I’m excited to share that I finally know how to make perfect homemade ice cream. Even though I’ve had an ice cream maker for a year and a half, I was an under-achiever with it. I wasn’t getting perfect ice cream out of it, week after week of trying. The ice cream I used to make was good — we all enjoyed it. But it was soupy or icy. Well, no more. Our ice cream is now perfect — a soft serve, yet firm and scoopable ice cream without iciness or soupiness! It’s time to share what I’ve learned.
I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker, the kind with an insulated freezer bowl. Many ice cream makers are similar to this; two of the tips apply to this type of ice cream maker only, not the old-fashioned kind.
8 Tips for Perfect Homemade Ice Cream
- Make sure the freezing container gets a good 24-hour deep freeze, so that it is frozen solid.
- Use more cream and less milk. I am currently using 100% cream, and no milk at all.
- Use a solid sweetener such as Rapadura, Sucanat or evaporated cane juice. The evaporated cane juice is somewhat refined, the others are not. Using a liquid sweetener (such as honey) with more water content increases the iciness of the ice cream.
- Grind a coarse solid sweetener in a food processor or blender to make a fine texture. (Rapadura or Sucanat)
- *Fill the ice cream maker halfway (perhaps 2/3) only. The frozen tub in which the filling gets churned only has so much freeze to give before it is no longer cold. If there’s too much filling, there’s not enough chilling.
- Add ingredients which increase creaminess, such as egg yolks or avocado.
- When chilling, choose a cool place in the house to do it. Don’t set the ice cream maker next to a woodstove, crockpot, or working oven. Conserve that freezing power!
- (I thought of another!) Chill the filling thoroughly to maximize freezing power.
*This tip is the MOST important! My ice cream maker is a 2-quart. I only use it to the 1-quart capacity, or perhaps a little more. If I fill it anymore, we get soupy ice cream. Sonya concurs.
High-quality homemade ice cream is more frugal than eating it out. In 1 quart of ice cream, I spend $5 on local Jersey cream. The other ingredients are usually sugar and egg yolks, which I’d say adds another $1.50 max. This makes the total $6.50.
So in our family of five, a serving of perfect homemade ice cream costs $1.30. I can’t remember the last time we went out for real, gourmet ice cream – but I’m sure we paid more than $1.30 each! When we go out for run-of-the-mill ice cream, we pay more than $1.30 for one scoop.
Conclusion: no matter how you slice it, even homemade, high-quality, perfect ice cream is a steal. So go make some!
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