After years of many failures and successes, plus writing an ebook devoted wholly to ice cream, I have learned several ways (or tricks, really) that you can use to get consistent results for creamy, delicious ice cream… especially, the fast way.
We all know that texture & flavor is pretty important when it comes to making homemade ice cream, especially the texture. Everyone likes their ice cream creamy and easy to scoop out of the container, but… that’s commercial ice cream.
Realistically, you just can’t compare homemade ice cream with commercial ice cream. Homemade wins, hands down, ingredient-wise and flavor-wise.
Commercial ice cream is full of hidden ingredients that help the ice cream to keep their creaminess and make scooping easier, but I am not going to go into more details on that because I already wrote all about it in my ebook, Just Making Ice Cream.
So, back to making ice cream at home… you and I have seen all those delicious, beautiful pictures of perfectly scooped homemade ice cream on Pinterest & elsewhere and often click on the links to find out how to make it in our own kitchen.
What do we find? More often than not, a recipe that calls for cooking up a custard base, chilling it for several hours or overnight and then pouring it into an ice cream maker. Here we have three potential problems…
“Hmmm, but I want it RIGHT NOW!”
“OH MAN, I wish I could make this… but I don’t have that fancy ice cream maker!”
“Ugh, is not dairy-free or egg-free!”
Ever had those thoughts? yeah, that’s what I thought…
So, today I am going to come to the rescue and share 5 ways I can help you make delicious ice cream, fast & easy… with or without a machine. Making the ice cream without a machine won’t be as fast as having an ice cream machine or even a food processor, but it will be better than nothing!
These are some of the many tips you will find in my book, Just Making Ice Cream. To learn more reasons why you should make your own ice cream and 5 other ways to make ice cream without an ice cream machine… you will have to purchase the book 🙂
5 Ways I Can Help You Make Fast & Delicious Ice Cream At Home
1. Use 100% cream. You are pretty much guaranteed to get the creamiest results if you use 100% cream. When a recipe calls for cooking up a custard with a combination of whole milk, cream and eggs… skip that and just mix everything together using 100% cream.
Personally, I often find using 100% cream is too thick for my taste. So I prefer about 20% whole milk and 80% cream (ex: 1 cup milk & 2 cups cream) or pure goat milk. You can totally adjust the amount of milk and cream to your preferences! Don’t let one technique stop you from using a different technique so you can have your ice cream in less than an hour.
When you transfer your ice cream into a container to harden in the freezer, be sure to allow it to thaw for about 10 minutes. Check it after 5 minutes because room temperature can play a hand in how quickly your ice cream will thaw.
2. Coconut milk. Can’t have dairy? No problem! Coconut milk is the best dairy-free alternative for making ice cream. The full fat version will give you the creamiest results, but you can use the light version if you don’t want a strong coconut flavor.
You can use 100% coconut milk in any recipe, just keep in mind the possibility of having some coconut flavor when eating your ice cream. I often use coconut milk when I don’t have goat milk on hand and have been very happy with the results!
Also, it is much easier to keep coconut milk in your pantry as it lasts longer on the shelf in a can then fresh cream in the fridge! So, if that desire for ice cream kicks in and you don’t have any fresh cream or whole milk… all you gotta do is pull down a can of coconut milk to save the day!
3. Use dry sweeteners. Exclusively using liquid sweeteners, such as honey & maple syrup, will cause your ice cream to be a little “icy” instead of smooth (but I personally don’t mind that too much!). Dry sweeteners, such as Rapadura, Sucanat, evaporated cane juice, coconut palm sugar and maple sugar, gives the best results for a smoother texture.
Keep in mind the flavors of the sweeteners you plan to use… some are stronger than others. When I plan to make ice cream, I think about which sweetener would combine well with the ingredients to product the best flavor. For example, I often use rapadura or sucanat or dark honey when I make a chocolate base ice cream, which help create a deep, rich flavor. When making a strawberry base ice cream, I often use light honey or evaporated cane juice. When making a caramel base ice cream, the best is coconut palm sugar and so on.
4. Use lots of egg yolks…or not. Egg yolks will increase the creaminess in texture and lessen crystallization when storing your ice cream in the freezer, plus eating raw egg yolks is so good for you!
But you can totally skip using egg yolks if you have egg allergies or need to be frugal. Using 100% cream or coconut milk is good enough to make delicious & creamy ice cream!
5. Make your ice cream in 5 easy steps. Of course, we all want an ice cream machine… I have a super nice Breville ice cream machine and use it frequently, but there was a time when I didn’t have a machine and had to get creative with making homemade ice cream without a machine. Join me in the process and you will be surprised how easy it really is!
- Prepare your ice cream mixture and make sure it is chilled before proceeding to step 2.
- Pour your ice cream mixture into a deep baking dish or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable and put in the freezer.
- After about 45 minutes, open the door and check on it. When it starts to freeze near the edges, take the ice cream out of the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up the frozen sections. Return to the freezer.
- Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes and stir it vigorously as it is freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer or stick blender for best results… but since we are doing it low-tech here, a spatula or sturdy whisk with a strong arm is good enough!
- Keep checking and stirring while it freezes until the ice cream is frozen. It will take about 2 to 3 hours to be ready. Transfer the ice cream to a covered storage container until ready to serve.
Think you will try making your ice cream with a strong arm and whisk? Have you made ice cream without a machine?