Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla might be white with flecks of bean or it could be the deep yellow of egg-rich French vanilla custard.
Vanilla might be white with flecks of bean or it could be the deep yellow of egg-rich French vanilla custard. | Source

A Brief History of Ice Cream

The history of modern ice cream has its roots in Europe, where cooks first experimented with freezing sweetened milk, pudding and custards. Fresh ice cream only needs some milk or cream, a bit of sugar for sweetening and a thickener to give it some texture. Making ice cream yourself is technically easy, with the only hard part becoming the physical effort of freezing the mixture. A manual ice cream mixer or a modern electric one both work by keeping the milk/cream actively mixing while it chills in temperature. This action prevents the formation of ice crystals, where the water in the mix freezes faster than the other ingredients. And that's just about all there is to it for making your own homemade ice cream.

Ready to give making your own homemade ice cream a try?


Try scooping your homemade vanilla ice cream onto a fresh, hot crepe and then drizzle with chocolate sauce
Try scooping your homemade vanilla ice cream onto a fresh, hot crepe and then drizzle with chocolate sauce | Source

My Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

This is a very simple recipe for ice cream, which uses corn starch as the thickener for the ice cream. (Most recipes use eggs) You can get a LOT of flavor and texture variations just by changing the ration of milk to cream. Using just reduced-fat milk, you can still get a very creamy ice cream, but if you start to blend in some half-and-half or light cream you will get results that more closely resemble higher-quality commercial ice creams.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups milk, half-n-half, light cream or a blend

  • 1/2 Cup sugar

  • a pinch of salt

  • 3 Tbsp corn starch

  • vanilla bean, vanilla paste or extract

Cooking Directions:

  1. Pour 2 of the cups of milk/cream into a pot and put over medium heat. Blend in the sugar and the pinch of salt. If you are using whole vanilla bean, now is when you add the beans and pod to the milk mixture. Heat gently until the mixture is steaming slightly. Then strain out the bean pod.

  2. In another bowl, mix the last 1/2 cup of milk/cream and the cornstarch. Blend or whisk until there are no lumps. Then add this mixture to the sweetened milk, whisking frequently and heat until the mixture is almost boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking mixture as it thickens. If you are using vanilla paste or extract, add it after the mix gets thick.

  3. Remove thickened milk from heat and allow to cool (this can take several hours). You get better freezing from using a cooled-down mixture. Once milk mix is cold, pour it into your ice cream mixer and freeze according to the instructions for the mixer. (this step can take a half hour to several hours)


DIY Ice Cream

Flavor Variations for your Homemade Ice Cream

Are you a chocolate ice cream fan? - substitute a good organic chocolate milk for the regular milk and you'll get a light and rich homemade chocolate ice cream!

Lemon or orange ice cream - substitute buttermilk for the regular milk, as it gives a great tangy character to the basic ice cream. Then just before freezing, add a 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed juice and a tablespoon of fresh zest to the mix.

Nuts & chocolate - add 1/2 cup chocolate shavings or chopped nuts right before freezing. If you do chocolate chips, get the miniature ones, as they melt faster in your mouth when you eat the finished product. (whole frozen chips can be a bit too crunchy for some folks)

Fruit flavors - add 1/2 cup of fresh chopped fruit bits or good quality jam to your milk mix before freezing.

Herbal ice cream - making your own mint chip is easy, just add a 1/2 cup of freshly and finely chopped mint to your mix. Or try something more exotic like lavender!

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Comments 27 comments

WillSteinmetz profile image

WillSteinmetz 5 years ago

Wow. yummy..


alidia 5 years ago

is there any ice cream recipes out there just using milk or condensed milk rather than cream help plz


jamterrell profile image

jamterrell 5 years ago

All ice creams are very delicious!


gajanis786 profile image

gajanis786 5 years ago

Good....let me try it also.


Amy 6 years ago

I really like ice cream thanks


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy

Excellent! I've finally found an egg free ice cream recipe! Thank you very much indeed! It sounds delicious!


denzelwillis profile image

denzelwillis 6 years ago

I tried it. It's delicious


nikki1 profile image

nikki1 6 years ago

great hub/ love ice cream :D


Ebower profile image

Ebower 7 years ago from Georgia

mmmm...I bet this is so goooood!


relache profile image

relache 8 years ago from Seattle, WA Author

Annie, you CAN use yogurt but you'll have to find what ration of ingredients gives the texture you like.


Annie Couture profile image

Annie Couture 8 years ago from Colorado

really great hub, what about frozen yogurt? can you use the same recipes but replace with yogurt??


BeatsMe profile image

BeatsMe 8 years ago

I used to like the idea of making ice cream. I changed my mind when I couldn't find an ice cream maker. :)


Patricia Bedard profile image

Patricia Bedard 8 years ago from Venice Beach

I bought an ice cream machine not to long ago, I should start using it. Great Hub!


02SmithA profile image

02SmithA 8 years ago from Ohio

I don't think good ice cream can be beat! It has always been my favorite dessert! That French Vanilla recipe looks great!


relache profile image

relache 8 years ago from Seattle, WA Author

Fruit-flavored ice cream made at home really does put the commercial stuff to shame!


Cailin Gallagher profile image

Cailin Gallagher 8 years ago from New England

Now, I want an ice-cream maker!! After college, I worked down outside Atlanta for a trucking company. The local women made home-made peach ice-cream that was so scrumptious. I've never tasted better, and I live in Massachusetts, one of the top consumers of ice-cream in the country.


Babbyii profile image

Babbyii 8 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

I agree, sounds good really good right now. My friends and I still use the kick the coffee can around method with rock salt,etc,. just for fun with the kids. Of course we're the big kids. Thanks. It'll be a nice switch.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Graet, a nice vanilla ice cream would really go down right now.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

This sounds good. We just got a new ice cream maker, and have only tried strawberry. I'll have to print this out.


relache profile image

relache 8 years ago from Seattle, WA Author

The mom of my best friend in high school had an old-fashioned ice cream maker, where you packed it with rock salt and ice and turned the handle for hours. She used to enlist a whole pack of us kids on hot days, and we'd sit in the garage where it was cool and take turns cranking the mixture. When it got too difficult for anyone to turn, it was done.


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