Thursday, September 16, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream - 1st Try

I'm writing "1st try" because, well, this was the first time I tried to make it and I'm going to try it again soon. Never having made ice cream, I looked around for some recipes. There are SO many different options - ice cream, sorbet, gelato, eggs, no eggs, custard-style, Philadelphia-style, cream, whole milk, half and half...jeez. My head was spinning. And the kicker: I don't have an ice cream maker.

I used a recipe without eggs. Basically it involved heating up a mixture of whole milk, cream, sugar, a bit of honey, and the flavor - I wanted to make pumpkin spice, so I used some canned unsweetened pureed pumpkin, and some pumpkin pie spice. I'm not going to give the recipe yet because I wasn't completely happy with the outcome - it's a bit icy. I chose a no egg recipe and after reading more on ice cream making I think eggs will help make it less icy and more creamy. Also more cream and less milk. So hopefully next time it will come out creamier and then I'll be willing to share the recipe.

In the meantime, I'll show you how the ice cream was actually made, because I won't change the method for freezing it without an ice cream maker. Once you're done heating up the cream, mixing all the elements together, and cooling them off, pour into a large baking dish (metal or glass) that's been in the freezer for at least half an hour.

Put it into the freezer so that the dish can sit flat and the mixture will freeze evenly:

Yes, those are frozen Peeps in the bottom left corner. Once the mixture goes into the freezer, let it sit for 45 minutes and then take it out and break it up with a spatula.

After the first time, keep breaking it up every 30 minutes until it's pretty solid.

Pretty easy, right? When it's getting too hard to break up and it's looking like ice cream, scoop out into a tupperware, put a layer of plastic wrap over it so it's touching the ice cream, and then of course the lid.

As I said, I'm going to change the recipe a bit. But I also realized my freezer is pretty strong so I think I could break up the ice cream at 25 or even 20 minute intervals instead of 30. That's really what an ice cream maker does anyway - breaks up the mixture as it's kept cold to prevent ice crystals from forming. I only had to break it up 3 times I think, and from everything I read it should have taken a little longer. But the pumpkin spice flavor was really good. Not bad for a first try, but it definitely needs some work.

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