What You Need To Make Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream is perfect for hot sunny days, dessert after dinner or a celebratory treat. While store-bought treats can taste great, anyone who has had homemade ice cream will probably tell you of its superiority. Online chef courses can teach you a lot of great ice cream recipes, but it can be helpful to know something about the process before you sign up for class. Here’s a quick rundown of how ice cream can be made in your home:

What is ice cream?
Ice cream is a mixture of heavy cream, milk, sugar, sometimes eggs, and any other ingredients the cook decides to add in for flavor. The mixture of ingredients is frozen and churned simultaneously so that air enters the mixture as it freezes and keeps ice crystals small. The churning also takes the frozen cream, which accumulates around the edges of the container, and moves it back to the center. This helps maintain the same temperature throughout. The mixture cannot be frozen without churning it, or it would basically turn into a block of ice and frozen cream, and it would be difficult to eat.

Making ice cream with an ice cream maker
There are essentially three different types of ice cream makers. While there are many subtle differences among manufacturers, they all typically fit into the following categories:

  • Bucket style 
    Ever seen an old ice cream maker? It’s basically a wooded bucket with a smaller metal container inside of it and a hand crank that turns a device called a paddle. When the hand crank is turned the paddle churns the ice cream mixture. These kinds of ice cream makers are still out there, but instead of a hand crank, most have an electric motor. With this type of ice cream maker, you add ice and rock salt around the small metal bucket. The salt helps lower the temperature of the inner bucket even more, which makes it possible to freeze the cream mixture.
  • Pre-freezer bowl style
    This style has a bowl that you freeze 24 hours before you want to make ice cream. It uses an electric motor and a paddle to churn the ice cream. Rock salt and ice are not needed as with a bucket-style maker.
  • Electric compressor style
    This type of ice cream maker freezes the mixture as it is made by using an electric cooling system. This makes for an even and smooth texture. These are the easiest to use and can make the most ice cream in a short period of time. They are great for parties, holidays and other celebrations that bring large amounts of people together.

Making ice cream without an ice cream maker
If you don’t have a special maker, you can still make ice cream. Simply follow your favorite recipe and put the mixture in a pre-frozen, freezer-safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic and place it in the freezer. Every hour or so, pull the bowl out and stir it with a whisk or spatula. Repeat this until you get the consistency you want. Then, store the ice cream in a air-tight container.

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