How to Make Perfect Homemade Ice Cream

Churning Ice Cream: A Nostalgic Treat

Who doesn’t have memories of churning ice cream by hand? It used to be a fun task assigned to children, passing the crank from one small arm to another until the mixture became thick enough to be finished by an adult. Then came the endless waiting period as the finished ice cream chilled in the freezer. Ah, those were the days! Ice cream was a special treat, made with fresh or frozen fruit to add flavor. We had to work for our desserts back then. But you know what? Involving children in the creation of their own dessert is a joyous experience. We at Ice Cream have been searching for a vintage ice cream crank like the ones we used to have, but haven’t found one yet. Do you have a favorite? We do carry a few electric versions, but nothing quite matches the nostalgic charm of the old-fashioned hand-cranked churn. Then again, using a motor to do the work isn’t all bad. No matter the tool you use, we have a simple and perfect recipe for ice cream. It requires no cooking or eggs, just cream, sugar, fruit, and a couple hundred turns of the crank. Imagine enjoying ice-cold, sweet fruit cream on a hot summer day. It doesn’t get much better than that.


1) Macerate the Fruit

In a mixing bowl, sprinkle the berries with salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and the juice of half a lemon. Let them sit while you prepare the churn or assemble your ice cream maker. If you prefer a smoother texture, mash the berries with a fork. For chunkier fruit bites, leave them whole. Thawed previously frozen berries will give the ice cream a lovely purple color and spread their flavor throughout. Fresh berries, on the other hand, are often firm enough to remain whole. We recommend crushing at least half of the berries before adding them to the ice cream to achieve pretty ribbons of blueberry color.

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2) Prepare Your Ice Cream Base

In the inner container of your ice cream maker, combine the cream with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 cup (or less if preferred) of sugar. The container should not be more than 3/4 full, allowing room for the cream to expand as it freezes.

Ice cream maker

3) Assemble the Churn

Insert the inner container into the churn and surround it with ice cubes, filling about 1/3 of the way.

Ice cream churn

Sprinkle some rock salt on top of the ice, then cover with another thin layer of ice. Continue layering ice and salt in the described ratio until the freezer is full. Let the ice cream maker stand for 3 minutes to chill before you start churning.

Ice cream churn with ice

4) Churn the Ice Cream

If you’re cranking by hand, start by turning the crank slowly until you feel the cream begin to thicken, which usually takes about 10 minutes.

Hand cranking

Then, speed up the cranking for another 5 minutes, and check the progress. Add the berries at this time and churn for an additional 10 minutes, or until the ice cream has reached the desired thickness. At this stage, your ice cream will resemble soft-serve.

Churning process

5) Freeze

If the inner container is spill-proof, remove it from the ice cream maker and place it in the freezer to chill for at least an hour, or until it reaches the desired firmness. It will freeze even more as it chills. Alternatively, if the container is not spill-proof, transfer the soft ice cream into another spill-proof container and freeze for the same amount of time.

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Frozen ice cream

Don’t forget to lick the dasher! Serve and enjoy.

Finished blueberry ice cream


Here at Ice Cream, our mission is to help you create delicious, sustainable homemade food more often. Feel free to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. If you prefer, you can visit our store and speak with one of our in-house experts the old-fashioned way.

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