Please Note: All of my homemade ice cream recipes make approximately one quart of ice cream.
As much as I love making it, I’m not quite as interested in a recipe that involves many steps, especially since I like to make ice cream with my two little ones “helping” out. Cooking involved? Forget about it. These recipes are the simple ones. The ones where you mix some stuff together in a big bowl and then pour it into your ice cream maker and you are done! Like this Mint Chip Recipe that we love. No extra steps like straining or cooking and then back in the fridge to cool for hours. I don’t have time for all that. Must. Have. Ice. Cream. Quickly!
Simple Ice Cream Base Now all you really need to make ice cream is 4 cups of liquid and sweetener. Traditionally “ice cream” was made with cream though now many recipes will call for varying amounts of cream and milk. I’ll be the first to tell you that it doesn’t really matter. Yes, the texture will be different. Different amounts of fat will yield different textures (more milk in a recipe will be more icy while a full fat cream will be more creamy) but it will still work. Four cups of cream and 3/4 cup of sugar. That is it. From there you can add whatever flavors your heart desires, even if it is something unusual like this Bluemoon Ice Cream Recipe that brings me back to the midwest everytime I taste it.
Easiest Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
4 cups heavy cream*
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
*Go ahead and substitute half of the heavy cream for whole milk if you want. Or even skim. Honestly, it will only slightly affect the texture. In my Orange Creamsicle Recipe I use 2 cups of orange juice and it still turns out creamy!
By making your own you can control what goes in. None of these recipes have eggs for example, which is perfect for those with egg allergies. Feel free to experiment with substituting whole milk for cream or even soy milk for whole milk. It is hard to go wrong with ice cream and let the season inspire you based on what ingredients are available. In spring and early summer, we always make up a batch of Strawberry Ice Cream…yum!
For my homemade ice cream recipes I use a simple drum attachment that goes on my red KitchenAid mixer that I store in the freezer. I also used to own a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker (which also had a drum that was stored in the freezer) that I was moderately happy with but I prefered the simplicity of having only one attachment and not another appliance to store. Both of these options result in a very runny “soft serve” style ice cream straight from the machine. They need to be frozen in a container (I use a glass pyrex quart dish) for a few hours to let them set completely. This doesn’t affect the texture, it comes out creamy and not icy.