Oh, summer! The scorching heat can be unbearable, making it my least favorite season. You can tell by the choice of adjectives that I, quite literally, can’t handle the heat. There’s something about the sticky feeling of sweat on my skin that I just don’t appreciate.
In this moment of despair, there’s one thing that brings me joy and helps me beat the heat—ice cream. It’s a delightful hero among desserts, a treat that never fails to lift my spirits.
Ice cream is undeniably important.
I can’t stress this enough.
My obsession with ice cream is deeply rooted. It runs in my family. My grandfather would cross himself every time we passed a Dairy Queen without stopping. My mom always has multiple cartons of our favorite vice in her freezer, nestled between frozen peas and chicken. Ice cream has been a part of every occasion, big or small, in my life.
I often dream about raising my future children to snack on homemade kale and barley popsicles. But, let’s be honest here, the ice cream obsession will most likely be passed down to yet another generation.
My love for homemade ice cream started in junior high science class. I discovered that I could create this refreshing delicacy on my own. All I needed were my own hands and a few simple tools. The process was similar to a tutorial I followed, minus the ingenious treadmill hack. We rolled coffee cans back and forth on the concrete floor by hand for what seemed like hours. The reward, however, was worth every moment spent. From that day forward, my passion for making ice cream by hand only grew stronger.
So, of course, when my husband proposed, one of the first things I registered for was a stainless steel Cuisinart ice cream maker. My husband thought it was a silly gadget that we would never use, like an egg cuber or a hotdog bun toaster. But I promised to prove him wrong, and prove him wrong I did.
Making your own ice cream is not only fun but also a cool way (pun intended) to experiment in the kitchen. It’s not difficult, and homemade ice cream is always a crowd-pleaser.
Two Delicious DIY Recipes
Today, I’m thrilled to share two do-it-yourself ice cream recipes. We’ll start with a simple recipe that only requires a bowl and your freezer. Then we’ll move on to a more complex recipe that involves a blender and an ice cream maker.
Recipe 1: Excellent Basic Ice Cream
For this recipe, you’ll need a large stainless steel or glass bowl, a whisk, aluminum foil, a sealable container, and access to a freezer. It’s best to do this earlier in the day or on a weekend, as the freezing process will take three to four hours. You’ll need to stir the mixture occasionally during this time.
- 2 cups whole milk (2% works too if you’re watching your calories)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
This recipe is great as is, but I always like to add my own twists. Today, we’ll transform it into a classic Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by adding the following:
- 1 teaspoon mint extract
- 2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 1 cup if you’re not as obsessed with chocolate as I am)
- Food coloring (green is my choice, but feel free to get creative)
- In the large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the mix-ins. Whisk them together thoroughly and cover the bowl with aluminum foil.
- Place the bowl in the freezer and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the bowl and whisk the mixture for a few seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl. Recover with foil and return it to the freezer.
- Repeat this process every 30 minutes, whisking the mixture to prevent ice crystals from forming. By the third time, you’ll notice the ice cream forming around the edges. On the fourth time, it should be thick enough to add your mix-ins.
- Keep freezing and mixing every 30 minutes until you’re satisfied with the consistency of the ice cream. The whole process usually takes around 5 to 6 times, but there’s no judgment if you prefer rock-solid ice cream.
- If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, store them in a sealable container, such as Glad FreezeWare.
Feel free to get creative with other mix-in ideas like orange liquor with mallow swirl, crushed pineapple and shredded coconut, or Nutella swirl with banana chunks and toasted slivered almonds. The possibilities are endless!
Recipe 2: Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream
For this recipe, you’ll need a blender and an ice cream maker. Make sure to follow your ice cream maker’s prep instructions, including freezing the inner bowl in advance.
- 4 cups whole milk (2% works too)
- 2 (8 oz) packages of softened cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup Rum Chata (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package of cinnamon graham crackers
- 1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling
- In your blender, pour the milk and add the softened cream cheese, sugar, Rum Chata, vanilla extract, and salt. Add as much cherry pie filling as your heart desires—I usually use about a quarter of the can. Blend until smooth, stirring occasionally with a long spoon if needed.
- Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions. For example, slowly pour the mixture into the rotating bowl, allowing the ingredients to stir and meld together until finished.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and check on the ice cream. It should start forming nicely. This is the perfect time to add your mix-ins. For this recipe, I suggest adding another quarter of the cherry pie filling can for some cherry chunks and four coarsely crushed graham crackers for texture.
- Continue to follow your ice cream maker’s instructions until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency. With my ice cream maker, it usually takes 30 to 40 minutes.
- Serve your cherry cheesecake ice cream with graham crackers and cherries. Any leftovers should be stored in a sealable container.
Just like the first recipe, this one is completely customizable. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors. Enjoy these delicious recipes and have fun creating your own ice cream variations! If you discover a particularly tasty combination, please share it with me in the comments section. I’m always willing to gain a few pounds to test your creations.
And remember, leave your kale-pops at home. Indulge in the sweet delight of ice cream and savor the cool moments it brings on hot summer days.
Ice Cream is where the magic happens.