How to make homemade vanilla ice cream the old fashioned way using an ice cream maker. Family recipe and a summer staple for as long as I can remember.
My family’s vanilla ice cream recipe has been a part of every summer for as far back as I can remember. While it’s morphed from person to person, it’s pretty much the same ice cream I remember enjoying with family on special summer occasions gone by.
When we visited Boquillas, one of the main souvenirs we made a beeline for was a huge bottle of Mexican vanilla.
I used to bake with it as a teenager; it has the best flavor, and guess how much this huge bottle cost when we picked it up in Mexico? A little over $13. If you’ve noticed how much vanilla costs lately, you know that’s a bargain.
I love making chocolate chip cookies with it, and we love using it when we make a big freezer of homemade vanilla ice cream and a homemade vanilla milkshake. It has amazing flavor and makes the best vanilla ice cream ever.
It makes really delicious homemade banana ice cream too!
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the old fashioned ice cream recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE VANILLA ICE CREAM
First of all, make sure your ice cream freezer, especially the canister, is washed out good. We store ours in the garage, so we always have to wash it before we use it.
I recommend using a mixer to mix up homemade vanilla ice cream with eggs; this will ensure that the ingredients are mixed really well, especially the eggs*.
- Start by creaming (or mixing) the eggs* and the sugar together. Then add in the vanilla extract. Did you know you can even make your own vanilla?
- Next, mix in the sweetened condensed milk, scraping all the ooey gooey liquid out of the can with a spatula.
- Then add both cans of evaporated milk, and add in a good-sized dash of salt, which equals out to about a teaspoon. Mix everything together well.
- Pour the mixture into the metal canister of your ice cream maker. Then finish topping off the canister with whole milk, making sure to fill it about 3/4 of the way full, leaving room for expansion as it freezes. Your metal canister should have a fill line.
HOW TO FREEZE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM WITH AN OLD FASHIONED ICE CREAM MAKER
Freezing the mixture to make homemade vanilla ice cream is fairly easy, especially once you get it going. You will need to stay with it so you can monitor if it needs more ice, rock salt, or needs unplugged when done.
While I always advise you to follow manufacturer instructions for your specific ice cream maker, here are a few tips. You can also read our complete guide to the old-fashioned ice cream maker for more tips and suggestions.
- Put the lid on, and place the metal canister down into the bucket of your ice cream maker.
- Crush a big bag of ice, gradually pouring ice around the canister. Tip: You can add up to a gallon of water if needed, as well. We sometimes do this because our motor will seize up. Adding a bit of water will help it keep turning.
- Add 2-3 cups of rock salt as you add the ice, making sure to top it off with rock salt.
- Let the motor run until it stops. Once the ice cream is frozen, the motor on your ice cream maker will stop churning. Unplug it immediately. This should signal that the ice cream is completely frozen.
Wipe any excess ice or rock salt off the lid and out from around the top of the canister. Then remove the lid.
Carefully remove the churning paddle, and serve the ice cream immediately.
If you’re not ready to serve it up just yet, you can always leave the lid on, remove the motor, top the canister off with ice, and place a towel or two over it to insulate it and keep it cold.
WHERE TO FIND ROCK SALT
While you can find smaller bags or boxes of rock salt online and at the grocery store, sometimes you can get a bigger and less expensive bag at a hardware store or feed store.
WHAT TO PAIR WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM
Homemade vanilla ice cream pairs really well with desserts like gluten-free apple crisp, fresh strawberry pie, peach cobbler, gluten-free peach crisp, peach cobbler made with Bisquick, blueberry cobbler, cherry pineapple dump cake, peach cobbler dump cake, sliced baked apples, and apple crumb pie.
FAVORITE MIX-INS FOR HOMEMADE VANILLA ICE CREAM
There are so many things you can mix into your ice cream to make it even more fun, especially with kids.
- Fruit or Fruit Jam or Berry Fruit Salad – We especially love mixing strawberry jam, peach freezer jam, or blackberry jam into our ice cream.
- Chocolate Syrup, Butterscotch Topping, Caramel Topping, etc. – With whipped cream and a cherry on top.
- Oreo Cookies – I especially love crushing up Oreo Minis.
- Chocolate candies – Like M&M’s, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and more.
- Brownies or Cookies
MORE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM RECIPES:
- Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
- Homemade Peach Ice Cream
SHOP KITCHEN TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:
Mixer – A mixer will ensure you mix everything together really well.
Ice Cream Freezer – This is an ice cream maker recipe, so you’ll need a maker/freezer.
Food Storage Containers – We use dishes similar to these to store our ice cream in the freezer, especially when we have a big batch.
Ice Cream Scoop – Can’t have ice cream without a scooper.
GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE
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Find my original recipe for vanilla ice cream over on Adventures of Mel!
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