How to Make Homemade Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
We all know what happens as summer approaches: Our appetite for something ice cold, creamy, and refreshing hits. And it hits hard. But if you think the a heaping, high-stacked ice cream cone can only be had at the parlor around the corner—think again. Homemade ice cream is well within reach even without an expensive ice cream machine. Whether you're whipping up scoops that are vegan, use less refined sugar, are soft and fruity, or decadently creamy—here's how to grab your favorite ingredients and turn them into delicious homemade ice cream.
The basic recipe for homemade ice cream
A professional ice cream make is definitely a time saver if you make a lot of ice cream, but it's by no means a requirement. What you really need first? A plan! As hard as it is to decide between ice cream and sorbet for instance, you must choose one. Then you can think about how to switch up the flavors: Do you want to spice up your ice cream with crushed cookies, spiced fruits, or hunks of chocolate? Once you have your flavors in mind, you need a large, cold mixing bowl, a spoon, a freezer, and, perhaps most importantly, patience.
The base of homemade ice cream is always a fat—typically heavy cream, milk, or even kefir, or, for something vegan, almond or soy milk. Ice cream is a refreshing summer cool down, one of the main reasons we love it so much, but its sweetness comes in as a very close second. So every ice cream base needs a sweetener like sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave. It's best if the sweetener is already in a liquid form, but if you use refined sugar, choose a very fine one. All ingredients should be cooled down to about 6°C/40°F in the refrigerator before you get the real process started.
This basic mixture of fat and sugar now needs to be heated to dissolve the sugar. At this point, you can add some flavors to your ice cream by steeping this mixture with aromatics or spices for instance. For a really rich ice cream base, beat some egg yolks and carefully whisk them into the warm milk and sugar mixture. Now, gently heat the ice cream base again until it becomes slightly thickened and creamy. Let it cool completely at room temperature, then transfer it to a chilled bowl and let it cool in the freezer.
After about one hour the base should be slightly frozen. From this point on, stir it with a spoon every 30 minutes to obtain an airy and light ice cream—not a solid block. Once you have gone through the whole process for about four hours, your ice cream is ready to serve. It might sound like a pain, but hey—you already know it will be so, so worth it!
Now you might be asking, how can you get more flavors into the ice cream? Luckily for you, there are very few limits here. You can season your ice cream with cocoa, vanilla beans, cinnamon, or a green sprinkle of matcha powder. Varieties with chili or even eucalyptus are also possible, and super tasty. Below we show you the most delicious sorbet and ice cream recipes with fruit, yogurt, spices, and more.
How to make your own sorbets or fruity ice creams
Fresh seasonal fruit is ideal for adding a sweet and tangy touch to your homemade ice creams. If you love ice cream all year round (I mean who doesn't!), you can also use frozen or canned fruits, just be sure to adjust the amount of sugar you use, because many canned fruits are already sweetened.
How to make classic vanilla ice cream
It's a classic for a reason. No real ice cream parlor can do without their own take on vanilla ice cream. To make it at home, it's best to prepare the ice cream the day before you want to enjoy it, as it has to be boiled then completely cooled down as described in our recipe below.
The most important ingredient for vanilla ice cream is, as you might have guessed, the vanilla bean. Add it to the milk mass before heating, then process everything together for the most intense, floral, and delicious vanilla flavor. If you don't have an ice cream maker at home, make it according to the basic recipe we gave you above.
How to make "healthy" ice creams at home
It might sound like an oxymoron, but healthy ice cream is real—it exists. Basically, ice cream doesn't always have to be loaded with sugar, rich cream, and eggs. For example, replacing sugar with naturally sweet dates or using coconut milk or yogurt instead of heavy cream are great alternatives. If you don't want to use eggs or dairy, try sorbet, which is made nearly completely from fruit.
Our case in point for replacing the fat in ice cream with yogurt? Frozen yogurt, of course! It's a tasty, lighter alternative with a nice tangy and can be served with various toppings such as fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips—just like ice cream!
A vegan ice cream without added sugar is sometimes called "nice cream." It's made from bananas, and couldn't be simpler to make at home. Here's how!
Get even more ice cream inspo from our story on Dana Cree's cookbook "Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream", because—as we've been coming back to time and time again—nothing beats a delicious homemade scoop.
Have you ever made homemade ice cream? What are your favorite flavors? Let us know in the comments below!
Published on July 25, 2020