ice cream that could start warming up or melting it. Hence, putting the paddle and container in the freezer. Putting the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes also helps drop the temperature (without freezing it) so that it won’t start thawing the bowl before it freezes into ice cream. It also quickens the freezing process, so you get ice cream in 10 minutes, rather than 15.

Tip #3

This tips is with regards to any flavorings/mix-in’s that you might plan to add to your ice cream base. Again, I am recommending it because of my own experience. I wanted to make chocolate banana ice cream – a flavor I have a great memory of making as a child. I followed the chocolate ice cream recipe (below) exactly, plus I added one banana. The ice cream came out being too sweet, and it was then that I realized I hadn’t compensated for the sweetness of the banana.

Basically, if you’re making the basic recipe as is, you’re fine, but if you add anything sweet, you must compensate by reducing the sugar amount going into the mixture. I haven’t tested it yet, but with my banana example, I would probably reduce the sugar by 1/3 cup for every banana that I add. This would vary, of course, depending on the sweetness of your add-in and your preference. But you just don’t want overly sweet ice cream, because it won’t be enjoyable.


Classic Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream:

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

2 cups whipping cream (not heavy)

1 TBS vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place in the fridge for 2 or more hours. Put the mixture in the freezer 30 minutes before making your ice cream. Turn your ice cream maker on, then pour the mixture into the bowl. Mix for 10-15 minutes.


Simple Chocolate Ice Cream:

3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup, unpacked, dark brown sugar

pinch of salt

1 cup whole milk

2 cups whipping cream (not heavy)

1/2 TBS vanilla extract

Sift the cocoa powder so that there are no clumps. Add the sugars and salt and mix until evenly combined. Slowly add the milk (stopping halfway through if needed, to ensure even mixing of the cocoa powder), whisking constantly, until the sugars are dissolved. Add the cream and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Place in the fridge for 2 or more hours. Put the mixture in the freezer 30 minutes before making your ice cream. Turn your ice cream maker on, then pour the mixture into the bowl. Mix for 10-15 minutes.

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