Share your best frozen treats here ~
People have been making ice cream far longer than the invention of electricity so there's no reason you can't make ice cream and sorbets at home without a machine.
The advantage to using an electric or hand-cranked machine is that the final result will be smoother and creamier. Freezing anything from liquid-to-solid means you're creating hard ice crystals, so if you're making it by hand, as your ice cream or sorbet mixture freezes, you want to break up those ice crystals as much as possible so your final results are as smooth and creamy as possible.
Machines are relatively inexpensive nowadays with models costing less than $50, and yes, I've seen the ball, but if I started tossing one of those around the streets here in Paris, I'd probably get even more strange looks than I normally get. (Plus you'll need to lug some rock salt home as well.)
But not everyone has the space or the budget for a machine, so here's how you can do your own ice cream at home without a churner. I recommend starting with an ice cream recipe that is custard-based for the smoothest texture possible. You can use my Vanilla Ice Cream or another favorite, or even this Strawberry Frozen Yogurt recipe using Greek-style or drained yogurt. The richer the recipe, the creamier and smoother the results are going to be.
Ice cream made this way is best eaten soon after it's made-which shouldn't be a problem.
Making Ice Cream Without A Machine
1. Prepare your ice cream mixture, then chill it over an ice bath.
2. Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.
3. After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it.
As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
4. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it's freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or use a stick-blender or hand-held mixer.
But since we're going low-tech here, you can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.
5. Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready.
You can easily make Stracciatella ice cream with Italian-style chocolate chips:Drizzle pure melted dark or milk chocolate (about 5 ounces, 140 g) over the almost-frozen mixture, then stir, breaking up the ribbons of chocolate as they start to freeze, to create little 'chips'. Transfer the ice cream to a covered storage container until ready to serve.
More low-tech methods for making ice cream:
Previous posts on ice cream-making:
Mai Tai Tiki Pops
Be sure to allow the coconut colada layer to freeze completely before adding the mango mai tai layer.
Be patient when freezing these spiked ice pops.
They take longer to freeze because of the alcohol, but they are worth
Fruity Fro-Yo Fun Bars
Here's a colorful new take on an ice cream
bar--fruity Trix® cereal sandwiched between layers of homemade frozen
Be sure to let the frozen yogurt cake stand at
room temperature for several minutes for easier slicing. Use a
heavy-duty chef knife.
Beer Snow Cones
Red Raspberry-Lemon Syrup: In 1-quart saucepan, mix 1 cup sugar
and 1 cup water. Using vegetable peeler, remove strips of lemon peel
(yellow part only) from 1 lemon; add to saucepan. Squeeze juice from
lemon; add juice and 1 cup fresh or frozen red raspberries to saucepan.
Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is
dissolved. Remove from heat; set aside 1 hour to cool. Strain syrup into
glass jar; discard solids. Cover jar, and refrigerate until needed.
About 1 3/4 cups.
Blueberry-Lime Syrup: In 1-quart saucepan, mix 1 cup sugar and 1
cup water. Using vegetable peeler, remove strips of lime peel (green
part only) from 2 limes; add to saucepan. Squeeze juice from limes; add
lime juice and 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to saucepan. Heat to
boiling over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove
from heat; set aside 1 hour to cool. Strain syrup into glass jar;
discard solids. Cover jar, and refrigerate until needed. About 1 3/4
Orange Syrup: To 1-quart saucepan, add 1 cup sugar. Using
vegetable peeler, remove strips of orange peel (orange part only) from 1
medium orange; add to saucepan. Squeeze juice from 6 medium oranges
(about 1 1/4 cups juice); add juice to saucepan. Heat to boiling over
medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat;
set aside 1 hour to cool. Strain syrup into glass jar; discard solids.
Cover jar, and refrigerate until needed. About 1 1/2 cups.
The beer snow is great made with lager, pilsner or Hefeweizen beer.
For a nonalcoholic option, replace beer with nonalcoholic ginger beer, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda.
Cover and chill any remaining syrups up to 2
weeks. The syrups are great added to iced tea or mixed with sparkling
water for a homemade Italian fruit soda.
1. Coat a 12-cup bowl with nonstick spray; line with plastic wrap, extending wrap over sides by at least the width of the bowl. Have a rimmed baking sheet ready.2. Cut carton off chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Cut ice cream in 3⁄4-in.-thick rounds. Place slices in bowl to cover bottom and side to 1-in from top, cutting slices to fit. With a spatula, fill gaps. Freeze 20 minutes, or until firm. Meanwhile, refrigerate dulce de leche ice cream to soften slightly.3. Cut candy bars in 1⁄4-in.-thick slices (total 1 cup). Use a potato masher or large spoon to stir ice cream to soften evenly; stir in candy. Spoon ice cream into bowl; spread level. Sprinkle crushed cookie crumbs over top; press into ice cream. Fold plastic wrap over ice cream to cover. Freeze overnight, or up to 2 weeks.4. Up to 1 day ahead: Cut cardboard or a paper plate to fit on crumbs. Invert bombe and cardboard together onto a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Remove bowl and plastic wrap. Quickly smooth any wrinkles. If ice cream starts to melt, refreeze before coating. Pour most of shell coating over bombe, using spatula to spread evenly to coat. Garnish with a drizzle of remaining coating. Transfer to serving plate. Freeze until serving.
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