I’m pretty sure I’d be hard pressed to find many people who dislike the taste of homemade ice cream. Its smooth, creamy texture and its decadent, pure flavor just dance on the tongue unlike any store bought ice cream could. Plus the fresh and non-typical things you can add in make it unique and most fitting to your personality.
Unfortunately, not everyone owns or has access to an ice cream maker. So homemade ice cream is a super rare treat left to the chance that maybe you’ll be able to enjoy some that someone with an ice maker made. Usually. But not any more! After you have read through this post, you’ll know how to make homemade ice cream sans the ice cream maker.
Types of Frozen Treats
Before I dive into the how-to’s, let me first explain a bit about ice cream. There are several different kinds of frozen treats, all similar to ice cream. Here they are:
- Frozen Custard. This is a variation of ice cream that is made with eggs and is cooked prior to being turned into ice cream. The cooked eggs thicken the ice cream and give it that great homemade flavor. Another name for frozen custard is French ice cream and it is often just referred to simply as ice cream.
- Gelato. This Italian-created frozen dessert contains a bit of milk and eggs while featuring a heavy, less airy consistency.
- Ice cream. This frozen goodness contains dairy (cream and/or milk) with a minimum of 10% milk fat. It also may or may not contain eggs.
- Sherbet. This frozen treat contains a bit of dairy, has fresh fruit in it, and dons a light consistency.
- Sorbet. This icy dessert is made using water and fresh fruit.
When making ice cream without an ice cream maker, the best options are to make traditional ice cream or frozen custard. The other frozen treats, while super yummy, will form ice crystals that are too large, making the dessert have an unfavorable, “sharper” texture. Even making ice cream or frozen custard without an ice cream maker will produce an end result with larger ice crystals, but it will still be very soft and smooth (and totally worth it so you don’t miss out on homemade ice cream).
As far as add-ins go, the sky really is the limit! When mixing in items like fresh fruit bits or nuts, wait until the ice cream is completely frozen. Then fold in these fresh toppings with a couple of metal spatulas (kinda like they do in the fancy ice cream shops). Pretty much anything else can be mixed in ahead of time. Here are just a few mix-in ideas:
- fresh fruit
- raisins or other dried fruit
- cocoa syrup
- nut butter
- bacon (especially yummy in TJ’s Maple Bacon Ice Cream)
- Kosher salt (take it easy)
- chocolate pieces
- crumbled cookies
How to Make Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker
What You Need
- one recipe prepared ice cream or custard in liquid form, chilled in the refrigerator (see a basic vanilla recipe below)
- a shallow, freezer-safe metal or glass dish (one that’s big enough to hold all the liquid, or use more than one)
- a metal spoon, a sturdy rubber spatula, or a hand mixer
What You Do
- Pour the chilled liquid ice cream mixture into the shallow dish (or dishes) and cover with an airtight lid (or use foil or plastic wrap).
- Pop in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Remove and stir well for about 30 seconds (it should be a bit thick and creamy but still easily stirred; if it’s not, return to freezer until it is).
- Cover the dish up again and return it to the freezer for another 2 hours. Remove and stir for another 30 seconds. Mix in any add-ins (besides fresh fruit or nuts).
- Transfer the semi-firm ice cream to an airtight container with a lid. Return to the freezer and allow to freeze until completely firm.
- 1 c. coconut sugar
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 2-1/2 c. whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Whisk the coconut sugar, cream, and milk together in a saucepan. Continue to whisk over medium-high heat (being careful it doesn't bubble over) until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife then carefully scrape all the beans from the pod with the tip of the knife. Add it (or the vanilla extract instead) to the milk mixture and stir in.
Prepare this liquid ice cream according to your ice cream maker's directions or by following the <a href="http://measuringflower.com/2015/10/how-to-make-homemade-ice-cream-without-an-ice-cream-maker/">no-maker method</a>