Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream - It's Easier Than You Think!

I started making ice cream about three or four years ago.  I don’t make it often, but whenever I do love the results.  It’s great for a dinner party dessert because you can fix it, freeze it and forget it until  time to serve. It’s something that not a lot of people make and it’s not that difficult, so you get something unusual for not a lot of effort which is a win-win in my book.
I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker that’s nothing fancy but I have been really happy with it. I tend to keep the freezer bowl in the freezer all summer so I can make ice cream without any pre-planning (if the freezer bowl is at room temperature it can take 24 hours to freeze).
Making the ice cream involves a few steps, but all are pretty simple.  Always start with good ingredients such as high quality vanilla (I use Penzey’s double vanilla) and whatever cream/milk the recipe calls for. This is not the time to go “light,” unless that is what your recipe calls for.  Read the recipe through and get your ingredients out and measured.

Here are the steps for making salted caramel ice cream, which is a custard-based ice cream (like a classic vanilla or chocolate ice cream):

Start by making a custard on the stove - just follow the steps in the recipe and you will be fine!

Your custard is done when you make a clean mark on a spoon with your finger

Straining the custard gets out any stray bits of cooked egg

A water and ice bath helps bring the custard to room temperature
Once you have your chilled custard, put it into your ice cream maker and process according to the directions that came with the machine (I usually process for 22 to 25 minutes).  When your ice cream is finished processing, it will be the consistency of melted soft serve ice cream and will need some freezer time.  Put it into a container and freeze for at least a few hours before serving.  And that’s it!
A note about timing: If I can, I stretch the process out over at least a day, mainly so that the ice cream has adequate time to chill/freeze . It works something like this:
Evening of day 1: Make custard, put in ice bath and then in refrigerator
Morning or mid-day of day 2: Process ice cream in ice cream maker, put in freezer
Evening of day 2: Serve


1 comment:

  1. I love making ice cream too. I can't wait to try the salted caramel ice cream. Yum!