Ice cream from scratch

Homemade Ice Cream

I never used to make ice cream because I thought you needed an ice cream maker, but that turns out to be completely unnecessary. You can make delicious ice cream just in a pan in your regular freezer, and not take up cupboard space with a machine. This recipe makes very rich, creamy ice cream; if you like it lighter, use milk or yogurt instead of cream.

How to make ice cream:

In a medium-size saucepan, over medium heat, heat a pint (two cups) of heavy whipping cream. As the cream heats, add 1/3 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Break an egg into a bowl and whisk it with a fork. When small bubbles form and the cream is hot but not boiling (don’t let it boil), turn off the heat and add a little of the cream to the egg while stirring, to warm up the egg. Then slowly add the warm egg to the main pot of cream. The reason for this complicated tempering process is to keep the egg from scrambling when you add it to the cream.

Pour the custard into a pie pan and let it cool on the counter. Meanwhile, prepare the flavoring as follows:

  • Vanilla: add two teaspoons of vanilla to the cooled custard.
  • Chocolate: melt half a package of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of water in the microwave and add to the custard. Also add one teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Mint chocolate chip: chop a cup of mint very fine, either by hand or in the food processor, and add it to the hot custard. After the custard has been in the freezer for a while (see below), add half a package of chocolate chips.

Freezing the ice cream

Put the ice cream in the pie pan in a level place in the freezer. Every half-hour or so, give it a good stir, being sure to get the freezing bits around the edges mixed in. Continue for about two hours, or until the ice cream is sufficiently frozen. If you forget and the ice cream freezes solid, just leave it out to get soft for a while and then begin stirring every half hour again from there.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Vegetarian, but not vegan. For a vegan dessert, make raspberry granita.

And will this ice cream keep?

Yes, it will keep pretty well for a week or so. If it gets too hard, let it soften on the counter and then remix it.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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