How To Make Ice Cream At Home
Making Ice Cream
Some cookbooks about how to make ice cream can get so technical and offer such an abundance of scientific information that the idea of making your own ice cream becomes intimidating. Rest assured, it is a simple process.
Electric or hand crank churn-style ice and salt makers only require ice and salt. I save the ice cubes made in my freezer in a Hefty zip-lock gallon size bag so they’re ready when I am. Regular table salt is a typical staple that can be used with electric churns.
With double-sided freezer bowls you don’t need any ice or salt. Many people purchase an extra bowl or two so they don’t have to wait for their bowl to freeze again before making another batch.
Often you’ll hear that you should only use ‘fresh’ ingredients. Fresh ingredients are those purchased and used within their ‘use by’ date in my opinion. You don’t have to take the eggs from under a hen or get your cream at a farm…but make sure, for your own health safety’s sake, you aren’t using stale ingredients, especially dairy items, when making your ice cream.
Additional ingredients that will melt when cooking custard like chocolate chips or marshmallows should be added after the custard has chilled or after the ice cream is made and before it goes into your freezer. If you prefer adding them before putting the mix in the maker, you might consider chilling these extra ingredients before adding them so that the ice cream thickens and freezes sooner in the maker. Check the instructions that came with your ice cream maker before adding these ingredients in your maker so you don’t put too much strain on the motor. Make sure to stir them in thoroughly if doing it after the ice cream is made and before storing.
Adding nuts, ingredients for flavors such as tea, flowers and herbs, vanilla beans…these work best when added to your cooked custard (try the vanilla base for these) so that the heat will infuse the flavor and any color throughout the custard. Nuts will become softer and easier to eat in your ice cream. You may wish to remove some ingredients by straining the custard before adding the final cream. If you’ve added larger items to the custard like your vanilla bean halves after scraping, you can easily spoon those out with a slotted spoon.
Ice Cream Recipes DO NOT Double!
Many of my recipes are make for 1-1/2 to 2 quarts of ice cream. If you want to make a larger batch, DO NOT double these recipes. It doesn’t work. You should never need 10-12 egg yolks for three quarts of ice cream. You may be able to increase the amount of cream/milk and add a little more sugar, but you will also find that adding other ingredients to a recipe will increase its yield.
Freezing Ice Cream
The days of ‘ripening’ ice cream are pretty much behind us. In those days, when the ice cream had thickened and fluffed in the maker, ice would be packed on top of it and the entire maker would be snuggled up in blankets to keep the cold in until the ice cream firmed or ripened.
This was necessary in the days of the ice box. Literally…a box in which ice was placed to keep food cold.
Today there may still be instances where you might like to ripen ice cream. Family reunions when you use a hand-crank and everyone takes turns, away from a freezer when you plan to consume it all, or just to see how it turns out.
But now, with all of the great ice cream makers available and modern refrigeration, ripening is no longer a necessity. To speed the freezing process however, some people place their empty ice cream container in the freezer before making their ice cream so that it’s chilled when they scoop the ice cream from the maker into the container.
Are you ready to make ice cream?
Here is a list of utensils you’ll probably need to make the job as simple as possible.
You’ll find some tips on how to make the most of ingredients here.