The other day I woke up with a crazy urge to make homemade ice cream. Not sure what exactly brought it on–but I knew I had to figure out a way to make it. I’ve had the luxury of working with an ice cream machine back in my parents house, but at my apartment here in Boston I only had the freezer to rely on.
I researched and read for hours, learning the basics of making ice cream without a machine. The process seemed pretty easy. The steps explained are as follows: 1. Make a mixture (some sort of milk, cream and sugar) 2. Let it cool 3. Pop it in the freezer 4. Mix it every 30 minutes to break up the icicles 5. After four or five times of mixing it, transfer it to an air-tight container and enjoy.
So I decided to make an extremely simple and traditional vanilla ice cream. I poured 2 cups of whole milk, 2 cups of heavy cream, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt into a saucepan over medium heat. In the meantime, I placed a large metal bowl into the freezer. I took the mixture off the fire once the sugar had completely dissolved and placed it in the fridge. Once it was cool I transferred it to the metal bowl in the freezer. I vigorously mixed it every 30 minutes, but ice cream was still liquid after two hours.
I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong–it was too simple to mess it up. I decided to blame it on my freezer and kept mixing. After several more hours I finally began to see the ice cream form. My excitement was out of this world. After a whole day of worrying about my ice cream, I had finally finished. I transferred it to a big mason jar and let it set overnight. Breakfast the next day was a couple scoops of ice cream and some chocolate hazelnut cookies.
All that time spent was definitely worth it–the ice cream was so creamy and natural. But next time I make ice cream without a machine, things will go a lot differently. I’ll leave it in the freezer for longer in between each mixing or (more preferably) I’ll use another freezer. Plus now that I have my recipe, I can create many more. Maybe cookie dough or PB next time? We’ll have to see what inspires me.