Homemade Ice Cream

Hey, there! Today, I want to share with you a method I use to make homemade ice cream, without keeping any special equipment on hand beyond a hand mixer and an ordinary freezer. There will also be irrelevant photographs sprinkled throughout. Ready?

Homemade Ice Cream

1 1/4 cups sweetened condensed milk (That’s one can, or we can make our own!)
2 cups heavy whipping cream (Ask us if you need additional cream with your weekly milk.)
Whatever you want to use for flavorings. You can go simple with just chopped strawberries or a dash of vanilla, or you can get a little crazy! A favorite of ours was cinnamon apple ice cream; I simmered the apples with some sugar, butter and cinnamon until they were very tender. Last week, inspired by Delaney’s no-bake cookies, I used peanut butter, chopped chocolate, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt. A popular request around here is mint chocolate chip, again with chopped semi-sweet chocolate, and three drops each of food grade peppermint and spearmint oils.

Ready for the super-tricky instructions? Pour your sweetened condensed milk into a bowl, and add any flavorings. You may need to use a mixer to combine things like peanut butter, but usually, you just need to stir. In a separate bowl, whip your cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape the whipped cream into the condensed milk bowl and fold them gently together until no (or few) white cream streaks remain. Pour into a container, and freeze for six hours, till firm.

We use the small square glass baking pan (9″ x 9″?) because we can cut it easily into nine squares, which is just right for us (for now – Evie still shares!) We would also like to recommend that you remove the ice cream from the freezer ten minutes or so before serving so that you can actually scoop it.

Homemade ice cream, especially short-cut methods like this one, often yield a finished product with unpleasantly crunchy ice crystals in it. This is not a problem with this method! The texture is wonderful, and it takes only a few minutes to whip up. Also, there are no extra bowls or machines cluttering up the cupboards or freezer! That’s a major bonus in our book.

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar (We use the smaller amount and it’s quite sweet enough; also, we use evaporated cane juice sugar, but use whatever you like!)
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the milk and sugar. Bring to a low simmer, stirring constantly till the sugar is dissolved, then reduce the heat to as low as it’ll go so that steam rises off the milk, but it doesn’t boil. It’ll take quite a while to reduce the milk this way – a couple of hours – but you don’t have to watch it as closely. If you want to speed it up, just stay nearby and stir often. I usually get a half gallon of milk reduced in about half an hour, but don’t boil it. When the milk is reduced to about half it’s original volume, turn off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. That’s it!

We usually start with at least a half gallon of milk, adjusting the other ingredients accordingly. Then we measure it out into ziplock bags and lay them flat on a baking sheet. We put the whole pan into the freezer until the milk is frozen, then stack all the bags neatly in a corner. It takes approximately thirty seconds to thaw out a bag when we want to make ice cream, and we won’t have to slave over a hot stove in July!

Or you can just buy it. 🙂

If you happen to be in the market for a new hand mixer, I recommend this Sunbeam Mixmaster. I have always and forever used the super cheap Black and Decker or Hamilton Beach models, which have always and forever burned up at inopportune moments, and this was cheapest model available at my local five-and-dime when I last replaced ours. My goodness, but it’s a spunky little mixer! Honestly, I think it’s a little too powerful sometimes, but I will never buy another mixer brand again, on the off chance this one will have to be replaced. It just seems to be unusually well made. I’m pretty sure it can handle whatever kind of cookie dough you care to throw at it.

Thanks for stopping in today, and I hope you enjoy your homemade ice cream!