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Cool Down With These Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Cool down during the dog days of summer with some homemade ice cream. These recipes are easy, delicious and sure to keep you happy in the heat.

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by Leah SmithAugust 30, 2021
PHOTO: vm2002 /Shutterstock

What would summer be without ice cream? Eating it is only half the fun. Making it is the other half. The recipes that follow have all been tweaked by yours truly until each flavor of homemade ice cream could be deemed “blue ribbon” worthy.  

I work with a 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker, so you may want to multiply recipes depending on the size of your machine. If you don’t have a machine, why not?! You can get great ones for under $100. They are easy to operate with limited prep time, and they make incredible ice cream in less than an hour.

You’ll never want to eat store-bought ice cream again!

Also, each recipe calls for beating ingredients, which I do with an egg beater. When I say, “until aerated,” I mean beat until bubbles form on the surface of the mixture and it begins to look frothy. 

Supreme Strawberry 

Fresh and frozen strawberries can be used in this homemade ice cream recipe. Simply thaw fruit first to make smashing easier.  

Ingredients 

For strawberry mixture 

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  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry halves 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 

 For ice cream 

  • 2 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup sugar 
  • 18 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup cream 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Preparation

Smash the strawberry halves with a masher or pastry cutter until only small pieces remain. Then stir in the brown sugar and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and salt until well mixed and aerated. Next, in a double boiler pan directly on the burner, scald the milk. Once scalded, temper the egg mixture by adding the milk slowly while stirring constantly. 

Return new mixture to the double boiler pan, and place it atop the double boiler base with simmering water. Stir constantly until slightly thickened, remove from heat and cool.

Once the custard base is cooled, beat the cream and vanilla until aerated. Then add the custard base and continue to beat until well combined.

Place into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is just starting to firm up, add the strawberry mixture and continue until finished. 


Read more: Should you grow your own strawberries? Yes! Here’s why.


Scrumptious Coffee 

The brown sugar helps to enrich the flavor of this refreshing homemade ice cream. Use one tablespoon of instant coffee in a half cup of water if espresso is not available. 

 Ingredients 
  • •1/2 cup espresso (or strong coffee) 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 cup cream 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
Preparation  

First, prepare espresso. Set aside to cool.  

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, sugars and salt until well mixed and aerated.  

Next, in a double boiler pan directly on the burner, scald the milk. Once scalded, temper the egg mixture by adding the milk slowly while stirring constantly. Return new mixture to the double boiler pan and place it atop the double boiler base with simmering water.

Stir constantly until slightly thickened, then remove from heat and cool.

Once the espresso and custard base are thoroughly cooled, beat the cream and vanilla until aerated. Then add the espresso and milk mixture and continue to beat until well combined.  

Place into ice-cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. 

homemade ice cream recipes
Leah Smith

Delicious Blackberry 

This ice cream tastes as good as it looks. Mashing the fruit after cooking it helps to release the full extent of juice and pulp from the berries so that you are left with little waste and stupendous flavor. This homemade ice cream, in particular, benefits from sitting for half a day once made for the flavor to intensify. 

Ingredients 

For blackberry mixture 

  • 4 cups blackberries 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 

For ice cream 

  • 2 eggs 
  • 23 cup sugar 
  • 18 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup cream
 Preparation  

In a medium saucepan, place blackberries with the sugar. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes until the fruit is broken down. Smash the fruit with a masher or pastry cutter.  

Drain using a fine mesh strainer, pressing berries to extract as much juice/pulp as possible. Once it has drained and begun to cool, stir in lemon juice and set aside to cool completely.  

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and salt until well mixed and aerated.  

Next, in a double boiler pan directly on the burner, scald the milk. Once scalded, temper the egg mixture by adding the milk slowly while stirring constantly.  

Return new mixture to the double boiler pan, and place it atop the double boiler base with simmering water. Stir constantly until slightly thickened, remove from heat and cool.  

Once the custard base is cooled, beat the cream until aerated. Then add the custard base and blackberry extraction and continue to beat until well combined.  

Place into ice-cream maker, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. 


Read more: Blackberries and raspberries are popular, and they’re easy to grow at home!


Briny Butter Pecan 

In my family, butter pecan ice cream should have the tang of salt as well as the buttery crunch of pecans. If your family doesn’t agree, just reduce the salt in the ice cream to 1/4 teaspoon. 

Ingredients 

For pecans 

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter 
  • 23 cup finely chopped pecans 
  • 18 teaspoon salt 

For ice cream 

  • 1 1/2 cups milk 
  • 1 1/2 cups cream 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 13 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
Preparation

In a skillet, melt butter. Add pecans and salt, and cook on medium/low heat, stirring constantly, for six to eight minutes (until fragrant; don’t burn). Cool thoroughly!  

Beat together the milk, cream, sugars, vanilla and salt until aerated.

Place into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is just starting to firm up, add the pecans and continue until finished. 

Eat-a-Peach Brown-Sugar 

The richness of peach matches the richness of the egg yolks and cream perfectly. The brown sugar deepens the peach flavor, while the lemon juice brightens and the almond extract enhances your homemade ice cream. 

Ingredients 

For peach mixture 

  • 2 cups peach slices 
  • 13 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional 

For ice cream 

  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 2 cups cream, divided 
  • 23 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
Preparation 

Smash the peach slices with a masher or biscuit cutter until only small pieces remain. Then stir in the brown sugar, lemon juice and almond extract, and set aside.  

Place egg yolks in a bowl and beat together.  

Next, in a double boiler pan directly on the burner, scald 1 cup of cream, adding the sugar and salt to dissolve as well. (Watch closely. Don’t allow to burn or boil.) Once scalded, temper the eggs by adding the cream mixture slowly while stirring constantly.  

Return the new mixture to the double boiler pan, and place it atop the double boiler base with simmering water. Stir constantly until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool.  

Once the custard base is cooled, beat the remaining 1 cup of cream until aerated. Then add the custard base and continue to beat until well combined.  

Place into ice cream maker, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is just starting to firm up, add the peach mixture and continue until finished. 

Luscious Chocolate 

Most chocolate ice cream has the right color but an insufficient flavor for a true chocolate lover. Not so here! This homemade chocolate ice cream will not disappoint. 

Ingredients  
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate 
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder 
  • 1 1/2 cups cream 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Preparation  

In double boiler pan, melt chocolate over simmering water in base. Slowly add milk, stirring to keep the chocolate smooth and the two combined.  

Once all of the milk has been added, add the sugar, salt and espresso powder. Stir until dissolved.  

Remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, beat the cream and vanilla until aerated. Then add the chocolate mixture and continue to beat until well combined.  

Place into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. 

homemade ice cream recipes
Leah Smith

Swift & Effortless Vanilla 

With no eggs, no double boiler and nothing to cool, this ice cream can be made quickly with little planning ahead of time, if necessary. Despite its ease of preparation, it makes a great homemade ice cream.

The tapioca starch is the helping hand that allows you to “cut corners” and still have a creamy end product. If you don’t have it on hand, corn starch or even all-purpose flour are adequate stand-ins. 

Ingredients 
  • 3 cups cream 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 34 cup sugar 
  •  1 12 tablespoons tapioca starch 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 12 teaspoon salt 
Preparation 

Beat all ingredients together until aerated. Place into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. 

To maximize flavor, allow recipes to age overnight, with or without custard bases. This also aids smoothness. 

Keep in mind that churning ice cream isn’t just a freezing process, it’s an aerating process. You can actually whip your cream (instead of just beating it a bit) before you mix it in with the other ingredients to help this process along. 

When using add-ins, such as candies or chunks of chocolate, and when making a fruit ice cream, make sure all pieces are chocolate chip size.

Remember, it will be frozen. How big do you really think frozen pieces should be? 

With my recipes, I try to create flavors without requiring you to buy new and exotic flavor extracts. But if you already have extracts that you wish to use (e.g., chocolate or coffee), feel free!

Final note: Don’t add extracts to a hot mixture. Wait until it’s cooled, as the heat will deteriorate the flavor. 

I hope you enjoy these recipes and discover how much fun making homemade ice cream is! The most difficult part is deciding what flavor to create next! 



Sidebar: Keep Your Cool

The simplest and most obvious tip is the most important one: cool everything. 

The cooler your whole operation, the quicker the homemade ice cream will form. The quicker the ice cream forms, the smaller the ice crystals—which will form as the mixture freezes—will be and the softer the resulting ice cream texture.

So make all ingredients cool. Even if you are putting something in that wouldn’t normally be chilled (like chocolate chips), chill it. 

Make sure the bowl of your electric ice cream maker is completely frozen, or your ice is the correct size if you are hand-cranking. On an especially hot day, you may even want to do your final ingredients combining and put your mixture back in the fridge to recool. It’s that important. 

Speedy churning/freezing is also why you shouldn’t overfill your maker, so that you have the right amount of “cooling power” available. No more than 23 full is correct. 

A further note about ice crystals. Time, and especially the slight thawing and refreezing that occurs when you get ice cream in and out of the freezer, all lead to an increase in crystal size and coarser texture. So, you should get your newly churned ice cream into the freezer as soon as possible.

Also, store larger quantities of ice cream in preportioned containers instead of one large one (avoiding the melting and refreezing). Finally, don’t plan on keeping it for as long as you might commercial brands. 

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Hobby Farms magazine.

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