One of the great things about summer --or any time for that matter--- is making ice cream. There is simply no taste like home made! Ice cream can be made with a fun kiddie maker put together with two coffee cans, an old fashioned one where you hand crank, or you can splurge and get a modern unit with a self-contained freezing unit. The taste of homemade ice cream is simply so much better that you will be amazed at the quality. And the price if you purchase your dairy products on sale is much below "Gourmet" Ice Creams. Another reason I love this that you have absolute control over your ingredients and can avoid all sorts of food additives.
The basic process of making ice cream is simple. You freeze a cream/milk mixture while agitating it to keep the ice crystals small. The more cream in the mixture the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother the mixture. You can't do a mixture of all cream as it will freeze into a great big lump of frozen butter. Don't ask me how I know this.
FUN Kiddie Ice Cream Maker
1 empty 1 pound coffee can (save top)
1 empty 2 pound coffee can (save top)
Packing or ducct tape
Wash and dry the coffee cans to remove the coffee smell. Place smaller can in the larger one and pour water in the space between the two cans to just an inch below the top. Freeze overnight in the freezer. The next day mix up one of the recipes below and chill in freezer until it is starting to freeze around the edge of the bowl. Mix in the frozen part and pour into the smaller can of your "Kiddie Freezer." Put both lids on the cans. Tape with duct tape if they appear to leak. Then have the kids roll the can back and forth until the ice cream mixture reaches soft serve. This agitation will keep the ice crystals small. Eat as soft serve, or place in covered storage container in the freezer for two hours to ripen.
Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups of cream or half and half
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or some other extract) for flavor
Chill ingredients. Mix ingredients together before freezing. Place in freezing unit and bring to soft serve stage. Eat as soft serve or place in storage container, and put in freezer at least two hours to "ripen."
2 cups of yogurt (any flavor)
1 cup of milk
Chill ingredients. Mix ingredients together before freezing. If you use plain yogurt (ideally made by you) you may want too sweeten to taste. Place in freezing unit and bring to soft serve stage. Eat as soft serve or place in storage container and put in freezer at least two hours to "ripen."
1 1/2 cups of orange juice
1 1/2 cup of milk
1/3 cup of sugar
Chill ingredients. Mix ingredients together before freezing. Place in freezing unit and bring to soft serve stage. Eat as soft serve or place in storage container and put in freezer at least two hours to "ripen."
You can substitute soy products if you want to make vegan ice cream. You can also lower the calories by substituting Half anf Half for the cream, and 2 percent milk for the whole milk. We use the Cusinart Modern Ice Cream maker shown below. It makes ice cream making so much easier with next to no mess! I highly recommend it if you find you want to make ice cream as a fun hobby/treat!