Today I’m going to show you how to make ice cream, without an ice cream maker.
On Monday I brought you my first ever chocolate ice cream recipe, which I claimed to be the best thing I’ve ever made. A few days of stuffing my face with it later, I still stand by that! Although top tip – don’t eat a whole bowl of it for breakfast. You will feel sick.
I made my ice cream without any special ice cream making gadgets – yep, no ice cream machine and no rock salt. Just a bowl, a freezer, and an electric hand-mixer or spoon.
I’m warning you now, this method is going to take you a good few hours. The longer you take, the better the results, so I would set aside four hours minimum to get this to the stage where it is ready to go in the freezer for good. But I think it is worth it. I hope you do too.
And, by the way, don’t you dare think that you can’t do this. You 100% can.
STEP 1 – Make your ice cream. In these pictures I used the recipe for Chocolate Easter Egg Ice Cream that I posted yesterday, but any custard-based ice cream recipe will work well. Creamier ice cream mixes will give you better results, as they are less likely to form those horrible big ice crystals that will ruin your ice cream.
STEP 2 – Put the ice cream mixture in a tub, and pop it in the freezer. The tub needs to be big enough to be able to give the ice cream a vigorous mix every so often, so it may be beneficial to just keep it in the mixing bowl at this stage.
If you want your ice cream to have chunks of chocolate in, or sauce running through it, then hold off on putting that in just yet. You just want your ice cream base to start the freezing process at this stage. There is going to be plenty of mixing too come, which gives you the opportunity to add in whatever pieces you want.
It is best to use a proper freezer, rather than the little freezer compartment at the top of your fridge. Actual freezers get colder, and you want your ice cream to freeze as quickly as possible, giving ice crystals less time to grow.
STEP 3 – Keep the ice cream in the freezer for 45 minutes, and then take it out and give it a stir, or beat it with an electric hand mixer. You want to be as vigorous as you can with it, without getting it all over the kitchen. The point of this process is to break apart any ice crystals that may be starting to form, and keep the ice cream nice and smooth. If you don’t so this, the ice cream is going to end up looking like that tub of ice cream you opened two months ago, and has now turned to ice. Nobody wants that.
Once you have stirred the ice cream, put it back in the freezer for another 45 minutes, and then repeat the above process. The ice cream should be starting to feel pretty thick by now, which is exactly what you are looking for. Repeat the freezing and mixing process for a few more 45 minute intervals, and once the ice cream feels like the consistency of very soft soft-serve ice cream (sort of like a McFlurry), then it is ready for the final stage.
STEP 4 – Add any extras to your ice cream now, like chocolate chunks, M&Ms, or sauces, and give it a good mix. And if it’s not already in there, pour the ice cream into the tub you want it to end up in. This tub needs to have a lid ideally, as this will keep the ice cream nice and fresh in the freezer. I used an old ice cream tub that we had lying around.
Pop the ice cream into the freezer for the final time, where it will harden up fully. It’s best to leave this overnight, and then you will have smooth and crystal-free home made ice cream, without the need for a machine.