Notes on Homemade Ice Cream: Make it!
We’re staring lovingly at a holiday weekend and I hope that means you have some time to rest and play. I been crafting and making batch after batch of ice cream this week. Two things, not necessarily on my Summer Bucket List, but rather summery and fulfilling nonetheless. At some point I’ll show you all of the linens I’ve shibori dyed (some with more success that others), and all of the book I’ve bound. I’m doing a lot of crafts I’m really not very good at, but it feels deeply good to try new techniques and exercise my craft brain.
But… a girl’s gotta eat. Ice Cream is filling my freezer and my belly and ice cream is something I can share with confidence.
Do you have an ice cream maker? Can I convince you to get one… or dust yours off? I’d like to try.
• Let’s first talk about the equipment. Here’s what I use: Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker. Listen, I know this is an expensive machine. It’s a self-freezing ice cram maker meaning you don’t have to keep track of a frozen bowl in the freezer, or worry about that bowl melting while you’re trying to churn your ice cream. I’ve had a lot of success with this machine. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of kitchen appliance…. and it makes ICE CREAM so really, it’s a worthwhile investment.
I’ve also had success with this Cuisinart 1.5 quart Ice Cream Maker. This is an ice cream maker with an insulated bowl that you keep in the freezer. The ice cream churns to thick and cold and the custard spins in the frozen bowl. But- there is a trick to these bowls. Essentially the bowls are melting as soon as they come out of the freezer so I’ve found that really… 30 minutes is the most an ice cream can freeze in this machine. After 30 minutes the ice bowl just isn’t strong enough to keep freezing the ice cream with much success and you’re spinning with diminishing returns. For this reason, it’s important to make sure the base is well chilled before it hits the bowl.
• Storing ice cream is also important. Fresh ice cream going into a straight up tupperware container isn’t ideal because it often makes scooping a chore. We’ve come so far, we should have the right storage. I love paper pint containers because they make me feel like I can plop down on the couch and eat as much ice cream as I’d like… perks of being a grown adult with an ice cream maker(!!) – they can also be rinsed and recycled. Folks have also liked these Tovolo Scoopable Containers that store easily in the freezer.
• We’re going to need some recipes, right? I use 4 ice cream books:
- Food 52’s Ice Cream and Friends : inspired recipes + toppings. I’ve got Olive Oil Gelato in the freezer now and Burnt Toast Ice Cream coming up soon!
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home : a good mix of egg custard recipes and no-egg recipes plus solid technique tips
- The Perfect Scoop : years ago I made the Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream from this book and it was incredible!
- Ample Hills Creamery : so fun! Think: Chocolate Milk + Cookies and ice cream with cold cereal.
• Some of my favorite recipes from around the Internet:
Melissa Clark’s Classic Ice Cream – it really is the perfect proportion of cream to yolk.
Cream Cheese Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream – have you cake and eat your ice cream, too.
Cinnamon Toast Milk Ice Cream – I’m such a sucker for cereal and cold milk.
Salty Honey Ice Cream – Salt is key!
A very easy recipe for sorbet:
Whole Lemon Strawberry Sorbet – Start by coarsely chopping a whole lemon. Peel, pith – all. Remove as many of the seeds as you can. Place the lemon chunks in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Add 2 cups of sugar. Whirl until the mixture is well combined and mostly smooth. Pour the sugary lemon mixture into a medium bowl.
Without washing the bowl, add two pounds of strawberries, hulled and lightly chopped if they’re giant. You can also use frozen berries that are mostly thawed. Whirl until completely smooth, removing any bits of strawberry that are stubborn and don’t want to blend.
Pour the strawberry mixture into the lemon mixture. Add a dash of Campari or gin or nothing at all. Freeze in an ice cream maker until thick and frozen through. Spoon into a freezer container and chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Easy breezy! Enjoy!
If you don’t have an ice cream maker and you just don’t have the desire or counter space… I understand, I do. Consider:
- Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake
- and because I seem to have a thing with toasted marshmallows: Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake with salted caramel. Store bought ice cream certainly isn’t a crime.
- Shutterbean’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake
- Saltine Cracker – Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches – with a whipped cream no-churn ice cream!
- Billy and friends make some of the most clever popsicles for #popsicleweek!
- My sister Lauren’s ice cream in Seattle: Sweet Lo’s Ice Cream. Literally the best and I’m not even biased at all.
Clearly I just want you to ice cream. I hope this inspires. If nothing else, I hope you go out for ice cream tonight.