Homemade ice cream has been one of our favorite sweet treats lately to cool off on hot summer days.
Right now, you're thinking: Why would I make my own, when I can easily buy a tub of ice cream from the store?
Well, not only can you control the ingredients that goes into your ice cream – avoiding artificial colorings and flavorings – but you can also customize it however you like. So you end up with a personalized and healthier version of your favorite dessert.
And because you can control the ingredients, you can also control your budget. You can choose to splurge on ingredients when you can and then make a minimalist version of the same variant when the budget is tight. Unlike store-bought, where you almost always have to pay premium price, especially during the summer days.
But most importantly, the reason you should make your own ice cream is because it's really, really fun. My son already enjoys helping me make ice cream. It's a great activity to do with the kids.
Let’s begin by learning how to make a basic vanilla ice cream, which I happen to love. Once you've made a batch, you can divide it to make other flavors. For example, you can add cocoa powder to make chocolate ice cream or a fresh-flavored one using fruits and nuts, so everybody in the house could have their favorite.
Don’t have an ice cream maker?
Don’t worry. All you have to do is:
- Place the custard mixture in a covered container in the freezer for around half an hour.
- Take it out and mix the custard well. Break up any hard and frozen pieces that may have formed around the edges. Place it back in the freezer.
- Take it out again and mix for another 30-45 minutes. Repeat, and keep checking on the ice cream until it reaches your desired consistency. You can keep it “soft serve” or leave it the freezer for several hours for a firmer consistency.
Mine actually broke while I was making the chocolate ice cream in the pictures, and I finished making it in the freezer. We have been making ice cream (including the vanilla ice cream in the final pictures) in the freezer since. There wasn't a big difference in texture from the ice cream made from an ice cream maker, it was just as smooth and as creamy.
So, what are you waiting for?
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
- (Cocoa powder – optional)
How to Make Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
STEP 1: Mix the milk, eggs, cream and sugar together in a large saucepan. Cook over medium to low heat.
STEP 2: Stir constantly until the mixture begins thickening into a thin custard. Remove it from heat, and add in the vanilla extract.
STEP 3: If you want to make chocolate ice cream, separate your mixture in half and add some cocoa powder.
STEP 4: Strain mixture through a sieve into a container that you plan to use for refrigerating your custard mixture. Refrigerate for several hours. I left mine overnight.
STEP 5: Follow the directions for your ice cream maker to freeze the ice cream into a soft ice cream texture.
STEP 6: To finish hardening the ice cream, put it into a covered container and place in the freezer until it gets to the desired consistency.