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: