Making Ice Cream

I have spent a lot of time drooling over ice cream makers in the department store. Just think – any flavour of ice cream that you could dream up, right there in your kitchen. However, I have never been able to justify actually buying one. I wasn’t sure if I would really use the machine, or what the ice cream would be like. So when a fabulous friend offered to pass along hers, I jumped at the offer.

The ice cream maker is really cool. It has a big freezer bowl that does all the freezing work. You keep the bowl in the deep freeze, and then once you have your ice cream ingredients all mixed together you pull it out, pour everything in, and turn on the paddle. In less than half an hour you have ice cream. At least that’s what the booklet promised, and I was excited to give it a try. I let my 5-year-old daughter Hannah choose the first recipe and she decided on chocolate. That’s my girl!

Mixing up the ice cream ingredients
The kids testing the ice cream mixture to see if it’s good

The ice cream mixture itself is easy to make. My recipe called for sugar, cocoa powder, milk, cream and vanilla. You have to mix it pretty well so that the sugar dissolves, because you don’t want crunchy ice cream. Still, pretty straightforward. I think it’s important to leave the freezer bowl in the freezer at this point, especially if you have little helpers, because you don’t want the bowl to thaw while you give everyone a turn pouring and stirring.

The ice cream maker doing its thing
The assembled ice cream maker and chocolate ice cream mixture at the beginning

Licking the bowl
Licking the bowl

Much as in baking, the hard part is waiting for the sweet treat to be ready to eat. The machine said that it would take 25-35 minutes for the ice cream to be ready, which is a long time when you’re a little kid. There was much mayhem and many requests to just eat the ice cream already during the 25 minutes that ours took to be finished. I decided to check it at the earliest possible time because the freezer bowl had been in my deep freeze for 2 days and I was sure it was really cold. Plus, I was ready for some ice cream myself. It was finished at 25 minutes on the dot, which is really not too bad.

Finished product
The finished ice cream

When it comes out of the machine the ice cream is very much like soft serve. It is soft and creamy and melts quickly. The kids actually really liked this – my 19-month-old Jacob has a hard time getting regular ice cream on to his spoon, and my daughter Hannah likes to stir her ice cream and turn it into ‘ice cream soup’. The softer texture of the homemade ice cream was sort of more up their alley.

Two thumbs up from Hannah
Hannah enjoying her first homemade ice cream

Full-contact ice cream eating from Jacob
Jacob really gets into his food

The recipe made plenty of ice cream, so we’ve been eating it out of our freezer for the past couple of days. It’s holding up well. It’s harder when it’s been in the freezer, more like ‘regular’ ice cream would be. But I think it tastes better. Instead of guar gum and modified milk ingredients it has actual dairy products and real sugar. It’s delicious, and I feel better knowing exactly what’s in it. I can’t wait to try some other recipes. Up next? Pumpkin ice cream, and chocolate raspberry ice cream made with coconut milk. I hear the coconut milk ice cream is amazing, and since it’s dairy-free my lactose intolerant husband should even be able to eat it.

Have you ever made your own ice cream? Any recipes or tips to share? I’m all ears!

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  1. What a fun snack! We had been contemplating on getting the ice cream maker that is sold with camping supplies. I hadn’t heard much about the results so we haven’t picked it up yet.
    I loved the pictures of Hannah & Jacob enjoying their dish of ice cream 🙂
    .-= Sara´s last post ..Daylight Saving Time… we need to go back! =-.

  2. I’m so envious! Lucky you, and lucky your children! I’ve been wanting to buy an ice cream maker for years, but I come from a country where a) you don’t eat ice cream in the cold season because you’d be sure to get pneumonia b) houses are small, and where do you store a machine that you can use only a few warm months a year? And no, with all the respiratory trouble we’ve endured I’m not going to challenge superstition! Happy ice cream eating!
    PS you can make fresh fruit ice cream (berries, peach, apple, pear, melon are some of the flavors here) with just sugar and water, no milk whatsoever!
    .-= Francesca´s last post ..yellow! =-.

  3. Angus’s (then Eve’s) jk teacher makes ice cream with the kids every year. I was there the year she did it with Eve’s class — it’s a wooden ice cream maker with a handle that you turn until it’s done — and it was the most amazing ice cream I’ve ever had. The coconut milk one — and pumpkin — sounds heavenly. I love the pictures of the kids (I know you probably haven’t seen iCarly, but the one of Jacob makes me want to say “I like to eat ice cream… WITH MY SHIRT OFF!”
    .-= allison´s last post ..***************March Break day four =-.

  4. Droooooollllll….. Call me super duper jealous. Looks SO good, and the chocolate raspberry sounds even better!

  5. I’ll be over at your place for ice cream later 😉
    .-= Carrie´s last post ..Preschoolers, Playdates, & Piggies =-.

  6. I’ve always wanted to make my own ice cream but my husband thinks I would never use it. Also the only homemade ice cream that we’ve had was a pumpkin pie flavoured mix that was honestly a little but gross. I’ve always wondered if it was gross because it was homemade or just simply gross.
    .-= Marilyn @ A Lot of Loves´s last post ..Starting the Veggie Garden =-.

  7. We make vanilla ice cream with crushed candy canes at Christmas – yum!

  8. Yum! That looks delicious! We don’t have an ice cream maker at home but sometimes we make frozen yogurt. Take some plain yogurt and mix it with lots of frozen fruit in our magic bullet…and voila! Frozen yogurt.
    My FIL makes what he calls banana ice cream. He puts a frozen banana through his omega juicer and it comes out in the texture of ice cream. Quite delicious actually, and healthy.
    I think homemade sorbet would be delicious. Let us know if you try that.
    .-= Sheryl´s last post ..Feeding with Love and Respect at Any Age – Attachment Parenting Carnival =-.

  9. Nope. I can’t do it.
    I’d make ice cream WAAAAY too often, and my high-cholestrol hubby would hate me for that.

    But I have enjoyed home made ice cream in a luscious vanilla & fresh garden berry variety that was DIVINE.

    I am jealous of your new toy, but I’m not getting one if I want to keep my husband (and really I do want to keep him as long as possible).
    .-= *pol´s last post ..Bad day for someone =-.

  10. I’m pretty sure I have a maker around here somewhere. I haven’t used it in three years! Ice cream is my favorite food so it is funny I don’t make it, thanks for the reminder.

  11. So it doesn’t require cranking for hours? This is a nice machine.
    .-= Lady M´s last post ..No Jeans of Shame =-.

  12. I’m so jealous of your ice cream maker. You have no idea! Just last night my step-mom was talking about how her mom used to make ice cream from the cream that forms at the top of raw milk that came from her dairy cows when she was a kid. That would be something neat to try I think.
    .-= Melodie´s last post ..Vegetarian Family Menu For a Week =-.

  13. That is awesome! I have always wanted to try one of those ice cream balls you see for camping.
    .-= Capital Mom´s last post ..Head tilt =-.

  14. We got an ice cream maker for our wedding 2 1/2 years ago and LOVE it 🙂 Our favorite so far is chocolate with crushed up Graham crackers in it. I’m lactose intolerance though and can’t eat much of it, so I’m excited to hear how coconut milk works for you. I also want to try rasberry sherbert with no milk.
    .-= Maman A Droit´s last post ..That’s Not My Car! Touch and Feel Book: Adroit Review and GIVEAWAY!!! =-.

  15. I am so glad I just read this…I just borrowed a Cuisinart ice cream maker from my MIL the other day. But I don’t have any recipes. Have any sites etc. to share that you’d recommend? I’d realllly like to try coconut or pumpkin. Heck, both! Thanks!

  16. I would’ve picked chocolate too! My father-in-law makes peach ice cream and it’s soooo good. I want one of those balls that makes ice cream inside while you throw it around. My mom may still have my childhood one with a hand crank on the side though. I’ll have to check!

  17. I’m anxious to hear if the coconut milk ice cream works! Our ice cream maker has been boxed up for years since we’ve been dairy free because of the kids allergies. I love coconut milk ice cream, but it’s So expensive.
    .-= victory´s last post ..Wordless Wednesday: Ecstatic Children =-.

  18. Amber, if you make a custard base ice cream (with eggs, cooked on the stove first) they are bit more solid, not so much like softserve. Not as easy, but way creamier. From the picture, I see you have the same machine we have – did your friend pass along the recipe book that came with it? It’s got lots of great ones in it.

    Marilyn – My husband thought we’d never use it either. To be fair, we go in spurts…but I try to commit to never buying store bought in the summer so it will force me to use it. Store bought ice creams are full of nasty nasty ingredients so I personally think making your own is healthier anyway.

    Glad you’re enjoying it Amber. It’s my favourite kitchen gadget to be sure!
    .-= BluebirdMama aka @childbearing´s last post ..We’ve got tantrums =-.

  19. How cool! Pun intended ha ha! This looks like so much fun. It’s a good thing your friend donated that fantastic ice cream maker!
    .-= Old School/ New School Mom´s last post ..I Admit It, I Snapped =-.

  20. i used to make ice cream with my pathfinders at camp, with large coffee tins that we would roll back and forth on the marquee floor for an hour. the girls would love having the treat and the down time to sit and gossip.
    .-= smothermother´s last post ..Wordless Wednesdays =-.

  21. My husband and I love to make ice cream and custard ice cream. I personally prefer the custard. Two tricks we use. One, we found a great vanilla base recipe and now just modify for whatever flavor we want, as we were never really happy with the texture and flavor of other recipes especially the chocolate ones. Second, since custard is cooked we actually chill it for 24 hours before putting it in the ice cream maker. Then it doesn’t take quite as long to freeze and sets up a little firmer fresh out of the maker.

    Since we have a Kitchen Aide stand mixer, we got the ice cream maker attachment and it is assume. We don’t make as much ice cream as I would like, but that’s only to save my waistline.

  22. I love homemade ice cream and I have an ice cream maker (never have used it lol). I need to get it out and use it. I really want an old fashion one that you crank.
    .-= Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green´s last post ..What’s In That Sippy Cup? =-.

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