Try These Sweet Homemade Ice Cream Hacks
From memories of long, sunny afternoons on the boardwalk on your favorite childhood beach to pit stops at the local ice cream shop for a well-earned cone after a game, no dessert evokes feelings of nostalgia quite like ice cream.
Ice cream is too good to be constrained to the warmer months, but is a treat that should be appreciated all year round, regardless of the temperature outside. After all, why deny yourself the simple pleasures in life?
If you’re craving a scoop of cold, creamy deliciousness that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, check out these tips on how to make homemade ice cream that will satisfy your sweet tooth while impressing your family and friends with your culinary prowess.
#1: Ingredients are king
If you want to make ice cream as mouth-watering as the ones you remember from years gone by, you’ll need to start with the basics: choosing high-quality ingredients that complement each other. Mint and banana ice creams, for instance, although independently tasty, probably aren’t flavors that you want to combine into one ice cream (unless, you know, you’re into that kind of thing). Especially when you’re just starting out making homemade ice cream, it is a good idea to stick to flavor combinations that you already know you like and work well together. When picking out your ingredients, try to identify the freshest products possible (i.e. organic milk or chocolate, cane sugar, free-range eggs, and real fruit), and, when you can, steer clear of artificial or imitation flavors.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to your recipe to make sure your ingredients are properly proportioned. If you add too much or too little of a certain ingredient, you could throw off the whole flavor profile or consistency of your ice cream. Using too much sweetener like sugar or honey, for example, can completely overwhelm the flavor of the ice cream. You should also be cautious when adding liquor to ice cream (a trick that is meant to prevent ice cream from becoming too hard). Although this trick works, if you add too much it can actually cause your ice cream to melt more quickly, or to never fully freeze to begin with.
#2: Get creative
You shouldn’t shy away from getting creative with your homemade ice cream recipes. This peanut butter cookie ice cream recipe, for instance, serves up a delicious twist on peanut butter ice cream while providing a completely vegan option for dairy-free friends to enjoy. I also love this playful homemade ice cream sandwich recipe, which allows for an infinite number of flavor customizations to put your own spin on the classic frozen treat.
There are so many recipes for fun variations on classic ice cream for you to explore! For the health-conscious, homemade creamy Italian gelato or non-dairy fruit sorbets are refreshing, low-calorie options that are easy to make and a must-try for all ice cream lovers. Raw banana ice cream is another popular alternative to traditional ice cream, offering a delicious, lighter option that makes use of ingredients that you likely already have kicking around your kitchen and can be easily customized to include your favorite superfoods without packing on the calories.
#3: Master your freezing techniques
Although homemade ice cream is relatively simple to make, there are a few key steps you can’t afford to flub. In order for your ice cream to freeze fully and gain the consistency you want, you need to make sure that your freezer bowl is cold enough. I recommend keeping your bowl in the freezer overnight to ensure it is fully frozen.
Chilling your bowl before making your ice cream will also cause your ice cream to freeze more quickly, which can help prevent it from crystalizing and contribute to a creamier texture. Because of this, some ice cream connoisseurs recommend chilling all liquids and placing all solid ingredients in the freezer prior to making your ice cream to achieve optimal consistency.
#4: Equip yourself for success
Even the most talented artist can’t create a masterpiece without the right tools. When it comes to homemade ice cream, having quality appliances can make all the difference. If making ice cream is something you enjoy, you should consider investing in a top-tier ice cream maker.
A good ice cream maker can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process, meaning it is even more convenient to make your favorite frozen treat from the comfort of your home. Plus, if you ask me, there’s just something about eating parlor-quality ice cream you made yourself that makes it taste that much sweeter.