Today’s lesson is 458 words, a 1 min 49 sec reading time. It is lesson ten of How to Hack Your Freezer.
Homemade ice cream is both practical & divine. It stays good for weeks, takes under 30 minutes of active work, and allows you to get your creative juices flowing. A vanilla base is like a painter's canvas - ripe for flavor experimentation. 👨🎨
Additionally, by making ice cream at home, you can skip the preservatives & softeners, which can taste a bit gummy. Believe it or not, a splash of liquor does the trick naturally. Because alcohol doesn't freeze, it acts as a natural softener. This trick will save you from two sub-par softening techniques - microwaving, which often leads to melting & subsequent freezer burn, and, well, waiting.
This method uses a simple freezer bowl machine (~$60) and a classic custard recipe. For alternatives, see the "Further Study" section.👇
⚙️ Unique Gear (all are optional) :
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
2/3 c. sugar
Six egg yolks
Kosher salt (pinch)
3/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 tbsp Vodka (optional)
Whisk all ingredients (except liquor) in a pot
Bring to medium heat.
Stir regularly to avoid clumping
Turn off heat when the mixture reaches 170°F or coats spoon
Strain & cool to room temp. Then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.
Add booze (optional)
Churn until soft-serve consistency
Enjoy or freeze for later!
📝 Notes, Tips & Tricks:
If you don't have a thermometer: Run your finger across the wooden spoon. If the line stays without dripping or running, it's done.
Be careful not to overheat, or the egg yolks will cook & coagulate. Nobody wants to chew their ice cream.
Add flavorings, toppings, & liquor after chilling & before churning. Alternatively, infuse the custard with flavors as it cooks.
For flavor & add-ins inspiration, check out the Ice Cream Reference Guide (Premium 🔒).
If using a freezer bowl, make sure it chills 12+ hours before use
Feel free to adjust the ingredient ratios. For lighter ice cream decrease the cream & yolks, and increase the milk. To subdue sweetness, reduce sugar or replace with other sweeteners (e.g., honey, agave, maple syrup).
To prevent freezer burn, cover ice cream with plastic wrap.
If in a rush, cool the mixture on an ice pack. Alternatively, use the freezer to cool, but stir every ~5 minutes to prevent clumping.
Save the egg whites for egg-white omelets or meringues. You can also freeze them for later use. (Learn more here).
🎓 Further Study
Ice Cream Basics 🎬 [NYTimes]
Best Ice Cream Maker of 2020 [Wirecutter]
49 Best Ice Cream Recipes [Epicurious]
Make Ice Cream, in a Mason Jar [NYTimes]
No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream [Martha Stewart]
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📚 Want to learn more? Check out other lessons in the Table of Contents.
🕺 Need some musical inspo? Check out our new Cooking Dance Party Playlist.