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Making ice cream for fun

Stu Spivack, Wikimedia Commons

A little bit of chocolate sauce over vanilla bean ice cream is a great summertime treat.


Many people, myself included, have fond childhood memories of making homemade ice cream.

Back in the old days, we had to use ice cream churns that required turning a handle over and over, and we often had to take turns. Usually, one of the adults would take over when the churning became a lot more difficult. We had a rule that if you didn’t help crank that ice cream paddle, you could not have any of the ice cream. Now, I highly doubt that rule was steadfast, but none of us kids ever dared test it to find out.

Today there are many electric churns available, but sometimes it is a great family tradition to use an old-fashioned one. It’s more interactive and you get a real sense of accomplishment.

With a lot of families still staying close to home, making ice cream is a fun activity that all can enjoy. Just think of a big bowl of your favorite flavor in all its creamy smoothness. Here are a few recipes you may want to try.

Vanilla bean ice cream

1 3/4 cups heavy cream

1 1/4 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

1 tablespoon vanilla

1. In a saucepan, pour 1 cup of the heavy cream, along with the sugar and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the saucepan and also the pod. Turn heat to medium and stir just until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove from heat and add remaining cream, milk and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and refrigerate.

3. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean pod, whisk mixture and pour into canister of your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.

4. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Makes 6 servings.

Strawberry ice cream

This recipe is a custard style, with egg yolks.

6 large egg yolks

2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups crushed fresh strawberries, sweetened

1. Place egg yolks and milk in the top of a double boiler; beat mixture with a whisk. Add sugar and salt. Cook over simmering water, stirring until mixture is thickened and coats a metal spoon. Allow to cool.

2. Add the vanilla, cream and strawberries to the cooled mixture. Pour into the cylinder of an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

3. When ice cream is frozen, transfer to a freezer container; freeze for 2 to 4 hours before serving. Makes 12 servings (about 1 1/2 quarts).

Buttermilk peach ice cream

2 pounds ripe peaches (about 7 medium), peeled and quartered

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Process peaches in a food processor until they are smooth. Add sugars, lemon juice, vanilla and salt; process until well blended.

2. In a large bowl, mix buttermilk and cream. Stir in peach mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or until cold.

3. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker no more than two-thirds full. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions, refrigerating any remaining mixture to process later. Transfer ice cream to freezer containers, allowing headspace for expansion. Freeze 2 to 4 hours or until firm. Let ice cream stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving. Makes 2 quarts.

Dark chocolate ice cream

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1. In a double boiler, add chocolate and heat over hot water until it melts. Gradually whisk in the milk and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk the sugar into the eggs, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.

3. Add the cream, vanilla and salt and whisk to blend. Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend well. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 to 3 hours.

4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 8 servings.


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