Ice Cream! A Frozen Tasty Treat!

Ice Cream!!

Greetings again, internet friends!  It’s ice cream time!  For this week’s post, I thought I’d talk to you all about making your own ice cream.  I thought of all the reasons you should make your own, but there’s only one that really makes sense.  It isn’t more convenient than buying ice cream.  It isn’t healthier than store bought ice cream.  It isn’t cheaper than buying ice cream.  What matters, however, is that it tastes better than store bought ice cream.  We’re going to go over vanilla ice cream this week, but you can add cocoa to make chocolate, or throw in some mint extract and shaved chocolate to make a type of ice cream that I’ve never heard of.  I shall call it Vanilla with shaved chocolate and mint flavor.  It’s versatile stuff, and always a crowd pleaser.  Let’s get started.

You’re going to need an ice cream maker for this recipe.  We have a countertop model, but this base will work equally well in any ice-cream maker.  Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Base:

2 cups half and half

1 cup whipping cream (do not use heavy whipping cream)

1 cup sugar

1 whole vanilla bean

Pinch of salt (maybe an 1/8th of a teaspoon)


Note:  This recipe takes quite a while to make.  I always start it the night before.  For starters, the core of my ice cream maker has to freeze overnight.  In addition, the base that we are making needs to chill.  It must be cold before going into the machine, but it’s really best if the mixture can hang out in the fridge overnight.  Here we go.

1.)  In a small sauce pan, combine the half and half, cream, sugar, and salt.  Add the vanilla bean.  You need to split and scrape the bean first.  Add the bean guts, and the husk to the sauce pan.

Vanilla Bean

2.)  Over medium heat, bring the base to 170 degrees.  Make sure to stir constantly.  Here, we are dissolving the sugar, as well as changing the basic chemistry of the dairy.  This process will result in a smoother final product.  Once the mixture reaches 170 degrees, remove it from the heat and let it cool.  Once it has cooled down a bit, put it in an air tight container and let it chill in the fridge overnight.


3.)  The next day, remove your core from the freezer, and your base from the fridge.  Remove the vanilla bean husk from the base.  Get your machine going and add the base.  You want the mixture to increase in volume by about 3/4.  It shouldn’t quite double.  For us, this took thirty minutes.

Removing Vanilla BeanAdding to the coreAdding to the core

4.)  Once the mixture has taken in all the air it wants, transfer it to another air tight container.  You should let this freeze up hard.  Be sure to get all the ice cream off of the mixer.  I like to use my tongue for this.

Ice CreamIce CreamIce CreamIce Cream

5.)  Eat the ice cream!  I think you’ll agree that this stuff is better than anything in the freezer section.  Top it with whatever you like.  Me, I’m a purist.  I like it on a spoon.

Ice CreamIce Cream

Well, that’s about it for vanilla ice cream.  I really hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.  Sometimes, Crystal comes home and wonders what happened to all the ice cream.  I tell her that she ate it and she doesn’t remember.  That never works, but I tell her that’s what happened, and then I’m off to another adventure!  Zoom!!!!

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