I do think it is fitting that my first post in over a month is about or more so in honor of ice cream! Ice cream is one of the most perfect desserts. The definition of good ice cream is not cloyingly sweet, meaning my teeth don’t have to rot off from an exaggerated amount of sugar.
Have you ever done a little research on ice cream recipes? Talk about an assortment of types: frozen custard, frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato, to name a few. Actually in the US, the phrase, “ice cream” is regulated by the government based on the quantities of the main ingredients.
No matter what you call it, it is truly an amazing treat. In Texas, I think just about everyone is familiar with Blue Bell. And shoot, when that stuff is on sale, you can bet I’ll be there buying my limit!
But that brings me to making my own ice cream. Store bought ice cream can be yummy, trust me I have taste-tested enough to know for sure. But if there aren’t any sales, the good stuff can be a pretty penny. I am the first to throw out the suggestion of buying generic, ask anyone. But ice cream is one of those things I stick to my guns about. If I can’t afford Blue Bell, I’m just not buying. I always figure maybe it’s the good Lord’s way of saying, “Alyx, I think could and should do without.” And if you know me, I am all about my generics. But let’s be honest, if you are going to waste calories on ice cream shouldn’t it at least be on some good stuff?
Therefore, my solution: homemade! It’s relatively inexpensive depending on the recipe and flavor and with a little practice it can be quite delicious. So below is my basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. This is by far the most frequently made. It also is the base to some of my other recipes.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield: 2 quarts
3 eggs (if you use 4 eggs, it’ll be more custard-y, love it both ways)
½ c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I use reduced fat)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 qt. milk (I use 2%)
Currently, I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which is beyond convenient and easy to use! I have included the link to this machine on Amazon. With this machine you don’t need to remember to buy ice or ice cream salt (rock salt). You freeze the bowl for at least 6 hours prior. You will find my bowl in the freezer, that is unless it is in the maker and the machine is on!
I mix these ingredients together in the order that you see here. First you are going to want to beat the eggs and sugar together until it is a light eggshell color and ribbon-like. Then add your salt and vanilla and mix in. Then incorporate the can of sweetened condensed milk. This is really think so you may want to employ the use of a spatula to get it all out or just cut your losses! Then continue to beat and add the heavy whipping cream. The quart of milk you see at the bottom of this list is an approximate amount. I mix up my ingredients in a bowl which has lines to designate the volume of the mixture. Next I add enough milk to bring the total volume of my mixture to 1 3/4 quarts to account for the volume increase after freezing.
One of the keys to great texture of your ice cream will be the amount of time you give this mixture to cool down. I like to leave it in the refrigerator overnight or while I am at work. However, if I am in a pinch, you can cut this down to one hour by putting in the freezer and stirring every 15 minutes or so, so that it doesn’t set up. Bringing it down to a cold temperature will help it freeze in the machine faster and will contribute to a better overall texture.
In no time at all you can have delicious soft serve or freeze for more of a scoop!
**You may add 3 Tbsp of vodka, per quart of mixture, before adding into the machine to help keep ice cream softer; however, I have found if I use 4 eggs, it is scoopable for the life of the ice cream. But then again, my ice cream doesn’t last longer than a day or so in my freezer! If you have any questions about this recipe or the process feel free to email me!
Don’t worry, more recipes…and posts…to come!