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Easy homemade ice cream

Whether you’re using a hand-cranked old-time churn or a modern ice cream machine, we have cool recipes to get you through the hot months

May 10, 2018
By Jean Picard - GRIT magazine , Farm News

By Jean Picard

GRIT MAGAZINE

Ice cream is the quintessential summer dessert, and if it's homemade, it's even better! Whether you use an old-fashioned hand-cranked churn with ice and rock salt or one of the new pre-chilled canister models, you can make delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt that outshine the best store-bought.

Article Photos

Fudge ripple ice cream is a popular ice cream flavor that can be made at home with ingredients you may have on hand.

The manual and electric bucket-style ice cream makers that require ice and rock salt have a greater capacity than the countertop gel-canister models, and they have the added advantage of nostalgia. Can't you just envision your extended family taking turns at the crank while hanging out on the covered porch on a lazy afternoon?

The pre-chilled canister ice cream makers usually have a capacity of just 1 to 2 quarts, ideal for smaller families. Though there is no need to go out for ice and rock salt, the gel-filled canister must be placed in the freezer 24 hours ahead of time. Some people simply store it in the freezer so it's ready to go at all times. Those who wish to make a greater quantity, or more than one flavor, can purchase an extra canister for their machine.

Simplest of all, though very expensive, are the self-cooled fully automatic units that require nothing more than plugging in to electricity.

Both styles of ice cream, American (also called Philadelphia) and French, are delectable. American-style is simply milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings, and it is uncooked, so some find the flavor more "pure." French-style ice cream contains egg yolks and starts with a cooked custard base, making a finished product that some people think is smoother, richer, and silkier.

The following recipes were developed with the smaller capacity countertop models in mind. Those who have a 3- or 4-quart machine can simply double the recipes.

Simple vanilla ice cream

If you prefer an uncooked, egg-free ice cream, you will find this one pure in flavor as well as easy to make. While it's more difficult to scoop straight from the freezer than a custard-based ice cream, this ice cream has a rich and creamy texture once it reaches scooping temperature. Yields about 5 cups.

1 cup milk, whole or reduced fat

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch salt

2 cups heavy whipping cream

In medium bowl (use 2-quart glass measure to make pouring into the machine easier), whisk together milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Stir in heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer soft ice cream to freezer-safe airtight container. Place in freezer for at least 4 hours. If it is too hard when you're ready to use it, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes for easier scooping.

French vanilla ice cream

Still easy to make, but with an extra step or two, this ice cream has the added richness of egg yolks and is easier to scoop straight from the freezer. Yields about 5 cups.

3 large egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup hot milk

3/4 cup cold milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In bottom pan of double boiler, heat 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer. In top pan of double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until well blended.

Gradually whisk in hot milk and cook over hot but not boiling water, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers between 160 and 170 degrees; do not boil. Stir in cold milk.

Strain custard into medium bowl (use 2-quart glass measure to make pouring into the machine easier); whisk in vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer soft ice cream to freezer-safe airtight container, and place in freezer for at least 4 hours. If it is too difficult to scoop, let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Fudge ripple ice cream

Fudge ripple is one of the most popular ice cream flavors, and this fudge has the added appeal of being easy and inexpensive to make from ingredients you probably have on hand. Yields about 5 cups.

1 recipe simple vanilla or french vanilla ice cream, unchurned

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

At least 2 hours before churning ice cream, make sauce.

In medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa, salt, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; continue cooking for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and butter until butter is melted. Let cool at room temperature, then chill for about 30 minutes before using. If you chill it too long, you'll need to wait for it to warm up a bit because it needs to be thin enough to drizzle into "ripples."

Churn vanilla ice cream in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer a third of soft ice cream to freezer-safe airtight container, drizzle on some of the sauce. Repeat twice (you'll have enough sauce left over to garnish individual servings). Place in freezer for at least 4 hours. If it is super hard when you're ready to use it, remove it from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Fresh peach ice cream

Nothing says summer like the arrival of the first luscious peaches of the season. For the best ice cream, select the most fabulously fragrant, perfectly ripe peaches available. Adding just a touch of cinnamon accentuates the peach flavor without giving the ice cream a pronounced cinnamon flavor. Yields about 5 cups.

1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced very ripe yellow peaches

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup sugar, divided

3 large egg yolks

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup hot milk

1/2 cup cold milk

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

In medium bowl (use 2-quart glass measure to make pouring into the machine easier), stir together sliced peaches, lemon juice, and half the sugar; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to macerate.

In bottom pan of double boiler, heat 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer. In top pan of double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, salt, and remaining sugar until well blended.

Gradually whisk in hot milk and cook over hot but not boiling water, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers between 160 and 170 degrees; do not boil. Stir in cold milk.

With potato masher, pastry blender or fork, mash macerated peaches until slightly chunky or completely smooth, whichever you prefer. Use blender or food processor for a super smooth puree. Stir in cinnamon.

Add custard to peaches, then whisk in vanilla and cream. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer soft ice cream to freezer-safe airtight container and place in freezer for at least 4 hours.

Simple butter pecan ice cream

This ice cream is sure to get rave reviews this summer, whether served on its own or alongside a slice of homemade peach pie. Yields about 5 cups.

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 packed cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1 cup milk, whole or reduced fat

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup finely chopped pecans (4 ounces)

1/8 teaspoon salt

In medium bowl (use a 2-quart glass measure to make pouring into the machine easier), whisk together sugars, vanilla, salt, and milk until sugars are dissolved. Stir in heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

At least 1 hour before making ice cream, melt butter in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add pecans and salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until pecans are toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Mix until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. With machine still running, pour toasted pecans through spout and let mix in completely, up to 5 minutes.

Transfer soft ice cream to freezer-safe airtight container and place in freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Homemade plain

yogurt

Making homemade yogurt is not difficult, but it might take a bit of experimenting to discover the best store-bought yogurt to use as a starter and the best way of keeping the yogurt warm with the equipment you have. After a few batches, you will know how many hours to let it stand to get the result you prefer. You will develop your own method of yogurt making. Yields 2 quarts or 64 ounces.

1/2 gallon milk, nonfat, 1 percent, 2 percent or whole

3 tablespoons plain yogurt with live active cultures

Clip candy thermometer to rim of 3-quart non-reactive (such as stainless steel) saucepan. Over low heat, heat milk to 170 to 180 degrees; do not let milk come to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, until temperature goes down to 110 degrees.

Stir a little warm milk into yogurt. Then stir milk-yogurt mixture into saucepan of milk. Pour mixture into two 1-quart jars. Put lids on loosely.

Fill two or three 1-quart jars with hot water. Place jars of yogurt and jars of hot water in picnic cooler; cover with heavy towel. The yogurt needs to be kept warm and undisturbed for 8 to 12 hours.

After 4 hours, refill water jars with hot water. After 4 more hours, check yogurt. If it has consistency and degree of tanginess you like, it is done. Otherwise, refill water jars with hot water and leave for another 4 hours.

Tighten lids and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Strawberry frozen

yogurt

It simply wouldn't be summer without Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. Every bit as rich and creamy as ice cream, this yogurt also has a "refreshing" quality that cools when the temperature is soaring. Even better, it has no fat if made with nonfat yogurt. This delicious confection definitely needs to come out of the freezer a bit ahead of time for easier scooping and serving. Yields about 5 cups.

32 ounces homemade plain yogurt (previous recipe) or organic plain nonfat yogurt

1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries

2/3 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or triple sec, optional

Using cheesecloth in colander set over bowl, strain yogurt for at least 4 hours in refrigerator. Getting all that extra liquid out of the yogurt will keep your finished product from being too icy.

By hand or in food processor, chop strawberries as finely or as coarsely as you like. Place in medium bowl (use 2-quart glass measure to make pouring into the machine easier); stir in sugar. Let macerate for 1 hour.

Add strained yogurt and remaining ingredients to strawberries; whisk until thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer soft frozen yogurt to freezer-safe airtight container and place in freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate frozen

yogurt

Chocolate frozen yogurt made with cocoa couldn't be easier (the cocoa dissolves just fine without heat), and it's so good! The coffee liqueur adds another dimension to the chocolate flavor, but if you don't use the alcoholic beverage, just add a couple tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee instead. Yields about 5 cups.

32 ounces homemade plain yogurt or organic plain nonfat yogurt

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch salt

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee liqueur, or strongly brewed coffee

Using cheesecloth in a colander set over bowl, strain yogurt for at least 4 hours in refrigerator. Getting all that extra liquid out of the yogurt will keep your finished product from being too icy.

In medium bowl (use 2-quart glass measure to make pouring into the machine easier), whisk together sugar, cocoa, and salt. Gradually whisk in milk, smoothing out any lumps.

Add strained yogurt and remaining ingredients; whisk until thoroughly mixed and sugar is dissolved. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Transfer soft frozen yogurt to freezer-safe airtight container and place in freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving..

Excerpted from Grit, Celebrating Rural America Since 1882. To read more articles from Grit, please visit www.grt.com or call (866) 624-9388 to subscribe.

 
 

 

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