What’s Fruits are In Season? Ice Cream from Local Fresh Fruit.

In most parts of the country we are at the height of the harvesting season for local fresh fruit and herbs perfect for making great frozen desserts and dessert toppings.  Tampa unfortunately is not one of those places, but the consistent 94 degree, high humidity days with clockwork late afternoon tropical downpours has its own charms.  As I never remember, I thought it would be useful to collect together some links on finding out whats in season and local farmer’s markers.

What Fruits are in Season?


If you are not using an IPad, here is a nice flash US map of fruits in season by month and state:


For even more detail check out this amazing page of state by state harvest calendar links.









Local Farmers Markets


Based on how accurate the results were for Tampa,  this looks like a very comprensive list of local farmers markets in the US compiled by the USDA.









How to Tell If Fruit is Ripe


Gelato University on NPR


Wow, would I ever love to spend 4 weeks in Bologna, Italy, learning how to make Gelato, taught by Carpigiani, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial gelato machines. Ok I’m not planning on opening a gelateria anytime soon so maybe 4 weeks is total fantasy overkill, but hey I can dream can’t I?

In the meantime this 5 minute Sylvia Poggioli piece from NPR is kind of fun.


Here is the original article. Italian University Spreads The ‘Gelato Gospel’

And why not peruse the academic offerings of Capigiani University while your at it.

How to Make an Ice Cream Quenelle


Serving ice cream as elegant quenelle scoops has become popular recently. This very short YouTube video shows you how to do this. You don’t need a special quenelle spoon, just a standard tablespoon or serving spoon, a bowl of hot water to dip the spoon into in between scoops and some fairly soft ice cream. The technique isn’t hard but like anything else takes a little practice.

Here is another chef demo for a technique that’s slightly different.  Chef Bugler makes it look so easy..

Modernist Nut Ice Cream

Modernist Cuisine Gelato

I have been struggling a little with how to start this post. I want to say that this is the best vegan ice cream recipe I have found, because it is, and it affords vegans an all natural frozen dessert that is almost indistinguishable from dairy based ice cream in taste and texture. But I don’t want to scare off non-vegans because this is also the most intensely nutty ice cream I have ever made, maybe ever tasted.

One of the things I enjoy when I am in Italy, is going to my favorite gelateria (gelateria alaska, venice)  for either pistachio or hazelnut gelato, who am I kidding, both. Carlo Pistacchi, like all the great Italian gelatiere are simply the world masters of nut ice creams. Well this recipe gets schlubs like us at least in the same ballpark and amazingly close to homeplate. This post ends up with my version of a recipe for modernist peanut butter ice cream and gets there by walking you through some earlier and more exacting variations on the technique that come out of the recent modernist cuisine movement. Though it builds on work by a number of cutting edge chefs, modernist cuisine per se was pretty much single-handedly invented by ex-Microsoft zillionaire and current patent maven, Nathan Myhrvold. It is the ultimate example of what someone with a large excess of brains, creativity, money and appetite can come up with for the sheer fun of it.

You might have heard about his cooking lab’s $600 cookbookmoderist-cuisinewhich in addition to documenting an amazing set of unique recipes and techniques, displays various cooking appliances and tools sawed in-half and beautifully photographed to better convey their actual use and generally to show off to fellow cooking and gadget nerds. The Modernist shtick is to explore our knowledge of the chemistry and physics of cooking in a more deliberate way, and in the process, to produce the most delicious versions of standard recipes they can and entirely new eating experiences. How can you not love their experimentalist perspective and the fact that they use very cool, professional chemistry lab equipment to cook with. Boys and Girls messing around with expensive, well made Toys to make delicious food.

Now that's a Kitchen!

Now that’s a kitchen!

How well does all this high-end technique translate to your average home kitchen? Well… They did publish a condensed, but still beautiful version of their cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home that sells for a mere $140, which is why as much as I would like to, I haven’t purchased it but I follow their website and have picked up a number of nifty and effective cooking techniques from it. So lets look at their “gelatos”. First of all as you will see, these are not even remotely real gelatos. The word gelato is used to give an accurate indication of what this frozen dessert looks and tastes like, but there is no milk, cream or eggs in these recipes, they are completely vegan. What I find most interesting about them is that they are the ultimate example of using a combination of tiny quantities of natural additives and an unusual but simple technique to improve the texture and creamy mouth feel of the resulting ice cream. Variations of these techniques we can apply to our own recipes. In the end what really appealed to me about this was how completely un-ice cream like it was from an ingredients perspective, but how delicious the final results looked in the Modernist videos and photography. In other words simple curiosity.

Pistachio Gelato

This was the original gelato recipe out of the Modernist Cuisine tome. The only substantial ingredients in this recipe are pistachio oil, ground pistachio paste, sugar and water. These are combined with very small amounts of hydrocolloids (stabiliziers), which are “..powders that set or thicken when mixed with water.”. Gelatin is common example of a hydrocolloid. In these recipes the hydrocolloids are used to help prevent the formation of large ice crystals (the smaller the ice crystal, the smoother the texture of your ice cream) and as stabilizers of the mix emulsion.

Remember ice creams are emulsions of fat, water and other ingredients. Fat and water, like to separate (think oil and vinegar), these stabilizers help prevent that. Unfortunately this recipe uses a combination of 4 that I can almost guarantee you are not in your pantry and some are almost certainly not available at your local grocery. Don’t worry I cover a simpler approach below.

In addition to using hydrocolloids to create a better ice cream emulsion, they use a laboratory grade homogenizer to mix all the ingredients together. You will see it if you watch one of their videos. Why do they do this, besides the fact that it gives them an excuse to play with cool lab equipment? Because a lab grade homogenizer, a kind of industrial strength immersion blender, really homogenizes, that is by spinning at 30 – 45,000 rpms, it will break down the fat into much smaller globules than say whisking ingredients together would, causing them to distribute through out a liquid mix very evenly. This results in as smooth and stable an emulsion and resulting ice cream as one can make.

The primary reason that these recipes are referred to as gelatos and not ice creams I suspect, is because homogenizers, like home immersion blenders, don’t add any appreciable air to the mix like whisking or using a blender would. From our humble home ice cream making perspectives should we get hung up on this? Heck no, if you have an immersion blender use that, if you have a blender use that. Though I do wonder if a dremel tool could be some how be setup as diy homogenizer, hmm..? Also it should be noted that, a very expensive ($4000?) ice cream maker called a PacoJet is used to freeze the mix. Though its use may contribute to an ultimate smoothness with these recipes, it is certainly not critical to making them. Anyway if you have read this far and are still interested, you will enjoy the description and fascinating video on the Modernist Cuisine Site.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

This recipe is from Modernist Cuisine at Home and as the website puts it was “re-engineered” from the the original pistachio recipe to be more accessible to home cooks. It forms the basis of what I ended up trying below. In this recipe the water is replaced with grape juice, the pistachio oil and paste is replaced with the much less expensive peanut oil and smooth peanut butter equivalents, and the 4 stabilizers are replaced with one, xanthan gum. Happily this is fairly readily available, I purchased Bob’s Red Mill brand at Whole Foods. It comes in packets similar to yeast and is inexpensive. To quote the site “First discovered by USDA scientists in the 1950s, xanthan gum is fermented by plant-loving bacteria, characterized by sticky cell walls. It is no less natural than vinegar or yeast.” You can read their whole entry on xanthan gum here. The biggest issue with using it, with this whole technique actually, is that xanthan gum is very powerful and small differences in quantity can yield very different levels of solidity. In the pistachio gelato post the author notes that they typically use between 0.1 to 0.2 grams for every 100 g of liquid in a recipe.

The Modernist folks strongly recommend measuring out what you need on a digital scale and don’t even give a volumetric equivalent. I suspect (untried) that you could use about 2/3 of an 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon for a quart of ice cream and about right. For a pint you have to measure with a scale, see my peanut recipe below. I haven’t made this particular recipe because to be honest the flavor combination of grape juice and peanut butter just doesn’t appeal to me. If you like the idea then by all means try it as laid out in their post or for a pint worth use my recipe below and replace the water with grape or strawberry juice. Though as you will see if you click through to the link, the resulting ice cream is a beautiful color, especially in the photo of the quenelle scoop. I ended up making a straight peanut butter ice cream. But the original post is very interesting and I encourage you to read it.

Modernist Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Because I had the ingredients I needed on hand, I decided to make a straight peanut version of this recipe. I wish I could say that this photo is of my ice cream but it isn’t. However this is almost exactly what mine ended up looking like and a good indication of what you can expect. Check out Liz Fabry’s blog she is an amazing food photographer.

One of primary glories of the original idea and execution is ending up with a super smooth, practically grain-free texture. I knew going into this that wasn’t going to happen because my fresh peanut butter was not smooth. But I didn’t care, I was mostly very curious about what the overall end result would taste like. Note that whatever nut butter and oil you try, they have to be pure and without any other ingredients or additives.

In case this experiment turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, I cut the recipe in half and made a pint. Lastly I decided to use my table top blender because the immersion blender I own is frankly, a piece of junk. Please note: if using a table top blender, the water mix you bring to a boil has to be combined in the blender with the nut oil and butter. Here’s thing, it is thick and at boiling temperature. If you get some on your skin you will almost certainly suffer a serious burn. Use a pot with a good handle that will let you pour without spilling.

The first issue that came up was that my kitchen scale was only accurate to a gram. Since I only needed .15 grams of xanthan gum this wasn’t going to work, so everything was put on hold while I waited for this small scale to arrive. I’m always looking for excuses to purchase kitchen gadgets so I was happy to spend the $10. Hey you never know when you are going to absolutely have to measure out a hundredth of a gram of something! The scale arrived and I’m happy to say it is idiot proof. Eyeballing it I would say that .15 gram is about a 1/16th of teaspoon but don’t make this based on that. As you will see this recipe is a bit fussy in regards to measurements. I divided the P. B. & J recipe exactly in half with no fudging, as I have no experience or feel for this technique at all. Also I used tapioca starch, not corn.

Modernist Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
My take on a Modernist Cuisine technique for making non-dairy ice cream. Important Note If you use the Blender method: The water mix you end up adding back to the blender is thick and over 200 F. If you get this on you skin you will get a very serious burn.
  • 1¼ cup + 3 tablespoons of water / 340 grams water
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoons / 75 grams sugar
  • ⅛ cup (2 tablespoons) / 12.5 grams tapioca starch or corn starch
  • ⅞ teaspoons salt (round it up to a teaspoon)
  • .15 grams xanthan gum
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons / 105 grams pure peanut butter
  • ¼ cup / 51 grams roasted peanut oil (no additives)
If using an Immersion Blender
  1. Add water to a pot.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients, then add to pot.
  3. Continually mix with immersion blender until liquid boils.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add peanut butter and oil and combine until smooth with immersion blender.
  6. If you are using a freezer-canister ice cream maker, pre-chill the mixture in an ice bath. If you are using an ice cream maker with a built-in compressor you can skip this step.
  7. Churn in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
If using a counter-top blender.
  1. Add warm water and combined dry ingredients to blender and blend for 15 seconds.
  2. Transfer to a pot with a sturdy handle on burner and bring to a boil, whisking continually.
  3. Remove from heat. Please be super careful this mix is thick and hot!
  4. Add the peanut butter, peanut oil to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Very Carefully add the hot water to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pre-chill as needed by your ice cream maker.
  7. Churn in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  8. If desired, firm in your freezer for approximately 4 hours before serving.


The final result was amazingly good and not just because I was shocked that this worked at all. A beautiful very pale creamy brown with tiny flecks of peanut. Very creamy, rich and smooth. A small portion goes a long way. If someone didn’t tell you, you would never know this wasn’t dairy based. It is very simple to make, even with the slightly fussy measuring. As I say above, the water, tapioca starch, xantham gum, sugar and salt mix gets thick, not fudge thick, but thicker than other ice cream mixes. Its starts out milky and goes almost translucent as you approach boiling. Keep stirring until it just starts to boil and then take it off the heat. Again I can’t stress this enough, be really careful pouring the hot mix into a blender if you use this method.

I bet that a fantastic milkshake is waiting to be made with this ice cream, milk or nut milk, chocolate, and a little vanilla extract. The bottom line is if you are either a vegan or love nut ice creams, order up one of those little scales and start cooking!

More Variations

Well obviously you can use any nut for which you can get buy or make a reasonably smooth nut butter from. Actually I think I am going to buy a nut butter machine as they seem to be very inexpensive. I will add what I find out as an update at the bottom of this post. Even though you would ideally use the same flavor oil I don’t think this is a deal breaker. The nut butters are in themselves so flavorful you could probably use a pure canola oil or even olive oil which I suspect would complement nut flavors well. But there are a number of nuts that you can fairly readily get both oils and butters for.

At my local Wholefoods you can freshly grind, almond, cashew, and peanut butters, and there are jars of walnut, sesame, hazelnut and probably more. Nut butters and oils are not inexpensive, but remember this ice cream is very rich and small portions go a long way. A version made with almonds and strawberry juice is one I would like to try soon. Orange and almonds are also a great flavor combination.

More information of Modernist Cuisine

There are a lot of YouTube videos of people experimenting with Modernist techniques, but a good place to start is their website.


Summer Sweet Corn Ice Cream

photo by The New York Times

photo by The New York Times

You can’t get good, let alone great, corn in Tampa, That’s just the way it is, nothing I can do about it. But as a transplanted Northeasterner, this time of year stirs up deep cravings and memories of how spectacularly delicious an ear of corn is pulled off its stock and eaten raw standing right there in the summer heat. Corn eaten within the first twenty minutes of harvesting, before the sugars have turned to starch, has to be experienced to be believed. Its a different animal, I mean vegetable.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Anyway when I saw this recipe and video in today’s New York Times for Melissa Clark’s sweet corn ice cream I knew I had to post it. It is a straightforward egg custard based ice cream that uses 6 yolks for a quart of ice cream. She steeps the milk and cream in the corn for a hour to infusion it with corn flavor, which is imperative.

The only thing I probably wouldn’t do is strain out the corn kernels before making the ice cream. Smooth is overrated in my opinion, but having said that if you are going to leave them in make sure they are small enough so as not to become little ice rocks. Interestingly, it looks like you lose around 1/2 cup of mix in by straining as the recipe yields a pint and a half of ice cream for what is clearly over a quart of ingredients.

As regular readers of this site know there is also no way I would use 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of sugar, probably 3/4 cup.

Blackberry Sauce

The accompanying blackberry sauce looks and I’m sure tastes amazing. If you havent made fruit sauces before this is a perfect example of how easy it is to do. Start out with 1 1/2 cups of blackberries and..

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine remaining 60 grams sugar (5 tablespoons), lemon verbena (or zest) and 1/4 cup water and bring to a simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts and syrup thickens slightly, about 7 minutes. Add blackberries and cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer, until fruit just softens, but doesn’t fall apart. Let cool, then discard verbena.

For the full recipe click here:

Corn Ice Cream on The New York Times

Crazy Ice Cream Flavors from the World’s Premier Ice Cream Makers


photo by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

photo by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson


Just a quick note to point out a post on the Zagat blog called “31 Crazy Ice Cream Flavors Around the World”. I’m not sure I would actually want to eat most of these flavors, emphasis on crazy, but the ice cream shops they are taken from are a kind of an international who’s who of places to visit if you are in those towns. Plus its always fun to see how people are pushing the ice cream flavor envelope.

I have to start posting some of my own favorites places. What are the best ice cream shops you have found in your travels, please post a comment with them below.

31 Crazy Ice Cream Flavors Around the World on the Zagats Blog

Vegan Saffron Kulfi

photo by Vegan Richa

photo by Vegan Richa

Vegan Kulfi

This post  is about a delicious vegan, gluten free version of the traditional ice cream of India. It uses coconut milk or coconut milk and almond milk and is flavored with saffron, cardamom and raw cashews. This is very simple recipe that you don’t even need an ice cream maker for. Basically a simple series of steps, heating and combining ingredients then freezing the resulting mix in individual serving molds. Traditionally these would be cone shaped but the author, Richa Hingle, used small rounded bottom bowls. As she suggests you could use popsicle molds or even plastic cups if you wanted a more traditional looking final shape.  Actually this would make great vegan ice cream popsicles. If you end up liking it you will see that it could make a great vegan, gluten-free base for all kinds of  flavor combinations.

For the recipe details and other delicious looking vegan indian recipes check out..

Kesar Kulfi Ice Cream on the Vegan Richa Blog


Traditional Kulfi

In case you are interested, kulfi is normally made from condensed milk or whole milk or a combination that is slowly reduced over a low flame until it is about half the original volume. Both of these versions result in a pronounced caramelized taste.

Here is a short about.com video that shows how it’s typically made:


Saffron Vegan Kulfi

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
coconut milk, saffron / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)


Storing Ice Cream in Single Serving Containers

A pet peeve of mine as a home ice cream maker, is that the vast majority of ice creams, gelatos, frozen yogurts etc… become rock hard after 8 hours or so in your freezer. There are ways to address this directly within recipes by adding ingredients that don’t freeze and therefore when disbursed though out an ice cream cause it to freeze less hard (or if used in to high a quantity not at all). High alcohol content ice creams and sweetened condensed milk based ice creams are often like this. As time goes on I plan on exploring other ingredients directed at this issue on the site.

So what do I typically do when I pull out an ice cream I made yesterday and the spoon bends in my hand when I go to scoop some out? Normally, because I am not the most patient person in the world, I stick the whole container in the microwave for 15 seconds. With more patience you can simply leave the container on the counter for 5 or 10 minutes until it softens up enough. Simple right? Well the big problem with both of these methods is that thawing and refreezing and thawing and refreezing kills the freshness of ice cream. You might as well just buy it at the supermarket where it is pre-frozen-and-thawed many times over for your convenience.

Well a very simple solution, that I should have thought of ages ago, presented itself while watching a friend take baby food she made, out of the freezer in nice little 4 ounce containers. Bingo! Thaw it once, eat it the whole container’s worth, no re-freezing.

4 ounces is 1/2 cup which is the “official” measure of one serving of ice cream. OK 1/2 cup of ice cream is probably a stretch as a satisfying portion of ice cream, but 1 cup ( 8 ounces) is plenty. If you regularly eat more than a cup of ice cream at a sitting may I suggest you reconsider.

There are two basic ways to go with this, cheap plastic containers or fancy glass ones that you could serve in right after thawing in the microwave or on the counter. As you can imagine there are a million options out there that fit the bill. Just make sure they are freezer and microwave (dishwasher?) safe. Few plastic food containers contain bpa anymore but I wouldn’t hurt to make sure. Also even if the container is microwave safe, the lids often are not, so watch out for that also.

Some examples I liked, Click on the photos to go to the Amazon product pages for more info..

Libbey 6.5 Ounce glass bowls


These come in a set of 8 for around $16 and hold between 1/2 and 3/4 cups of ice cream.


8 Ounce Laminated Paper Containers


I thought these old fashioned laminated paper containers had a certain appeal. I assume you can’t microwave them, but you can write on them, use them once and then throw them out. Nice for gifts also. 25 for $14.


 Wean Green 7 oz. Lunch Cubes


This was the brand of containers that first gave me the idea. They stack nicely and come in a bunch of different sizes.


Corningware French White 7-Ounce Ramekins


You can’t see through the lids but they look great. $17 for 2.


Rubbermaid 1/2 cup Containers


BPA Free plastic, stackable, tight lids. 4 ounces, and will helpnkeep you honest on that diet. 2 for $5.


This list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s out there, of course but hopefully gave you some ideas. You can click on the photos for more information.

Egg Custard Based Beer Ice Cream

photo by America's Test Kitchen Feed

photo by America’s Test Kitchen Feed


Beer and Ice Cream, Perfect Together

I liked this post on making beer ice cream by Louise Emerick on the America’s Test Kitchen Feed blog. She has a experimented with a number of different styles of beer gives suggestions accordingly. A general conclusion is that beers that emphasis malt rather than hops make the best ice creams. Hoppy beers get bitter when cooked.  This matters here because of a feature of the recipe that is unique among beer ice creams that I am familiar with. Louise simmers the beer to reduce out some of the water and alcohol, so when she says avoid hops heavy beers there is a good reason.

She also points out that you need to make sure to use beers that have and alcohol by volume (ABV) of under 11%. This recipe uses 5 ounces of beer ( a little over half a cup) , 2 cups of heavy cream and no milk. Even though the beer is reduced by simmering Louise is concerned that you might end up with to much alcohol for the ice cream to freeze if you use a beer with a higher ABV. Its an interesting question, I would have thought reducing the beer on the stove would remove most, if not all the alcohol, but she has made a number of batches of this so her advice is best followed.


How to Not Temper Eggs

The beer ice cream version she details is egg custard based and what I really loved about this post was the way she tempers the eggs. She doesn’t. Louise just combines the sugar, dairy, egg yolks in a pan, whisks them together and brings the mix up to temperature slowly, constantly stirring with a soft spatula to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. The big reason this works is because she uses a good instant read thermometer. So when the temperature hits 180° F she intermediately pours the mix through a strainer over a bowl sitting in an ice bath. Duh! Why the heck haven’t I thought of this? This is the simplest technique imaginable. Now IMHO 180° F is living dangerously, I normally go to 170°, but she says does it all the time without a problem. It raises an interesting question though, how if at all, does cooking to a different temperature, somewhere between 165° – 180° effect the final flavor of the custard?

But the good new is as long as you have a good instant read thermometer (essential) , a heavy bottom pot or pan, and make sure to keep the mix moving while you are cooking, there is no reason to mess around with tempering eggs. Remember food keeps cooking after its off the burner, you have to stop this process by pouring the mix out of the hot pot and into a bowl or container sitting in an ice bath (even cold water will work).

Even if you don’t plan on making this ice cream, I hope you read her post just for the tempering technique. FYI you can read the post by just clicking below, however to see the actual recipe details, America’s Test Kitchen makes you sign up with either your Facebook login or by giving them a name and email address. The first time I have seen this on a cooking site.

How to Make Beer Ice Cream on America’s Test Kitchen Feed


On Pedro Ximenez Sherry and Ice Cream


photo by Alex Marshall


I have been away the last couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts on the site), and part of that time was spent visiting an old friend, writer Alex Marshall and his family in Brooklyn.  When the topic of ice cream came up, he reminded me of something we had tried on a whim, a few years earlier, that this pouring some sherry he had on hand, over rum raisin ice cream.  Well it was really fantastic, the best alcohol, ice cream combination I had ever had, and yet we both somehow had completely forgotten about it until he brought it up on this last visit. Alex, when he isn’t writing about urban transportation and political economy is a major foodie, and has been experimenting some more since, and I received the following from him in an email today..

On Pedro Ximenez sherry and chocolate ice cream.

There are some flavor combinations that are so right that they simply grab you by the tongue when you try them and announce themselves as something you need to keep around for the rest of your life. One of those is the combination of chocolate ice cream, preferably dark, topped with a few spoonfuls of Pedro Ximenez sherry.

For those of you not in the know, Pedro Ximenez sherry is not a brand, but a type of sherry. Other types of sherry include Olorozo, Manzanilla, and so on. All sherry is made by law in the Jerez region of Spain, which is down at the bottom of the country. What distinguishes Pedro Ximenez sherry is that it is very sweet, syrupy sweet. As well as dark and rich. It’s so sweet that I have actually seldom drank it by itself, in a glass. It seems best to me over stuff.

One of the things I’ve put it over is various kinds of ice cream. It was pretty fanatically good over Hagen-Daz rum raisin, for example. But the best I believe is chocolate. Poured over chocolate ice cream , the sherry combines to create this energizing, force-multiplier effect of the chocolate and the sweet sherry taste, and ends up creating a new third flavor. It’s frankly unbelievable. The dark, rich taste of the sherry combines with the dark, rich taste of the chocolate. It’s so good that it tastes sinful, as if you are doing great harm to yourself by consuming it, or if a few nuns will come in and seize it as being against God’s laws. (Okay, that was a bit over the top.)

Distinctions do matter though. I’ve found that different brands or makes of Pedro Ximenez sherry are subtly different from one another, and combine more or less well with ice cream. Ditto with the ice cream. My latest unbelievable combo is to take Steve’s Brooklyn Blackout, which is an ice cream I found down the street in my borough of Brooklyn, that is “milk chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate stout cake pieces and dark chocolate pudding”, and pour over it El Candado Pedro Ximenez sherry, made by A.R. Valdespino. I bought the sherry at a wine store in Manhattan specializing in Spanish wines. Unfortunately the wine store was going out of business, but I grabbed the sherry. These two together are a home run. The dark, chocolate cake in particular grabs the sherry and hits it out of the park. Does this suggest the sherry would be good poured on dark chocolate cake? Yes.

As great as this is, my standard would be Haagen-daaz chocolate ice cream with any kind of Pedro Ximenez sherry. I’m pretty sure the darker the chocolate ice cream, the better it goes with the sherry. I look forward to experimenting. What lies before me is to make some of my own chocolate ice cream, dark but maybe with some interesting bits in it, and then combine it with the sherry. No way to lose here.

– Alex Marshall

Sherry Ice Cream

An immediate thought that comes to mind is to simply make a sherry ice cream.  Take any one of the ice cream base or chocolate ice recipes on the site (or your own favorite) and add anywhere from 1 to 3 tablespoons of the Pedro Ximenez per quart of ice cream, directly into you ice cream mix, right before freezing.  If you have a freezer canister ice cream maker that freezes on the very soft side, you may want to use 1 tablespoon instead of 3 or give it some time in your freezer to harden enough.  This sherry should work in any recipe that you might add raisins to, not the least of which being rum raisin.  I agree with Alex though, that if you going to make a chocolate ice cream to try Pedro Ximenez with, the darker the better.  Also note that this sherry is very sweet, so if you decide to use 3 tablespoons you may want to cut back a little on the other sweeteners used in the recipe.



Butterscotch Sauce Recipe


I think it was Craig Claiborne, the iconic New York Times Food Editor, who once said that butterscotch was one of the great American contributions to world cuisine. Not that its that different from other caramels, English toffee for example, but in any event, it makes for one heck of an ice cream sauce. Actually it makes an even better pudding, which one of these days I have to find a great recipe for.

I particularly liked this version from the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook. Its has a very nice balance between buttery and sweet. It uses just a couple of tablespoons of light corn syrup to help it pour nicely. This is more important than you might think, as many recipes tend to glop rather than pour.

Note that the resulting sauce is more opaque than in the photo I used because of the addition of cream.

Butterscotch Sauce Recipe
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Cook's Illustrated Butterscotch Sauce, Makes 1.5 cups
  • 1 cup/7 ounces light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces.
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium sauce pan, over medium/high heat, heat the sugar and butter, stirring, until the mixture bubbles and becomes lighter in color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream until combined. Note be careful when you start adding the cream to the hot mix it will bubble violently and may splatter.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and corn syrup until well combined.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  5. Sauce will store, refrigerated for 2 weeks.



Butterscotch sauce loves a tablespoon or two of either bourbon or fine scotch, depending on which side of that argument you live on, mixed in at the end.

Butterscotch Ice Cream

You could just incorporate the sauce directly into an ice cream base for a butterscotch ice cream. I would try 1/2 cup per 1/2 quart, though if you do make a quart there is no reason why you couldn’t use the entire cup and a half.

Mix it in right after you take the cream or custard mix of the stove. Or if using an uncooked recipe, right before you pre-chill the mix. If you add bourbon or scotch, you get the added benefit of ending up with smoother ice cream, that depending on the base you use may freeze a little softer.

Alternatively you could use a room temperature version of the sauce and just before your ice cream is finishing churning, pour (or use a spoon to drip), fine ribbons of the sauce into the churning ice cream. Of the top of my head, I would say this would taste great in vanilla ice cream of course, butter pecan, vanilla chocolate chip, maybe even chocolate, though that might be a little to much for me anyway.

Bourbon Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries and Chocolate


It still took me three tries to get this ice cream just right, with a creamy, full flavor, a detectable level of booze that still allowed the ice cream to set, and ruby bits of cherries that stay soft and gooey. As a result, we now have three quarts of ice cream living in our freezer. When I explained this to my friend Vanessa, she said, “Ah – three days worth of ice cream.” I like the way she thinks.

– Alanna Taylor-Tobin – The Bojon Gourmet


Indeed! This is a beautiful, well thought out, relatively complicated ice cream that looks absolutely fantastic! Make this once and I doubt you will ever buy Cherry Garcia again.

What I like about this recipe:

The combination of flavors is as good as it gets, a bourbon vanilla ice cream base, bourbon roasted sweet, fresh cherries and bittersweet chocolate. This recipe is a first rate example of how to use of liquor in ice cream.

The care with which they are combined to maximize both palate and eye appeal. For example, mixing in the roasted cherries after the bourbon ice cream is almost done churning, in order to get a marbled look to ice cream, rather than the uniform pink of a regular cherry ice cream. Also, rather than adding the chocolate as a mix-in of small chunks, as you would see in Cherry Garcia, Alanna adds beautiful alternate layers of drizzled chocolate, when she moves the ice cream to a container for freezing.

With 4 tablespoons of bourbon, it should maintain a very nice scoop-able consistency in your freezer. The author notes that this ice cream is good for a month of storage, and I believe it, though there is no way an ice cream this good would last a week, even in a single person household.

What do I mean by relatively complicated?

Simply that there are more steps and technique required in making this ice cream, than with simpler ones. You will have to:

  • Pit and roast the cherries, and then chill them. Chilling them is essential because of when they are added to the ice cream.
  • Make an egg custard based vanilla ice cream.
  • Shave and melt the chocolate. The chocolate needs to be runny but not to hot to melt the ice cream. If you follow the instructions given, it should be fine.
  • Assemble the ice cream and chocolate in layers, fairly quickly; ice cream has this unfortunate tendency to enjoy melting faster than you would like, especially right out of the ice cream maker. A good spatula will be a must, pre-freezing your container will help, and doing this with a friend should help a great deal.

I wouldn’t let any of this intimidate you, I mean look at the photograph! If you are a fan of these flavors than click over to Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s blog The Bojon Gourmet for the full recipe.


This is recipe with at least 3 simpler knockout variations readily available just by leaving out one or more ingredients.

Bourbon vanilla ice cream

Bourbon cherry vanilla ice cream

Bourbon vanilla with layers of drizzled chocolate.




Bourbon Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries and Chocolate Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Bourbon, vanilla, roasted cherries, chocolate / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 1 hour
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)

4.0 stars based on
1 review

Google/text-decoration: underline;”>Google/

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream


This recipe for Vietnamese coffee ice cream is based on one by David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop.  What a fantastic idea for a coffee ice cream!

Here is David’s original ingredients list:

  • 1.5 cups (600 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 cups (375 ml) brewed espresso or very dark coffee
  • .5 cup (125 ml) half and half
  • Big pinch of finely ground dark roast coffee

Here are the ingredients for my version:

  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • .5 cup of espresso or dark coffee
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • Big pinch of finely ground dark roast coffee

Both recipes make around a quart of ice cream. So which one should you make? In a word David’s is more intense and much sweeter. Mine is less sweet, still strongly coffee flavored and is easier to scoop after a night in the freezer.  A big trade off between the two is fat for sugar.  David’s tastes more like real Vietnamese coffee. Of course I hope you play more with these proportions on your own and let me know about it below in the comments.


  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Pre-Chill the mixture as needed. Read more here.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Store in a freezer proof container/s.  A layer of cling wrap pressed into the top of the ice cream will prevent ice build up on the surface of your ice cream.


Click here for more recipes based on sweetened condensed milk.


Vietnamese Ice Coffee Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
espresso, sweetened condensed milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)

4.0 stars based on
1 review


Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Cookbook

Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Dessert Book

This is a really fun cookbook, with amazingly successful home versions of many Ben & Jerry’s ice creams. It fools you because it is small and thin but must have close to 200 recipes in it and a lot of very useful and interesting information on homemade ice cream making. I have hesitated to post about it before because many of the recipes have a particular signature element to them that has since become a major health issue, but I guess wasn’t on the radar when it was published in 1987. Namely, most of them call for the incorporation of raw eggs into the ice cream mixes that are then not cooked before you freeze them in your ice cream maker. Doing this risks infection from salmonella. Not a particularly pleasant and sometimes fatal disease. You can read more about it here on the Mayo Clinic website.

Now there is a lot of controversy over just how much of threat there really is of contracting salmonella from raw or under cooked eggs and you are going to have to do your own research and make your own decisions, for these recipes and the way you use eggs in other kinds of recipes.

OK so now that that is on the table, I still think this is a cookbook worth checking out. The flavors included are soul-satisfyingly over the top, crazy and inspirational, as you will see from the list below. And as I’m going to show, there are some simple ways to make both egg-less or safely cooked versions of those containing raw eggs, if you don’t feel comfortable making the originals. Lastly you can pick up this cookbook used for a song.

An Egg-less, Uncooked Variation

1 large egg is about 1.75 liquid ounces or about 1/4 cup. So for those recipes that use raw eggs, leave them out entirely and replace each with 1/4 cup of heavy cream. This will give you about the same number of servings of the original recipe.

Additionally, you can replace up to 1/3 of the sugar with the equivalent amount of light corn syrup (standard baking corn syrup, not the evil high fructose variety). Using corn syrup will go a long way towards retaining the smoothness of texture you would otherwise get from the eggs.

Of course an egg-less recipe isn’t going to have the taste of eggs! For that you need to use the..

Cooked Egg Custard Variation

More work, but you will end up with ice creams that taste closer to the originals (dare I say probably taste better than!). Since we are only going to use the egg yolks not the whites, I suggest adding one extra yolk for every whole egg called for in a recipe to help make up for the lost volume of the missing whites. So if a recipe calls for 2 eggs, use 3 egg yolks.

The basic cooking technique may have to be altered a little depending on the recipe but goes like this.

  1. Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. I suggest you read this post on various ways of tempering an egg custard before continuing.
  2. Before adding any other flavors, combine the milk, cream and sugar called for in the recipe, in a heavy bottomed saucepan and stir them over a medium heat until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture is just starting to steam a little. Remove the sauce pan from the heat.
  3. VERY gradually pour the hot mixture into mixing bowl containing the eggs, whisking constantly. Again, unless you are comfortable and experience with this process I urge you to click through the link above and read that post.
  4. Pour the combined mix back into the saucepan and return it to the heat. Cook, stirring, until the mix temperature reaches 165° F on an instant read thermometer or you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon or spatula coated with the mixture, and leave a trench that doesn’t immediately fill back in with the surrounding mixture. Immediately remove from the heat and pour into a cool bowl to stop the cooking process. Since the whole point of doing this is to avoid the possibility of getting salmonella, using an instant read thermometer is much more accurate. Whichever method you choose, do not cook your mix so long it becomes scrambled eggs.
  5. Continue with your recipe as it is laid out.

If you haven’t made an egg custard before this probably sound much harder than it is. Watch the short video in the above post I link to you will feel much more secure about attempting this.

Finally to whet your appetite here is a list of the recipes in the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert book.

  • Heath Bar Crunch
  • Coffee Heath Bar Crunch
  • New York Super Fudge Chunk
  • French Vanilla
  • Butter Pecan
  • Dastardly Mash
  • Fresh Georgia Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Mocha Swiss Chocolate Almond
  • Oreo Mint
  • Cherry Garcia
  • Ben’s Chocolate
  • Jerry’s Chocolate
  • Chocolate Almond
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip
  • Light Chocolate
  • Chocolate Cinnamon
  • Chocolate Cinnamon Carob
  • Chocolate Malt
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Light Chocolate Banana
  • Light Chocolate Nutty Fudge Chunk
  • Mandarin Chocolate
  • Apple Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Banana Fudge Chunk
  • Banana Carob-Chip
  • Banana Cinnamon Rum
  • Banana Strawberry
  • Strawberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Coconut Cantaloupe
  • Orange Cream Dream
  • Kiwi Ice Cream
  • Plum Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin
  • Strawberry Coconut
  • Wild Blueberry
  • Almond Delight
  • Banana Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Honey Apple Raisin Walnut
  • Cappuccino
  • Cappuccino Chip
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Almond Swirl
  • Coconut
  • Coconut Almond
  • Coconut chip
  • Coconut Rum
  • Chocolate Fudge Pecan
  • Kahlua Amaretto
  • Kahlua Almond Fudge
  • Maple Walnut
  • Maple Grape Nuts
  • Mocha
  • Mocha Chip
  • Chocolate Graham Mocha Supreme
  • Mocha Fudge Chunk
  • Mocha Heathbar Crunch
  • Mocha Walnut
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Peanut Butter
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
  • Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl
  • Egg Nog
  • Vanilla Malt Chip

OK that’s it.. I’m not typing anymore and there are A LOT more…







Collected Ice Cream Base Recipes

This post contains a summary list of the ice cream bases on iloveicream.net. It is part of the Ice Cream Experimenters Guide I am gradually accumulating on the site and will be updated as I try more bases over time. If you have a favorite of your own please add it to the comments below.

For more information on the various styles of ice cream and other frozen desserts click here.

Dairy Based Ice Creams

Philadelphia Style

These bases contain milk, cream and sugar but no eggs.

Classic Philadelphia Style

A classic, uncooked ice cream.

Philadelphia ala Jeni Bauer

Maybe the most sophisticated version of a philadelphia style ice cream. Jeni Bauer, though a lot of inspired and informed experimentation, built on the basic philadelphia style and creates a recipe that has an outstanding texture and a distinct enhanced dairy taste. This recipe involves some simple cooking.

Philadelphia ala Mark Bittman

Mr. Bittman adds a bit of corn starch to the basic recipe to help reduce the size of ice crystals and give you a smoother ice cream. Also involves some even simpler cooking

French Style

French Style Base

The defining characteristic is the use of egg yolks and more milk than cream. Rich and silky there are many people who will only eat french style ice creams. This recipe is cooked.


There really isn’t a distinct Gelato style of homemade ice cream. Commercial gelatos are distinguished by the incorporation of much less air into the mix as it freezes in comparison to other ice creams. The only home ice cream maker that I am aware of that attempts to replicate this by including a separate gelato paddle, is the Cuisinart ICE-100.

The following base is a recipe that attempts to satisfy American expectations of what a gelato is supposed to be. Contains egg yolks and is cooked.

Gelato Base

Buttermilk Base

This is a French Style ice cream that replaces milk with buttermilk. Tangy a bit like frozen yogurt is.

Buttermilk Base

Sour Cream Base

Jeni Bauer’s base with half the cream replaced with sour cream. I have been using this one a lot lately

Sour Cream Base 

Sweetened Condensed Milk Base

A third style of dairy ice cream that makes unique, truly silky ice creams that store really well in home freezers. Maybe the ulitmate base for coffee ice cream.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Base

Frozen Yogurt Base

This post actually has 4 versions of a frozen yogurt base in one post from simple to complex.

Frozen Yogurt Base

Non Diary / Vegan Ice Cream Bases

This one is off-site and I have not tried it myself yet. But I still think it is worth trying based on how I read the recipe and the user comments. If you are looking for a vegan base that tries to approximate the creaminess and mouth feel of dairy ice creams this is a good place to start

Vegan Vanilla Base

This is very healthy and versatile vegan ice cream base that uses coconut milk and vegetable or fruit juices to create what is really a coconut milk sherbert.  There is a lot of room for experimentation from this basic idea. Other nut milks, additional ingredients intended to smooth out the texture, but very tasty as is.

Coconut Milk Vegan Sherbet Base


Still to come Sherbert, Sorbet, and more..



David Lebovitz’s Rice Gelato

This is a killer recipe! If you like rice pudding ,which this essentially is, you will love, and I mean LOVE, this ice cream. It has one downside, which becomes apparent after 8 hours or so in your freezer. It freezes into a something that can be worked with a hammer and chisel! You will need to let it thaw for a good ten minutes or microwave it for 10 seconds or so before you will be able to scoop it.

However it is so good who cares. His recipe makes 1.25 quarts of ice cream, so make half. Invite friends over and eat it all right out of your ice cream maker. Store the left-overs, in single serving size containers. You can think of something. But whatever you do, make it.

The recipe is from his book The Perfect Scoop which I and many other people think is one of the great ice cream cookbooks. One of these days I write a proper review of it.

But I’m going to link you to the Spice of Life blog for the full recipe. Jescel, the author, faithfully reproduces it and also mentions an interesting variation at the end, where she replaces half the aborio rice called for with sticky rice.

David Lebovitz’s Rice Gelato Recipe on Spice of Life


David Lebovitz Rice Gelato

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Rice, eggs / 1.5 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 1 hour 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 1.5 quarts (10 servings)

4.0 stars based on
1 review


Blueberry Lavender Sour Cream Ice Cream

My post on a sour cream ice cream base earlier this week has been working on me ever since, so yesterday I decided to make a blueberry version. I discovered how well the flavors of blueberry and lavender go together in a jam I had tasted earlier in the year and have been routinely adding it to blueberry pie filling since, so I knew I wanted to try this combination in a batch of ice cream.

My sour cream base is derived from Jeni Bauer’s. It is egg-less and gives you a very nice texture. Though this ice cream froze hard overnight, it is almost certainly because I used 2% milk and a full cup of blueberries. Both well worth the price of having to thaw the ice cream a little the next day before serving it. An additive that gives you an ice cream that tastes fresh, with great traditional ice cream texture, and doesn’t freeze super hard is the holy grail to me and I keep looking and experimenting.

So how did it turn out? Very well thank you, I will definitely make it again. The recipe below reflects a decision to add more sugar to the mix, as it sets up a better contrast between the sweetness and the slight sourness of the sour cream. Also as you will see I used a tablespoon of limonecello both to add some brightness and hoping the alcohol would help it freeze softer. I think even better would be a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of vodka. I plan to try this next time.


Blueberry Lavender Sour Cream Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Blueberry Lavender Sour Cream Ice Cream These instructions use a blender but a large bowl and whisk can be substituted.
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender flowers
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of limoncello or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn or tapioca starch
  1. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, salt, vanilla and limoncello to blender. Cover and Pulse a few time to mix.
  2. Add cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of milk together in a small bowl, mix well.
  3. Put the containers you plan to store your ice cream in, into the freezer to pre-chill.
  1. Add the blueberries, lavender and sugar to a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until blueberries are soft, a lot of liquid has been released and sugar is completely melted.
  2. Add remaining milk, heavy cream, and corn syrup to medium heavy bottomed pan. Over a medium-low heat bring to a simmer for 4 minutes, stirring so as not to burn.
  3. Remove from heat, re-mix cornstarch slurry and gradually add it to the mix.
  4. Return to heat and cook for about 1 minute, stirring until it thickens a little. Mix is done when you can run your finger along the back of your spoon and leave a trail that doesn't refill in immeadiately.
  5. Pour the mix into your blender, cover and blend until well combined, 20 - 30 seconds.
  1. As required by your machine. Read more here..
  1. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer instructions.
Store and Serve
  1. Serve from your ice cream maker or ideally after 2 - 4 hours in your freezer. Pressing cling-wrap onto the surface of your ice cream before covering it helps reduce surface ice build up.


  1. Just a reminder that the light corn syrup used here and in other recipes on the site, is not the same as high fructose corn syrup, with its deservedly bad health rap. Regular corn syrup has been used in baking for probably 100 years and is mostly glucose. It is a little less sweet than table sugar and is excellent at keeping ice crystals small in ice cream.
  2. Make two cups of blueberries, double the sugar and lavender and set aside half  to spoon on later.
  3. Pre-chilling the mix before freezing can be essential depending on your ice cream maker,  if you don’t already have a preferred method, please read my post on this topic.
  4. I really like what the lavender adds to the flavor, but if you don’t have any don’t let that stop you from making the recipe.  A 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon would make a good alternative and a very different ice cream of course.


Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream


This is a very interesting, vegan vanilla ice cream created by Mattie on www.veganbaking.net. It is a sophisticated attempt to capture as much of the creaminess and mouth feel of a high butterfat dairy ice cream using only vegan ingredients. Given the reader comments, it looks like he has mostly pulled it off. Also there are links to recipes for other flavors on the site which you will see towards the bottom of the vanilla recipe page.

I plan to be experimenting with and writing a lot about using various ingredients and techniques to improve the texture and freezer life of homemade ice creams here, so I’m always really interested in what success other people are having. This is a particularly relevant topic in relation to creating “healthier” frozen desserts, i.e. lower fat, less sugar or in this case completely vegan.

Some of the things I find interesting about the recipe:

  • The use of apple cider vinegar to in his words “..add subtle notes of sweet cream..” to the flavor. I have never run across this before.
  • The use of xantham gum as a natural stabilizer that adds no discernible flavor to the resulting ice cream but helps a great deal with how smooth the texture ends up being.  It is sold in Whole Foods and in the baking area of many supermarkets by the way.
  • The use as corn syrup (NOT high-fructose corn syrup, don’t panic!) for part of the sugar, an excellent way of reducing ice crystals.
  • The versatility of the recipe, it can be used with any nut-milk or tofu.
  • The comments are from other vegan home ice cream makers and are uniformly positive.

Check out the full recipe on www.veganbaking.net



Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Vanilla / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min


Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe


I liked the Strawberry sour cream variation of Jeni Bauer’s ice cream I came up so much that  I decided to re-post it here set up as an ice cream base.  The slight tang of sour cream complements fruits and chocolate flavors (maybe herbs?) really well. And the high butterfat content contributes to a smooth and creamy dessert.   If you try it please let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

Makes roughly 1 pint, double quantities for a quart. 

Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Sour Cream Ice Cream Base - variation on Jeni Bauer's base
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 ounces (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice Bath (if you are going to pre-chill)
  1. Add the cream cheese and sour cream and vanilla extract to a blender and blend until smooth. Or if you would prefer to use a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until soft and smooth. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined and smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons milk with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Pre-chill the container/s you will storing the finished ice cream in, in your freezer.
  4. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottom, 3.5 to 4 quart saucepan.
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula.
  6. Reduce the heat, remix the cornstarch slurry and slowly add it to the saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. You should be able to run a line through the back of your coated spatula with your finger and have it not fill back in immediately.
  7. If using a blender, pour in the milk mixture, make sure the lid is firmly on and blend covered until well combined, about 20 seconds. If using a mixing bowl, whisk in milk mixture until well combined and smooth.
  8. Pre-chill by pouring the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath. Let stand for about 30 minutes until the mixture is cold. For detailed tips on pre-chilling read this.
  9. Cut a corner of the ZipLoc bag, pour the chilled mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturers instructions. It should take about 20 - 30 minutes.
  10. Store in a freezer ready container/s. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper or cling-wrap right against the surface of the ice cream before closing the container. Store in the coldest part of your freezer for 2 - 4 hours before serving.


Simple Fruit Ice creams

  1. Puree enough fruit to end up with at least a cup or two of puree.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of the puree with the sugar and heat over low heat until the sugar is completely melted and combined with fruit. You are not so much cooking the fruit as binding the sugar to the fruit and released water.
  3. Whisk or blend in the puree to the mix right before your pre-chill it.
  4. Chill the remaining uncooked puree to spoon over the served ice cream.  You can also use it in a cooked sauce but I love it fresh and simple like this.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Construction Kit


I’m going to use this post as an exercise in deriving one ice cream from another so you can see how easy this is.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream is mint ice cream with chocolate chips or shaved bar chocolate added in, towards the very end of churning your ice cream in your ice cream maker.

Mint ice cream is vanilla ice cream with mint extract or crushed mint leaves used as the primary flavoring instead of vanilla.

So the first thing we need to do is..

Select an Ice Cream Base

What is the basic frozen dessert you want to layer the flavors of mint and chocolate on to?

Philadelphia Style – Milk, cream and sugar, uncooked.

Philadelphia ala Jeni Bauer – Milk, cream, sugar and Jeni’s magic, cooked.

Philadelphia ala Mark Bittman – Milk, cream, sugar and a little corn starch.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Base

Gelato Base – Milk, cream, sugar and eggs

French Style Base – Milk, cream, sugar and eggs

Buttermilk Base – Buttermilk, milk, cream, sugar and eggs.

Sour Cream Base – Sour cream, milk, sugar and eggs. This is actually a recipe for Strawberry Sour Cream ice cream, just leave out the strawberries.

Frozen Yogurt Base – 3 styles


Add the Mint Flavoring

Follow the recipe you have chosen but replace the vanilla with mint.

Fresh Mint

If you want to make a fresh mint ice cream then I would suggest you use a big handful (roughly 2 cups) of mint leaves per quart.
Soak the leaves in the milk or milk and cream you will be using in your ice cream for at least an hour in the refridgerator. Then strain out the leaves when you go to use the milk. Alternatively you can do this as part of a pre-chilling process right before the mix is ready to be added to your ice cream maker.

Mint Extract or Oil

If you dont want to use fresh mint you can use mint extract or oil. This you will whisk into your mix right before you freeze it in your ice cream maker. I can’t tell you exactly how much to use as this is going to vary by brand. Start with a couple of drops and taste. Add more to taste. Remember once frozen the flavor of your ice cream will be weaker than when you are tasting. A few drops of extract or oil can also be added to fresh mint based ice cream (above) if you want a stronger mint flavor. This is good and relatively inexpensive brand.


Mix-in the Chocolate.

Towards the very end of freezing, when you know there is only a few minutes left to go in your ice cream maker, gradually add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or shaved bar chocolate. I shave mine with a serrated steak knife. What specific kind or brand of chocolate bar? How big should the chocolate pieces be? This is your ice cream recipe, you tell me! Any hard chocolate from M&Ms to Valrhona Noir Extra Amer – 85% Cacao will work fine. For that matter you could add chopped Oreos and make it a Mint Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.

There you have it. You have just created your own recipe for mint chocolate chip ice cream.

If this is all just to much work here is a very good simple recipe.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Philadelphia Style Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 4 drops pure peppermint oil or two cups of hand torn, fresh mint leaves
  • pinch of salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients together except the chocolate chips.
  2. Pre-chill using one of these methods.
  3. If using mint leaves, pour the cold mix through a strainer to remove them.
  4. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  5. A few minutes before you stop freezing, sprinkle in the chocolate chips.
  6. Eat immediately or within in 4 hours of hardening in your freezer.
  7. Store in a freezer proof container with a cling wrap pressed into the surface of the ice cream.


Base Recipes for Frozen Yogurt

Frozen Yogurt is a type of dairy ice cream in which all or some of the milk and cream is replaced with yogurt.  I go over 3 different approaches in this post.  I will start with the simplest recipe and then show you some interesting and tasty variations, discussing the tradeoffs of each.

The first thing you should understand is that the frozen yogurt you make at home isn’t going to taste like what you may be used to buying at chain frozen yogurt shops, at the mall. Those guys have spent years perfecting a frozen yogurt that tastes as little like yogurt, and as much like bland soft-serve ice cream as possible. Of the processed franken-foods one can consume in a mall, commercial frozen yogurt has always seemed to me one of the strangest. Kind of a cold, white foam acting as a delivery system for fat and lots of sugar (or NutraSweet). I don’t think it is a coincidence that you are expected to load on the junk food mix-ins.

The recipes presented here will have a pronounced tang and tartness. They are going to taste like yogurt. If you don’t enjoy eating regular, non-frozen yogurt, you wont enjoy these recipes. For something that approximates mall frozen yogurt (but is IMHO, much better) use this simple vanilla ice cream recipe and replace the 3 cups of cream with 2 3/4 cups of cream and 1/4 cup yogurt. Eat it right out of your ice cream maker, once its finished freezing.


Some of these recipes include vanilla beans or extract. Vanilla complements and enhances most other flavors, however feel free to reduce or eliminate it entirely as your creative spirit directs you.

Use the highest quality, freshest yogurt you can. If possible make your own. It is easy as can be and yogurt makers can be found for peanuts on eBay, garage sales, thrift stores etc… For grocery store purchased yogurt I use and love Seven Stars brand, but I’m not sure how national the distribution for it is. Nancy’s is a good alternative.

Always use a yogurt with live cultures because whatever additional health benefit frozen yogurt can provide over ice cream, comes from these good guy bacteria. From what I have read freezing does not kill bacteria cultures in yogurt, it just makes them dormant and warming them up again when you eat them, reactivates them. Always check the For Sale By Date on a yogurt container, as freshness does effect the amount of live cultures you end up with, not to mention the taste.

Greek Frozen Yogurt

Greek Yogurt has become increasingly popular over the last year or so and has a number of advantages for home frozen yogurt making. It is essentially pre-strained yogurt that as a result has much less water and a higher fat content than regular yogurt. Both excellent attributes for a making creamy, non-icy, frozen desserts. You can substitute it in any of these recipes, and I encourage you to do so if you choose to use low or non-fat yogurt.

Strained Yogurt

You can make your own Greek style or strained yogurt (and the Bauer recipe below call for you to do this) by straining some of the water out of yogurt through cheese cloth or coffee filters for 6 to 8 hours. This is really easy to do. Place a colander in bowl. Line the colander with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour a quart of yogurt on top, cover with cling wrap, refrigerate and come back in 6 to 8 hours. As with Greek, strained yogurt can be substituted in any recipe below.

By the way if you strain yogurt long enough (12 -24 hours) you end up with a cream cheese like consistency and hence yogurt cheese, which makes a very tasty, healthy substitute for butter or cheese, especially when made with low or non-fat yogurt. It can be used plain or flavored with herbs, nuts , nut oils etc.. If you try nothing else from this post, I urge to try this, you will probably become slightly addicted to it.

I chose these 3 recipes because they all produce excellent but very different results. Unfortunately all of them freeze hard after more than a few hours in the freezer.

So from simplest to most elaborate…

David Lebovitz’s Frozen Yogurt Base

As pure and simple as can be.

Makes 1 pint or 4 servings.


  • 1 1/2 cups (360 g) of plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (200 g) of sugar


  1. Mix together until sugar is completed dissolved and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  3. Serve from your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours of additional freezing in your freezer.

David’s original recipe is from his book The Perfect Scoop and is for a vanilla version that is the same as above, but includes 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract per pint. The original recipe is for a quart and I have simply halved the ingredient amounts.


Use Powdered Sugar

I found a simple but interesting variation on this recipe, Nancy’s Yogurt Gelato, that is almost identical but uses 1/3 cup of powdered sugar instead of the 1/2 cup table sugar above. The powdered sugar should dissolve into the yogurt completely with very little effort. I tried to find some kind of sweetness equivalency formula for powdered vs table sugar (how much powdered sugar to use for the equivalent sweetness of one teaspoon of table sugar) on the internet but could not. If anyone knows, please post it in the comments below! Another feature of powdered sugar that makes it especially interesting here, is that it can contain up to 3% corn starch. This is included to absorb moisture and thus help keep the fine sugar powder a fine powder. Corn (and tapioca) starch is commonly used in ice cream recipes (including the very good Jeni Bauer Frozen Yogurt recipe below) to absorb water and produce a creamier, less icy dessert. So using powdered sugar may actually kill two birds with one stone, ensure the sugar is well incorporated into yogurt and result in a creamier dessert.

Low Fat Frozen Yogurt

Use low fat or non-fat yogurt. Though this will cut the calories, it will result in a noticeably icier dessert. Also, though I am not an expert on this by any means, using a non-fat yogurt may result in what you eat actually being more high glycemic than either the low or full fat versions. The presence of the fat potentially slowing down your bodies processing of the dessert’s sugars. It goes without saying if you have been diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic, you should not be making and eating anything on this website.

Greek or Strained Yogurt.

As I mentioned above you can you substitute Greek or strained yogurts for regular yogurt in this recipe and you will end up with a creamier, richer dessert, especially if you wish to use non-fat yogurt.

More Ways to Increase Creaminess and Scoopability

Like most homemade frozen desserts, frozen yogurt is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours of additional freezing in your freezer. Here are some suggestions for increasing creaminess and long term softness.

  • Add more fat. Use whole milk Greek yogurt and add 1/2 cup of cream.
  • Replace an 1/8 cup of the table sugar with 1/8 cup of corn syrup.

One of these can be tried with any of the variations above.

  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of vodka.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Dissolve first in 2 tablespoons of milk or some of the yogurts whey before mixing in.


Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook Version

I liked this recipe for its use of unflavored gelatin to improve the resulting texture and the addition of milk to soften the yogurt taste for those who might find the Lebovitz recipe to much of a good thing. This opening quote from the recipe says it all.

Recipes for homemade frozen yogurt often result in an icy slab with a grainy texture from the sugar and an overly tangy flavor from the yogurt from the namesake ingredient.

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook 2011

I was very surprised how well this turned out. I used Fage low-fat Greek Yogurt and Organic Valley Grass Fed Milk and we ate it after about 3 hours in the freezer. The texture was excellent; firm and smooth and I liked the softer, but still very dominant yogurt taste. I am definitely going to be experimenting more with gelatin as an additive. We served this at a dinner party and everyone loved it. In a funny coincidence, the host brought out the latest addition of the Joy of Cooking to show me how many ice cream recipes there were in it and I discovered that the frozen yogurt recipe included, was almost identical to this one.

BTW our host threw together a simple peach coulis that complimented the yogurt beautifully. The following is enough for 4 servings.

2 firm peaches cored and sliced thinly, and a tablespoon each of sugar, butter and lemon juice. Combine over a low heat and cook until soft and starting to brown. A splash of brandy or other alcohol is a nice addition. He used some limoncello.

Ingredients for 1 pint

  • 1 Cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 7/8 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 3/8 cup of sugar


  1. Strain the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer over a measuring cup in your refrigerator, until 1/4 cup of liquid has been released. Should take about an hour.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl until it softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean. Video how here.
  4. Combine with the remaining milk and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stirring until mixture is steaming and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the gelatin/milk to the mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Discard the vanilla bean.
  6. Cool the mixture to room temperature over a bowl of ice water or in a refrigerator and combine with the yogurt. Cooling before mixing ensures that the yogurt cultures are not killed by the heat.
  7. Pre-chill the combined mixture as needed by your ice cream maker. Read more on this here.
  8. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  9. Serve or harden in your freezer for 2 – 4 hours. Cling wrap pressed onto the surface of the yogurt will remove air and prevent freezer burn.


Jeni Bauer’s Frozen Yogurt Base

Furthest afield from our purist recipe, this one is really a kind of yogurt flavor version of Jeni’s basic ice cream recipe. Regular readers of my site know that I am a big fan of Ms. Bauer’s recipes for home ice cream makers. I probably use her cookbook more than any other. This recipe has the highest fat content, and the yogurt is used a co-equal flavor with everything else going on in the recipe. You end up with delicious and complex dairy/yogurt flavor. Alas the few times I have made it its final texture was not as good as her straight ice cream base and it freezes harder than her ice creams. This could well be my own fault as I used greek yogurt as opposed to strained. If eaten with 4 hours or less in your freezer you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients for 1 Pint

  • 2 Cups of plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn or tapioca starch
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup light corn syrup

6 to 8 Hours Ahead of Churning

  1. Pour the yogurt into a fine wire mesh sieve that is lined with two layers of cheese cloth, set in a bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in your refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.


  1. Mix about 3 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl or jar until smooth, set aside.
  2. Whisk cream cheese in a medium size bowl until soft and smooth. Or alternatively use my blender method of combining everything. You must have a blender with a jar big enough to comfortably hold the quantity of mix your are making. In that case drop the cream cheese in the bottom of the blender.

Cook the Mix

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot. During the cooking process use a spatula to keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom of your pot especially at in the corners. If you use the same pot every time you make ice cream you will get a good feel for how much you need to do this and what temperature to set your burner at.

Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the corn starch mix. You will have to re-mix it before adding it.

Return the mixture to the your burner and cook for about a minute until slightly thickened. You want to be able to run your finger long the back of your spatula and leave a trail that doesn’t immediately fill in. Remove from heat.

At this point, even though this isn’t in the original recipe, I would suggest you cool the mix to room temperature or slightly warmer so that when you combine it with the yogurt you don’t end up killing the active cultures in the yogurt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and place your saucepan in it. It will only take a few a minutes of stirring to get the temperature down.

If you used a bowl, gradually whisk the tepid or cool mix into the cream cheese until smooth. Then add the yogurt and combine well. If you are using a blender, add the mix to it, cover, and blend together with the cream cheese. Turn it off, add the yogurt, cover and blend until smooth, maybe 20 – 30 seconds.

Pre-chill as needed.

Jeni’s standard method is to pour the mixture into a Zip-Loc bag and immerse it in an ice water bath for about 30 minutes. This works quite well, but its a bit messy. You can also read my post on alternatives.


Freeze the mix in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Freeze in appropriately sized freezer containers. Press a piece of cling wrap into the top of the ice cream first to remove air bubbles.

Read all our posts tagged Frozen Yogurt.


Frozen Yogurt

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
yogurt, sugar / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base


I wanted to have one post that contains my current version of a sweetened condensed milk ice cream base. This is a work in progress as I keep tinkering with various proportions of milk, cream and condensed milk. Why do I keep tinkering? Because I actually made the perfect version of this once; silky smooth, absolutely perfect texture, that stayed that way for days in the freezer and I didn’t write it down! Sigh..

If you haven’t tried a condensed milk based ice cream, you should. It has a unique, cooked milk, slightly caramelized taste and very nice texture. It is very sweet!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca or corn starch
  • 2 inches of split, scraped vanilla bean, use a whole for vanilla ice cream
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of milk and tapioca or corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat milk, cream, and condensed milk in a medium, heavy bottomed pot until simmering. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the remixed tapioca/corn starch slurry.
  4. Put back on heat and cook for about a minute or until you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon or spatula, and leave a track that doesn't immediately fill in.
  5. Remove mix from the stove and pre-chill as required by your machine.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions
  7. Store in freezer-proof container with a sheet of cling wrap pressed on to the surface of the ice cream.


Click here for more recipes that incorporate sweetened condensed milk.


French Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a classic French vanilla ice cream recipe that is simply a creme a l’anglaise  (egg custard) frozen in an ice cream maker.  You will be very, very happy if you eat it right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours in your freezer.  After that it will get hard and need a little thawing before you serve it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Classic French recipe for vanilla ice cream. Read embedded links before printing.
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a 2 inch piece of a split and scraped vanilla bean
  1. In a medium, heavy bottomed pan, over a medium heat, cook the milk, vanilla bean (not extract), sugar and salt until it just starts to simmer.
  2. Temper the eggs with the cooked mix using one of these methods
  3. Add the combined mix back to the stove, and cook stirring, until the mix hits a temperature of 170 F or you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon and leave a track that doesn't fill in right away. This should only take a minute or two. Do not overcook or bring to boil.
  4. Immediately pour the mix into a medium heat proof bowl and whisk in the cold cream and vanilla extract if that is what you are using.
  5. Pre-chill as needed. Read this for options.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Serve right away or after 2 - 6 hours hardening in your freezer as you prefer.
  8. Store in a freezer-proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed against the top of the ice cream to prevent frost buildup.


A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base


This recipe is for a basic, very traditional, Philadelphia style ice cream. The primary characteristics of this ice cream are: a 2 or 3  to 1 cream to milk ratio, no eggs, and an uncooked mix. It’s main strength, a  simple, pure, super fresh, uncooked taste, also results in its primary weakness; after more than 4 – 6 hours in your freezer, what you make will become rock hard, with a slightly grainy texture from ice crystal formation.  This style ice cream is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or after just a few hours in your freezer, when it will be delicious. I would also suggest pre-chilling the mix even if you have a built in compressor ice cream maker.  You want everything as cold as possible when you go to freeze this in your ice cream maker.  I would also suggest you use the freshest, highest quality ingredients you can for this recipe as you will taste the difference.

Here is a recipe for about a quart of ice cream.

5.0 from 1 reviews
A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
A classic Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream recipe
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ - 1 cup of sugar. To taste, ¾ cup is most common.
  • ½ vanilla bean split and scraped. or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • pinch of salt
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a lipped bowl.
  2. Pre-chill using one of the methods described here.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  4. Serve immediately or within 4 - 6 hours in your freezer.
  5. For a full vanilla ice cream, double (or more) the amount of vanilla called for in ingredients above.


Goat Cheese Ice Cream


Sunday I had a craving for goat milk ice cream. Unfortunately though I had some goat cheese and cream cheese in the fridge, I did not have goat milk and I didn’t have whole milk, just 2%. So I pulled out my copy of Jenni Bauer and sure enough there was goat cheese ice cream recipe. Actually she has two versions, one with cognac figs and the other roasted red cherries spun in. Sorry to say neither one made it in. This is straight goat cheese, egg-less ice cream and it is fantastic. A very addicting flavor that would work with just about any mix-in or sauce you would want to add. Also this is another ice cream that would make an excellent side to pie.

Using 2% instead of whole milk did cause it to freezer harder than im sure it would have otherwise. But it still scooped out fairly well, was not at all icy and had a very smooth texture after a few minutes of thawing.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Cuisine: ice cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Goat Cheese Ice Cream very closely based on Jeni Bauer's recipe
  • 2 cups of 2% milk (whole would be better)
  • 1 T plus 1t of tapioca or corn starch
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) of goat cheese
  • 3 T (1.5 oz.) cream cheese
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1¼ cups of heavy cream
  • ½ - ⅔ cup of sugar depending on your sweet tooth.
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  1. Mix a few tablespoons of milk with the tapioca/corn starch, set aside.
  2. Put the salt, and cheeses in a blender. Put on the blender top but open the pour in it.
  3. Place the container/s you are going to be storing your ice cream in, into the freezer to pre-chill it.
  1. Add the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup to a 4 quart heavy bottomed pan on medium heat.
  2. Bring to a low rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula so milk doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove from heat, re-mix the tapioca/corn starch and milk slurry and gradually add it to the pot while stirring.
  4. Put back on burner and stir for a minute or so until slightly thickened. It doesn't need to boil, we are just cooking the starch and using it to thicken the mix.
  5. Pour the mix into a heat proof bowl that has a lip.
  6. Turn on the blender and from the new bowl slowly pour the mix into the blender through the top pour hole. Blend long enough so that the cheeses are smoothly incorporated into the mix. This should only take 10 seconds or so.
  1. Pre-Chill the mix if you need to. Click on the link for suggestions.
  2. Pour mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturer's instructions.
  1. Freeze your ice cream at least 4- 6 hours for the best texture. A layer of cling wrapped pressed into the top of the ice cream prevents ice build up on surface.


There is no reason why the milk and cream cant be substituted with goat milk and goat cream.

Using a blender when making ice cream has become a habit of mine. I like how smooth the mix ends up and I think Im getting a little more air incorporated into the mix.  But using one is a little extra work, so you don’t have to if you don’t want to be bothered. The cheeses can be placed in a large heat-proof bowl and after you are done cooking the mix, pour it over the cheeses and whisk together until smooth.


How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

You can make good ice cream without an ice cream maker. There are a number of ways to accomplish this and if you click here you can see the collection of posts I am accumulating on this topic. But in this post I want to share with you what I think is the single best technique I have found so far. It is simple to implement. You don’t need any special tools. And it results in a smooth textured, easy to scoop, even after hard freezing in your freezer ice cream whose flavor possibilities are open ended, limited to your imagination.

There are of course tradeoffs. This recipe/technique is based on sweetened condensed milk. Ice creams based on condensed milk have a fundamentally different taste and texture profile from simple eggless American style ice creams and egg custard based French style ice creams. They are their own third style of true dairy based ice cream.  I would characterize their taste as slightly carmelized, cooked rather than fresh tasting.  I am by no means, damning them with faint praise.  Vanilla-Cardamom, Vietnamese Ice Coffee are just two of a number of flavors based on condensed milk that I love.  I describe versions of them using this technique below.  Fruit ice creams in most cases, are better served with Philadelphia and custard based styles (not to mention ices) made in an ice cream maker.

With this technique you can not make vegan, dairy-free, or sugar free ice creams. You might be thinking that you could make it sugar free by replacing the condensed milk with evaporated, but unfortunately a cup of evaporated milk still has 23 grams or so of sugar. At some point I will post on blender, frozen banana based, dairy-free alternatives.

Lastly if you want to eat your ice cream as soon as you are done making it and/or you want to explore all the many varieties of frozen desserts you can make at home, including the very best ice creams, you are still going to need an ice cream maker.  With these caveats in mind, the method I’m about to describe is the best way to convince yourself that making homemade ice cream is easy, fun and well worth the half hour it takes to prepare.

I found this simple, clever technique on the Eagle Brands website. If you are a fellow fan of sweetened condensed milk, the website is worth checking out for the large number of recipes there.

Why This Technique Works

First it is based on sweetened condensed milk, which is in some ways the perfect ice cream base. It has a very high sugar content, a very low water content, and is over 8% butterfat by weight, more than whole milk. All of those attributes help a great deal in creating a smooth, non-icy ice cream.

The Second reason, and this is the clever part, is that the recipe calls for whipping the heavy cream used to incorporate air and then folding rather than mixing, the whipped cream into the condensed milk to keep as much of that air as possible. We don’t tend to think about air as ingredient, but in ice cream it is. In commercial ice cream air can be up to 50% of what you eat. Even premium ice creams are often 25% air. If you use an ice cream maker at home you are also incorporating some air into you ice cream. As a general rule when buying ice cream more air means lower quality. Having said that, some air in the mix will add body, contribute to a light smooth texture, and help create an easy to scoop result; all which is what happens in this case.

Creating the base is very simple.

  1. Pour one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk in medium mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in your flavorings.
  3. In another medium size mixing bowl, whip to stiff peaks, 2 cups of heavy cream.
  4. Fold whipped cream and any mix-ins into the condensed milk.
  5. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Here are the links to videos and recipes on the Eagle website, that walk you through the process. Please watch the vanilla one which is very short and shows the basic method.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

Cafe Ole’ and Butter Pecan Versions

More Eagle Brand Ice Cream Recipes

Many of these recipes a pretty bad, I’m recommending them mostly to help you get a feel for the technique. You don’t really want to use Folgers coffee or Smucker’s chocolate syrup as basic ingredients unless you are snowed in.

Here are some ideas to help you get more from using this method.


First and foremost, use the freshest, highest quality heavy cream you can.

As with all ice cream recipes ingredients can be halved or doubled to make as little or as much as you would like. With this technique you could actually make one serving if you wanted to.

An ice cream based on a full can of sweetened condensed milk, even with two cups of heavy cream is going to be very sweet. Personally I think a better ratio is 2 cups of cream with 1 cup of condensed milk. Even that is pretty sweet! Sweetness is a very personal preference and there is no getting around a little experimentation if the basic recipe turns out to be to sweet for you.

This technique requires gentle folding together of the ingredients. Check out this short video for a good demonstration of what this means. Remember to fold in ingredients one at a time.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Use a vanilla bean

  1. The first thing I would do is replace the vanilla extract with a vanilla bean.
  2. Split the bean with a knife, scrap out the seeds and add everything to 2 cups of heavy cream in medium heavy bottomed pot.
  3. Heat on the stove over a medium heat, until steaming or you just start to see bubbles. Stir while heating
  4. Transfer the cream to refrigerator friendly bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so until the cream is cold again.
  5. Once the cream is cold, whip it to stiff peaks.
  6. Pour between 1 cup and one entire 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into a medium size bowl.
  7. Gently fold whipped cream and any mix-ins into the condensed milk until the color of the mixture is uniform.
  8. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Add a complementary spice.

Readers of this blog know what’s coming, Cardamom! Cardamom vanilla ice cream is one of my current favorite flavors. In step 3 above add 1 tablespoon of freshly ground cardamom before heating the cream. If you don’t want bits of cardamom (I actually like them) in your resulting ice cream, run the cream through a sieve between steps 4 and 5.

A few other spices that go well with vanilla, alone or in combination, and just to scratch the surface, are nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Google flavor combinations or look for baking recipes that use vanilla for clues to flavors that might work. Add somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, and adjust by taste before freezing.


Mix-ins are solid ingredients (like nuts or raisins) that can be added to ice cream while its freezing. With this method they would be folded in when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined. At some point I will post a comprehensive list of what can be added, but basicly it can be anything that can be made bite size and which doesn’t not freeze to a rock hard, tooth breaking consistency, after your ice cream has spent a night in your freezer. What freezes like that? Anything with a high water content.

Mix-ins are the base of two ice cream favorites which you can easily make with one of the vanilla ice cream recipes above.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Take 1/2 – 1 cup of coarsely chopped Oreos or the cookie of your choice. Fold them in when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.

Cookie Dough Ice Cream

The cheater way to make this is to buy a tube of prepared cookie dough at the supermarket, coarsely chop into bite size or smaller pieces, fold in 1/2 – 1 cup when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.  Cookie doughs are easy to make and there are tons of recipes on the web.  Here is one from David Lebovitz’s traditional ice cream recipe that should work fine.

Cookie Dough

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Combine the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Stir in the flour until incorporated, then add the vanilla and chocolate chips.
  3. Shape into a 1/2 inch thick disk, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate until firm.
  4. Chop dough into small bite size pieces and fold in 1/2 – 1 cup when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.
  5. Bake a few cookies with what is left over.


Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Take 1/2 – 1 cup of chocolate chips or your favorite chocolate bar coarsely chopped, and fold in when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Actually this will work for just about any fruit. If using frozen fruit, let thaw first.

  1. Puree chopped fruit in a blender until smooth. Use enough fruit to end up with about a cup.
  2. Remove and add back to the blender one half cup of puree. Save the other half to use as a topping when the ice cream is served.
  3. Depending on how sweet you want your ice cream, add to the blender between one cup and one full 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Pulse until well combined. This will also add a little air to the mix.
  4. In a medium size bowl whip to stiff peaks, 2 cups of heavy cream.
  5. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk until combined.
  6. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.

There are a number of ways to intensify fruit flavors.

Use a full cup of fruit. Unfortunately this will add a lot of additional water to the mix, which will probably give you an icy ice cream using this technique. I haven’t tried this, so if you do, please let me know how it works out. Adding a 1 teaspoon of vodka might solve the problem.

Add a teaspoon or less, just a little bit, of the same flavor jam to your mix. Many ice cream makers will view this as heresy. BTW try this when making milkshakes.

Add a drop or two of a complimentary, organic extract or essential oil. Frontier makes a nice strawberry flavor extract. Again use just a tiny bit.

Chocolate Ice Cream

This such a huge topic and this post is getting way to long. Here is one simple suggestion for making a basic chocolate ice cream with this base. This one uses cocoa powder. Every cocoa powders tastes significantly different. Experiment. I currently use Penzey’s Natural Cocoa powder. It is a very strong, dark chocolate and even though I really like it, I’m using it primarily because my spouse bought a bag for her own baking when ordering spices. You might like a lighter version or a milk chocolate.

Use either the original vanilla recipe or the one I describe above but use either half a vanilla bean or one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

In step 2 of the Vanilla recipe above whisk in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Proceed with that recipe.

If you like dark chocolate ice cream, I recommend adding a shot of espresso or other dark coffee. Which leads me to, last but not least…

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

As with the Vanilla-Cardomom above, I think this is an amazing Ice Cream. The idea is from David Leibovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. If anything begs to be turned into an ice cream it has to be Vietnamese Iced Coffee. For those of you who haven’t tasted one before, it consists of very strong coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk and half and half or cream, served over ice. Very strong, very sweet. Sound familiar?

  1. Pour between 1 cup and one entire 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into a medium size bowl.
  2. Whisk in up to 1/2 cup of brewed espresso or dark, strong coffee.
  3. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and refrigerate for an hour or so until the cream is cold.
  4. Once cold, in another medium bowl whip two cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold whipped cream and any mix-ins into the condensed milk until the color of the mixture is uniform.
  6. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.


Well the above should get you started. I would love to here from you in the comments below if you try this method.


Ice Cream Maker Manual Recipes For the Ice Cream Making Faint of Heart


When I browse customer reviews of ice cream cookbooks, I inevitably come across ones in which the reviewer will give an excellent cookbook a terrible review for what to me is a completely crazy reason. It seems they were looking for classic, simple American ice cream recipes and were shocked, shocked I tell you, and sometimes even offended, that the book they purchased had lots of “unusual recipes”.  No kidding, I see this all the time. Often with other people commenting in agreement on the review. What is so strange about this is that I think every one of these cookbooks typically does have all the classics, they just have a lot of additional  recipes, reflecting the creativity and talent of the author. The thing I find the most funny about this is, that if you read what these folks consider to be classic American recipes, they are all over the place.  Of course strawberry, chocolate and vanilla are on the list, but after that, its pretty open ended. Ok basil ice cream isn’t going to be on there, but I have seen a couple of people complain about recipes containing egg yolks!  One has to wonder what their sex lives are like!

Anyway, regardless of your feelings about basil ice cream (which I am going to have to post a recipe for now) everyone gets into home ice cream making with their favorite flavors in mind, and usually at least one of the big three is on their short list.  Believe it or not an excellent place for very good versions of you favorites are probably in your ice cream manual. Every ice cream maker comes with one and nobody ever tries the recipes in them. This is a mistake, especially, but not only for, basic flavors. Use the best quality ingredients you can, hell use supermarket brand ingredients for that matter, follow the recipe, and you will make you delicious ice cream and your family will think you are a miracle worker.

Can’t find your manual or want a few other similar recipes to try? Well you have come to the right post.

A Sampling of Ice Cream Maker Manuals Containing Recipes

For the fun of it I searched the internet for a representative sampling of ice cream maker manuals with good recipes in pdf files. All of the these manuals have recipes for old favorites and will keep you busy and happy, until you are ready for some adventure.  Don’t ignore these even if you consider yourself an experienced ice cream maker, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker Manual

Included are recipes for:

  • Basic vanilla ice cream
  • Rich chocolate ice cream
  • Quick mix vanilla ice cream
  • Strawberry ice cream
  • Apple crumble ice cream
  • Salted caramel ice cream
  • Cookies and cream ice cream
  • Honey ice cream
  • Pistachio gelato
  • Chocolate hazelnut gelato
  • Espresso gelato
  • Mint chocolate gelato
  • Simple syrup for sorbet
  • Ruby red grapefruit sorbet
  • Lemon sorbet
  • Pear and vanilla sorbet
  • Raspberry sorbet
  • Quick frozen yogurt
  • Frozen berry yogurt
  • Banana frozen yogurt
  • Lemon honey frozen yogurt
  • Mica’s creamy mango sorbet
  • Mica’s creamsicle sherbert

Not to shabby, wouldn’t you agree?


I have already done a post on this here.


The Delonghi Gelato Recipe book is online and I couldn’t find a pdf of it anywhere.  Over 50 recipes, well worth checking out.




Containing recipes for:

  • Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
  • French Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Triple Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • Creamy Lemon Orange Gelato
  • Fresh Raspberry Sorbet
  • Minted Mango Sherbet

White Mountain

The White Mountain is an interesting ice cream maker.  It is the last of the old fashioned cedar bucket, rock salt and ice variety which many people think very highly of.  Harold McGee for example, maybe the most respected of current food writers in the US, thinks this style ice cream maker makes the best home ice cream because it gets so cold and freezes the ice cream mix that much faster, reducing ice crystal size.  Not for me, but they are cool and you might enjoy checking them out.

White Mountain Ice Cream Maker Manual

Containing: (Note: Don’t forget to divide the 2 quart recipes in half.)

  • Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Rich Chocolate
  • Sweet Maple Walnut
  • Fluffy Marshmallow
  • Creamy Raspberry Sherbet
  • Fresh Citrus Orange Ice Cream
  • Blissful Blueberry Ice Cream
  • Cool Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • Crunchy Granola Ice Cream
  • Cookie Deluxe Ice Cream
  • Perfect Pistachio

Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Balsamic

Really incredible ice creams can be made from cheeses. This is a case in point. Goat cheese ice cream is rich and creamy, basically everything an ice cream should be. The folks at Brooklyn Supper brighten up the flavor with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and keep the texture soft with a couple of tablespoons of vodka. The later is optional of course. You could replace that with corn starch if you wanted an no alcohol version. Read the Jeni Bauer base recipe for other ideas.

Goat cheese is often served with various fruit spreads which would also go well this ice cream. Though I have to note this chèvre crème glacée au fromage does not have as pronounced a goat character as the cheese served by itself would. More than anything the flavor reminds me an excellent cheesecake.

A small amount of fig spread, quince paste and spiced apples for example, would be very nice accompaniments, as would pistachios or almonds and a little drizzle of honey.  Actually I just looked at David Lebovitz’s goat cheese recipe, interesting in that it only uses milk and no cream, -sigh so many recipes so little time- and he recommends serving it with a topping of strong honey and some walnuts.  Given how much like cheesecake it tastes a strawberry, raspberry or even chocolate sauce would probably work well.  Well enough with the tangents, on to the recipe.


Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Balsamic recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
goat cheese balsamic vinegar / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Vegan Carrot Cake Ice Cream


I love carrot cake and once bought a large piece with the intention of cutting it up and adding it vanilla ice cream near the end of churning. But having no willpower, I ended up eating the whole piece (with enthusiastic help from my girlfriend) before it made it anywhere near an ice cream maker. I will do this at some point, as I know from experience that this works well with pie and should work equally well with cake. Break up and use around a cup per quart and you will end up with the least elegant, tastiest of desserts (assuming you use good pie or cake of course). It does not hard freeze very well, so its good to make before a dinner party.

Alisa Fleming’s is a “real” vegan ice cream version of carrot cake as it is made completely from scratch. It uses a very interesting and delicious set of ingredients, that should result in a very flavorful, completely vegan ice cream, with a dairy ice cream like texture. The only thing I might be tempted to experiment with is blending some or all of the carrots with the liquids instead of mixing in larger pieces during churning.

Go Dairy Free is an excellent website for non dairy recipes and information. Even if you are not a carrot cake fan you should check out the site.


Vegan Carrot Cake Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
carrots almond and coconut milks / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

I like this recipe for key lime pie ice cream because its a good example of how much fun it is to create an ice cream equivalent of some other food you enjoy. Last week a we had a couple of candy versions of this.

The first step is to decide what is essential about the original dessert and must be in or at least evoked by the ice cream version. I agree with the choices made by Renee on Magnolia Days. Sweetened condensed milk balanced with the proper amount of key lime juice, and a respectably eggy custard are essential. This may seem obvious but search the net for similar recipes and you will see this is not the case. I like that she uses a half cup of lime juice to balance the sweetness of the condensed milk. A good key lime pie is both tart and super sweet or its something else.

A variation I might try is to add the lime zest from the key limes and an additional cup of cream or half and half. Also I wonder if baking a ready made or fresh, graham cracker pie crust (brush it with a quick egg wash before baking) and then scooping the churned ice cream into it and freezing it like that would work?


Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Key Limes / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Saffron, Honey & Ricotta Ice Cream


I just came across this Saffron, Honey & Ricotta Ice Cream and haven’t had a chance to make it yet but wow! With these ingredients and 5 Egg Yolks, there is no way that this recipe isn’t going to be tremendous. To quote the post:

Saffron transforms ricotta into something fabulous

Here are the approximate American equivalents for the ingredients.

2 cups whole milk

1 tsp of saffron threads

5 egg yolks

7 oz/ .8 cups of sugar

1 cup heavy cream

18 oz ricotta cheese

2 tbsp honey, plus extra to serve

2 handfuls of toasted pine nuts, to serve


Saffron, Honey & Ricotta Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Saffron, Honey & Ricotta / 1.3 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Cinnamon Ice Cream Recipe


Forget the first green buds on the trees, or seeing the first robin of spring. Here in Vermont you know spring has arrived when the ice cream stands open again. Take last Saturday, the first gloriously sunny day in almost 2 weeks… I had been heavily sidelined by a […]

There are a number of things I find enticing about this recipe for Cinnamon Ice Cream (Not the least of which are the brownies sitting next to it 🙂 ). First and foremost the use of cinnamon oil to intensify the cinnamon flavor of the ice cream, a spice that isn’t exactly shy to begin with. It’s a good reminder that our ability to discern flavors diminishes significantly in cold foods. A warm ice cream mix that tastes just right will probably be on the bland side once frozen. Getting a feel for this comes with experience, but as general rule of thumb, when flavoring ice creams remember the words of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein “Moderation is for monks.“.
Which brings me to using natural essential oils, and extracts when making ice creams. Vanilla extract is one everyone is familiar with, but they are available for a wide range of flavors. Concentrated, technicolor magic when used appropriately (which depending on the extract can be drops at a time), they are essential potions in the ice cream mad scientists laboratory. Not inexpensive, but with a fairly long shelf life, I like to use them to experiment with flavor notes in a couple of different ways. In milkshakes and when I’m being more methodical, by scooping out half cup of still soft, but mostly churned ice cream and then stirring in an extract a drop at time. I will be writing more about this in the flavor combinations section I am working. A good source of natural extracts in the Frontier Natural Products Cooperative, but there are a number of companies that make huge assortment flavors. Click on the previous link and then do an search on “natural flavors and extracts” and you will see that are pages of them.

Another potent way of intensifying this particular recipe would be to grind the cinnamon used right before making the ice cream. Grinding cinnamon by hand is simply not worth the effort when an inexpensive electric coffee grinder does the trick. This Krups is what I use and it works great, though it is a bit of a pain to clean. Grinding a little rice is a fast way to clean it out.

To go off on yet another tangent, cinnamon is another interesting spice to experiment with as there are a number of similar tasting plant barks that are sold as cinnamon. Actually its a good bet that you may have not actually ever tasted “real” cinnamon. You can get an idea of the variety on the The Spice House website, which is very good spice store in Chicago.

I like the use of 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Which I thought added just the right amount and character of sweetness.

I also thought it was interesting that MaryJane Robbins, the recipes creator, chose to use whole eggs, instead of just egg yolks. You rarely see this and honestly I think that’s mostly due to convention. There is without question a difference in the resulting texture, when just egg yolks are used. And my guess is, that if a recipe calls for many more than the two eggs used in this one, using the whites would start to become a problem. It would be interesting to try this recipe with just yolks and see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. I wish I can speak more knowledgeably on this. If anyone has any thoughts on using egg whites in ice cream please leave a comment below.

Lastly let me point out that this is a high fat recipe with a 3 to 1 cream to milk ratio, which means that it is very rich and creamy and freezes fairly well.


Cinnamon Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cinnamon, eggs / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Butterfinger Ice Cream

Well its turned out to be candy week on Iloveicecream.net. For this recipe another favorite candy of my long, long, long, lost youth, the timeless, the God Only Knows What’s In It, the quik-crete of teeth, the Butterfinger. Personally I cant imagine a better candy ice cream flavor. And I have to hand it to Nicki on her blog Nicki’s Sweet Side, this woman has a sweet-tooth the size of Texas. In the recipe below you will find: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 a cup of sugar and 3, count-um 3 crushed Butterfingers. This my friends is one sweet ice cream – not that there’s anything wrong with that!

My version would lose the the sugar and the milk, use 2 Butterfingers, 1 can of condensed milk and 2 cups of cream and I think I would try blending one of the butterfingers with the cream. None of this implies criticism of the original recipe, (I mean just look at it, yum!) just a reflection of my more boring taste.


Butterfinger Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Butterfingers, sweetened condensed milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Chai Tea Ice Cream with Coconut Milk

This delicious vegan ice cream is a version of chai tea using coconut milk in place of cream. All the heady Indian spices you would expect are here: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and allspice. As noted towards the end of the post you need to replace the honey with agave, maple or other vegetarian syrup for the recipe to be vegan. For non-vegans the two cans of coconut creme could be replaces by 2 cups of cream and 1 of whole milk.

Kate of Cookie+Kate uses a little arrowroot starch as an ice crystal tamer, I used tapioca starch because that’s what I had on hand, and you can also use corn starch in the same qty. The arrowroot is a nice touch, I haven’t seen that before and Kate reports that this ice cream scoops nicely straight from the freezer and since it makes close to a quart and half of ice cream, this is no small thing. You can always make a half recipe of course.

Click here for the recipe details at Chai Coconut Ice Cream Recipe


Chai Tea Ice Cream Recipe with Coconut Milk

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chai tea, coconut milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Chocolate Malted Ice Cream

This is a fun chocolate malt ice cream recipe based on a candy I was addicted to as a kid, Whoppers. Along with Raisinets, I would only get to eat them in movie theaters. In the small town in Connecticut I lived before I was 10, it was customary for what seemed like every kid in town to pack into the Strand theater for the Saturday matinee; an afternoon of Japanese monster movies, cartoons and b films from the 40s forward. Half the fun of course was loading up on candy. I probably could have asked my mother to buy them at the supermarket for me in those glorious days Before Nutrition, but it never occurred to me. Whoppers and Raisinets were eaten in movie theaters, end of story.

This Whopper Ice Cream recipe is on a family cooking blog, a sub-genre of food lovers blogs I particularly like. I hope those kids appreciate the fact that both their parents love to cook; as cliche as it sounds, my dad, could cook steaks on a barbecue, outside, 2 months out of the year, but indoors I don’t think he could boil water.

This is a very rich recipe with a 3 to 1 ratio of cream to milk and 4 egg yolks!  It should store nicely in your freezer.

It would be fun to experiment with varying combinations of malt and powdered chocolates, milk and dark.  Also a little cinnamon and or vanilla would certainly work with it.  For an adults only version, 3 T of Myers Rum might work, though that I’m less sure about.


While wallowing in nostalgia after finding this recipe, I decided to look for an image of an old Whoppers box and found this great little website on collecting candy, named appropriately enough www.collectingcandy.com.


Chocolate malt Ice Cream recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
whoppers, ovaltine / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Strawberry Banana Sorbet

If you develop the habit of reading a lot of recipes at some point you cross over into a place where you start appreciating the creativeness of a recipe as an end to itself, as opposed to simply being a set of instructions that result in a hopefully delicious food. This is one aspect of cooking connoisseurship that I think sneaks up on most people. Maybe this is an unintended consequence of connoisseurship in general, the gradual appreciation of things that you had no idea were even there to be appreciated. I think this is mostly a good thing, life is as much process as it is destination and anything that helps you experience and appreciate that is good. On the other hand cooking is about creating food that is delicious or at least satisfying in some way and hopefully that doesn’t get lost.

When you read a lot a cooking blogs like I do, there is yet another layer of connoisseurship you end up developing and that is for the creativeness and attention to detail people pay to their food blog designs. Some people (unfortunately not me!) present their recipes in a way that, to be cliche, is a truly a feast for your eyes. The photography and general design almost compels you to drop everything and start cooking whatever is in the post.

Well that was a long introduction to this sublimely smart and simple recipe for strawberry sorbet with sweet mini-paratha rolls. The recipe uses frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, sugar and a little yogurt and the results are fantastic. The little parathas match the sorbet perfectly. There is no way whoever you make this for won’t be blown away. You couldn’t ask for simpler recipes and you don’t even need an ice cream maker for the sorbet. Last but not least I really love this website. Check out how beautifully this recipe post is laid out and how inviting the photography is. Hopefully you will be as inspired to try making some as I was.

Thank you Lakshmi!

Click here for the recipe details for Strawberry Sorbet & Sweet Paratha on Pure Vege


Strawberry Banana Sorbet

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
straberries, banana, yogurt / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame seeds, almost akin to dark chocolate or French roast coffee, have a toastier, nuttier flavor than white sesame seeds and are a favorite in Asian desserts. If you own an ice cream machine this is one recipe you have to try. Nutty and cool, this dessert is luscious. […]


The above quote pretty much says it all. I love simple, single flavor, nut and spice ice creams, but until I came across this recipe by Patricia Tanumihardja, on of all places the Christian Science Monitor, making a sesame seed ice cream hadn’t occurred to me. Silly really. This is a very straightforward American style (egg-less) recipe with standard proportions of milk, cream and sugar. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar but you can use anywhere between 1/3 and 3/4 cups depending on how sweet you like your ice cream. Use the freshest sesame seeds you can of course, and make sure to grind them very fine or you might end up with a slightly gritty feeling dessert. Though in my opinion a little “texture” is what helps make something homemade.

Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Black sesame seeds / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Coconut Cereal Milk Ice Cream


Cereal milk is one of those things people seem to love or roll their eyes at. Soak milk in Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms or Coco Crispies, whatever, until the milk absorbs the flavors and sugars and tastes like what was left at the bottom of your cereal bowl when you were 7 years old.  Honestly the first time I came across it, at the Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, it didn’t strike me as very appealing. I probably have been in the Milk Bar 50 times since (the egg and pork buns are fantastic!) and have never been tempted to order it.

Having said that, I think its use in this recipe is inspired. Cereal milk ice cream just seems like such an obvious and natural concoction. Especially since you can mix in some of the original cereal late in the churning process and/or sprinkle some on top when served.

Ashlee at OH Ladycakes has come up with something even more interesting; substituting coconut milk for dairy. I have been on a bit of a coconut milk ice cream kick lately so timing of finding her post was perfect for me.

This is a very simple vegan ice cream that I would suggest you try to eat right out of the maker or after only a few hours in the freezer.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream Recipe on OH Ladycakes

This recipe got me thinking about my favorite cereal as a kid. Royal Lunch Crackers broken up by hand into a bowl with milk poured over them. If you have never tried this and you are a cereal fan, you have to! They can be a bit difficult to find these days.



I bet this would make a tasty base for an ice cream, maybe with some honey or vanilla added in.

Coconut Cereal Milk Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Coconut cream, cereal milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

This recipe is based on one from Jeni Bauer’s cookbook, Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream. I cut the ingredients in half for what turned out to be a little less than a pint of ice cream. To be honest I wasn’t going to post about it because I was disappointed with how it came out. I thought it tasted too fatty and that the flavor of peanut butter completely overwhelmed everything else. Though I am a big fan of nut ice creams, peanuts are probably my least favorite nut.

The good news is that it turned out to make a fantastic milkshake. I used unsweetened soy milk and a little (1/4 teaspoon or so) vanilla extract, but I am sure any “milk” would work well. The soy milk cut the fat and brought out the toasted coconut flavor. I found it to be quite addicting. If you are a milkshake person I can recommend this ice cream highly. The other reason I’m posting this, is that I made a critical ingredient substitution based on what I had on hand, that I think is the primary reason for it coming out a little fatty. I used canned unsweetened coconut creme instead of the coconut milk the recipe calls for, so blame the chef not the recipe.

Even though Jeni references Pad Thai as her inspiration, I think of this as an ice cream version of a Thai peanut satay sauce. One change I did make was to add some untoasted shredded coconut, in addition to the toasted, in order to bring up the coconut flavor. You can play with the proportions of the peanut butter to coconut milk to change the flavor balance even more if you wish. They both are pretty high in fat, so I don’t think it would drastically alter the texture of the resulting ice cream whatever balance you chose. As usual I used less sugar, 1/2 cup instead of the called for 2/3 cup. So peanut fans and milk shake aficionados, here is the recipe as I made it, except that I am showing Jeni’s ingredient quantities, as halving them didn’t make quite enough.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
My version of Jeni Bauer's Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream
  • 1/1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, preferably fresh
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (not light)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
Toasted Coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Turn and stir every minute or two so that the coconut browns evenly.
  4. Bake for about 7 minutes. You really need to watch this carefully, at least once a minute, because it will go from nicely browned to unusable very quickly.
Cornstarch Slurry
  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until well combined.
Cream Cheese/Peanut Butter
  1. If you have a blender, add to it the cream cheese, peanut butter, salt and cayenne pepper. You don't need to combine them yet. If you don't wish to use a blender, whisk together ingredients in a medium heat proof bowl. Set aside.
Ice Bath
  1. Prepare an ice bath of ice cubes and water in a medium size bowl.
  1. Combine remaining milk, cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a 4 quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil on medium heat and boil for 4 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the corn starch slurry. You will probably have to mix up the slurry again before adding it.
  3. Put the mixture back on the burner and cook until thickened, about a minute or so.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the blender or bowl you have the cream cheese mix in and combine until smooth.
  5. Mix in the toasted and untoasted shredded coconut. If using a blender, just pulse a few time to combine.
  1. Pour the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag and immerse in the ice bath for 30 minutes. Add more ice to keep cold if you need to.
  1. Pour the ice cream into your ice cream maker and freeze.
  2. Store in a freezer proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed down to the surface of the ice cream to remove air bubbles. Store for about 4 hours before serving.

One Ingredient Chocolate Mousse


OK so this isn’t an ice cream recipe, but this vegan chocolate mousse recipe is so neat and so spectacularly simple I couldn’t resist posting it.  Hey there is no reason you can’t serve it with ice cream!  By itself this has got to be the most nutritionally politically correct dessert yet created. It is Sugar-free, dairy-free, low-fat (well relatively speaking), heck bittersweet chocolate is good for you!

Created by a French molecular gastronomer (I want that on my business card!); here is the whole thing, ready? Take 265 grams / 9.4 ounces of bitter sweet chocolate and 1 cup of water combined over a medium heat, pour into a bowl sitting in an ice bath and whip with a whisk to add air for 3 minutes or until stiff. That is it.  Here is Melissa Clark’s video on the New York Times website.

and here is the associated article:

One Ingredient Chocolate Mousse by Melissa Clark on The New York Times Diner’s Journal


One Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chocolate, water / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 10 min
Freeze Time: 13 min
Total Time: 23 min

Frozen Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Angela on Oh She Glows describes this recipe as kind of her healthy homage to the Dairy Queen Blizzard. If I was Dairy Queen I would be worried. This has all the taste and gratification of it’s inspiration and then some! Plus it really is much healthier and very low fat. I have been on a bit of a frozen banana ice cream jag this week, but what can I say, it makes a great base for dairy-free, and all the way vegan ice creams; as this recipe is.

Angela’s inspired variation is a very nice, raw chocolate chip cookie dough, that she both blends into the base and forms into delicious little balls that get added to the finished ice cream when served. As you might expect, the ice cream itself has a soft serve consistency and probably should be made and served right away. I’m not sure how well it will hard freeze in your freezer.

Though there is no such thing as an ice cream kids don’t love, this strikes me as one that would go over big time and be healthy to boot.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ‘Blizzard’ Recipe on On She Glows


Frozen Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
frozen bananas, chocolate chip cookie dough / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 15 min
Total Time: 45 min

Nutella Banana Ice Cream for Kids of All Ages

I have to stop using the expression the simplest ice cream recipe in the world because inevitably the next day I find one even simpler. But this surprisingly tasty, non-dairy, egg-less, no ice cream maker required, two ingredient, banana ice cream has to be getting close to the edge of simplicity. Unless someone has a magic spell for conjuring up a hot fudge sundae out of thin air or for instantly freezing cream, I am going to say this the simplest ice cream recipe in the world! Oh wait you can instantly freezing cream using the liquid nitrogen method, doah! Well if you have a magic spell to share please post it in the comments below.

Bethany Taylor on From My Kitchen to Yours has a serious sweet tooth and you can read how to make this neat little recipe there.

Something Simply Sweet on From My Kitchen to Yours

One variation I would try, is to add a little cold heavy cream in the mixing process; not much, maybe a tablespoon or two, just to add some dairy flavor. Greek yogurt, sour cream or non-dairy milks would work also. If this appeals to you add it a little bit at a time so that you don’t end up with soup. If you do, no worries, add even more and its Nutella banana milkshake time!

A last thought, as I indicate in the title, I think kids would love to be involved in making this recipe. The magic of bananas turning into ice cream can’t help but be fun and surprising to them.

Banana Nutella Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
bananas, nutella / 1 cup

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Pear Brandy Sorbet with Cardamom

This pear sorbet recipe caught my attention for its clever sophistication. Rebecca Franklin, who writes a french food blog on About.com, adds two additional ingredients, that cause it to stand apart. First she adds a small amount of ground cardamom, which readers of this blog know is kind of a spice of the moment for me. Here it adds a bit of complimentary dazzle to the pear flavor.

Then she adds eau-de-vie de poire which I think is the perfect finishing touch. Pear  brandy reinforces the inherent pear flavor of the dessert, which is of course the point of making it. It is easy to forget that cold dampens our perception of taste and little tricks like this can help assure the intensity of flavor we are imagining, when we set out to make frozen desserts.

The alcohol in the brandy adds a satisfying note of complexity to the sorbetto, and has the very desirable property of not freezing. This helps prevent your otherwise sophisticated, adult dessert from turning into a very big Popsicle.

Last but not least, both the cardamom and the pear brandy expand the sorbet’s bouquet pleasing your nose as well as your taste buds.

Like all sorbets this is a simple and foolproof recipe. Unlike many, it exhibits a real mastery of flavor design, which with a tiny bit of effort, you can be the beneficiary of.

Pear Sorbet Recipe on About.com French Food

I strongly urge you to use cardamom seeds and grind them right before making this recipe. Freshly ground cardamom, explodes with flavor and scent.  Pre-ground cardamom is a zombie spice.


Pear Brandy Sorbet with Cardamom

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Pears, pear brandy, cardamom / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe

I have been curious about using goat milk in ice cream as I love goat cheese and was recently turned on to cajeta, a mexican goat milk dulce de leche.  After doing a bit of reseach I found that there are only minor differences either nutritionally or in make up between milk from cows and goats.  Here is a comparison table that I pulled from this interesting comparison between dairy goats and cows.


So the decision to use goat milk instead of cow milk comes down to taste preference. Maybe you are lucky enough to own a goat, and have a ready supply of fresh goat milk. While you will certainly taste the goat in goat milk ice creams, the taste is subtler than in cheese. Cold dampens flavors and the taste of sugar pretty drasticly alters flavor in most ice creams. Having said that, the unique tang of goat milk seems to be one of those flavors that inspires a wide range of extreme reactions in people.  I assume if you have read this far you are fan.

So here is my first attempt at a goat milk ice cream.  I decided to be a goat milk purist and use no cow milk or cream at all.  This means we have to get more fat from somewhere and we need something to to help us fight grainy ice crystals.  The additional fat will come from egg yolks and the additional ice tamer will be corn starch.  Im using honey rather than table sugar because the flavor is a good complement to goat milk. Try to use a strong, dark version. The downside to using honey is that ice creams with a lot of it tend to develop a coarse texture after being stored in a home freezer for a while. We are only going to make about a pint and a half so that we can eat it with only a few hours hardening (or straight out of our ice cream maker).

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A vanilla goat milk ice cream that can be eaten as is or used as a base for other flavors.
  • 2 cups goat milk
  • ½ vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  1. Mix together the egg yolks, ½ cup of goat milk and the corn starch until smooth in a blender.
  2. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the goat milk in the next step. If using vanilla extract it will be added in at the end of the cooking process.
  3. Add the remaining goat milk and honey to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot goat milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
  5. When the goat milk mix is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the goat milk.
  6. Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don't have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn't immediately fill back in.
  7. Remove from heat. Remove the two pieces of vanilla bean pod. If using vanilla extract instead, mix it in now.
  8. Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here
  9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 - 30 minutes.
  10. Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the ice cream before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.


I would serve this as a sundae using a generous topping of warm cajeta sauce and some toasted almond slivers.

For more goat milk recipes click here.

The Perfect Butter Pecan Ice Cream for Pie

I love butter pecan ice cream, but I never order it at an ice cream parlour or get cravings for it on its own. In my food memory it is inseparably linked to blueberry pie. A flavor combination I came upon by accident in Maine one summer, when the lobster shack we were at ran out of the customary vanilla.

One of my favorite food road trips was to drive the coast of Maine for the overt purpose of enjoying the beautiful scenery. In reality, the not-so-secret mission was to eat as much lobster and blueberry pie as was humanly possible. Those trips may have been where it first dawned on me that even (or maybe especially) simple dishes like blueberry pie held the possibility of infinite variation. That small differences in technique and quality of ingredients are easily discernible. Of course this is the essence of connoisseurship of any kind, and a great source of pleasure in my life now, but you are not born knowing this, and I grew up in a family that had a weekly TV dinner night.

The point of the story is that butter pecan and blueberry pie are one of those flavor combinations made in heaven. The butter in the ice cream, enhances the butter flavors of the pie crust, and the pecans add a textural component, and nuttiness, that complement the soft, sweet, blueberry filling. So you can understand why I think a great version of this ice cream needs to have a lot of butter and nuts in it.

After a lot of searching, I have come across this recipe by Elsie Bauer on Simply Recipes that should be perfect for serving with pie. It uses 6 tablespoons of butter, that Elsie takes full advantage of by browning first before adding to the egg custard. She also uses an generous cup of pecans for a quart and a half of ice cream, and  includes a comment on them that I don’t want you to miss..

Note, if you want an extra punch to this ice cream, brush the pecans with melted butter and sprinkle with salt before roasting.

As far as I’m concerned, you ALWAYS want extra punch!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream on Simply Recipes
Now of course I have to find a great recipe for blueberry pie. I like fillings that just barely hold together (minimally gelatinous), with surprising, but light spicing. My attempts at pie crust have so far been dismal, but I have heard very good reports about this one and plan to try it next.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Butter, pecans / 1.5 quarts

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

Black Pepper Ice Cream

I am a big fan of Olga Massov’s blog sassy radish. Her recipes are always interesting and tempting, and I like the way she lets her personality comes through her writing. She sounds very warm, and down to earth, and her posts always leave me hungry!


Here are a couple of quotes so you can see what I mean:

While plain vanilla ice cream, done well, is nothing short of spectacular, vanilla ice cream with infused with pepper (black or pink or white) takes vanilla to a whole new level. Think of it as vanilla in fourth dimension.

Makes about 4 servings, or if you’re me, 1 serving for an ice cream lover with zero self-control.

If somebody ever organizes an International Food Blogger Exposition (hopefully Paris the first year, Tokyo the second) she would be someone I would make a point of trying to meet.

This recipe was inspired by a meal memory and David Lebowitz, both coincidently in France, but probably not at the same time. Actually the recipe is based on one from his book The Perfect Scoop. One of my two primary ice cream recipe references and one which I keep meaning to review here.

The food memory she describes makes me wonder if this is a common occurrence among cooks, i.e. flashing back to a memorable meal when reading a recipe. It certainly happens to me all the time. I sometimes think I remember every meal I have ever had, and it doesn’t take much to tease up a memory of one of them. And this is from someone who otherwise often can’t remember his own name.

I haven’t made Olga’s recipe yet, but it is at the top of my list and I will update this post accordingly when I do. The idea of black pepper, in a not-to-sweet, vanilla ice cream is exactly the kind of elemental, savory flavor I am into at the moment. Behind the times I know, but I’m still fairly new at this ice cream making thing.

Black Peppercorn Ice Cream Recipe on sassy radish

Black Pepper Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Black Pepper, Vanilla / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Churro Frozen Custard

The last time I was working in New York, I went through a short period of becoming addicted to churros. Mostly I would purchase them from women selling them from tiny stands on subway platforms; but there were also restaurants were you could order upscale versions with cups of ultra-thick hot chocolate. Slightly crunchy, covered with cinnamon and sugar, and not a little greasy, if you are a donut fan, you will understand how they can become a bad habit. I finally willed myself to stop buying them out of health paranoia (and here I am with an ice cream website!).


When I came across this recipe on Bakers Royale for churro ice cream I knew I had struck gold. What a fantastic idea. It has all the flavor intensity of baked version without the grease-slick aftertaste. The recipe is quite straightforward and the crumble is very easy to make. I’m referring to it as a frozen custard just to stick with the conventions of my website but Naomi simply calls it simply an ice cream.


Churro Ice Cream Recipe on the Bakers Royale Blog

Churro Frozen Custard

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cinnamon / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

A Classic Gelato Base

This is the standard gelato base that I will be updating as I experiment. I put together this recipe to approximate the fantasy ideal of what most people imagine this Italian ice cream to be. That is lower in fat, at least dairy fat, and having a dense, silky-smooth, glossy texture provided by the inclusion of a lot of egg yolks. As you can read about here, this actually describes only one style of gelato, even in Italy.

The most important practical thing to know about making gelato is that it is best served either right from your ice cream maker or after only a few hours of hardening in the freezer. It just doesn’t keep well for long periods of time in a home freezer. You will find that the next day it can be hard as a rock and will need to be thawed a little before you can scoop, let alone serve it. The only problem with this is that if you do it more than a few times the process of melting and re-freezing starts to ruin both the taste and texture of what is left in the container. For that reason my recipe is for one pint rather than a quart. Just double everything if you with to make more.


  • 2/3 cup  heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cup  whole milk
  • 5 large  egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract



  1. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a medium size bowl in your freezer to pre-chill for no more than than 1/2 an hour. If you do this at the start of making this recipe that should be enough time.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of cream and sugar until smooth in a blender.
  3. Add the milk to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
  5. When the milk is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the milk.
  6. Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn’t immediately fill back in.
  7. Remove from heat and immediately pour the mix into the bowl that contains the heavy cream you have been chilling in the freezer. Whisk together until smooth. The purpose of this step is to rapidly lower the temperature of the mix and stop it from continuing to cook.
  8. Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here.
  9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 – 30 minutes.
  10. Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the gelato before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.

Download a pdf of this recipe here.

Notes and Variations

Feel free to flip or even out the proportions of milk to cream. With a two to one cream to milk ratio I would call this a frozen custard and with a one to one proportion, I would call this an ice cream. But what’s in a name?

The number of egg yolks used is completely up to you. In one pint I wouldn’t use fewer than two or more than 6. The more yolks you use, the denser, smoother and glossier the result be. Unfortunately it will also be that much higher in cholesterol.

For a true vanilla gelato I would use 1/4 vanilla bean split and scraped and added to milk when you boil it. You can still add or not as you prefer, the teaspoon of vanilla extract later as the recipe above calls for.

If you prefer a sweeter result you can add up to 1/4 cup more sugar to the recipe above. In the interest of experimenting with texture, instead of adding more table sugar try adding 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. This should help it stay softer in your freezer. Add the corn syrup to the milk when you go to boil it. Another thing we could try to soften the stored texture, is the addition of one tablespoon of an 80 proof alcohol that compliments the flavor you plan to make; for example Meyers rum, bourbon, vodka or maybe a liqueur that you like. Add this right before you pour the mix into your maker.

A Classic Gelato Base

Bob Clark
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream

This is an easy as can be recipe, that makes one pint of silky smooth, sweet, homemade vanilla ice cream without eggs. Just combine the ingredients in a blender and freeze in your ice cream maker. On the other hand I suspect (note suspect, I haven’t actually tried this yet), that an ice cream maker might not even be required. Just mix everything together, store in your freezer, stir once an hour for the first few hours, and in 4 hours or so you will have ice cream. In that scenario you might need to use heavy cream rather than half and half, but this remains to be seen.  Another no ice cream maker required method, especially if you dont want to wait hours, would be to make it using the Ziploc bag method described here.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream, or milk and heavy cream as you desire.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
  1. Grind the cardamom seeds in spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Freshly ground cardamom explodes with flavor!
  2. Add half and half and cardamom to the blender.
  3. Open condensed milk can with a can opener and pour into a blender. It is much easier to use a spatula and scoop out the whole can with the entire top removed.
  4. Blend the mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  5. If you have a built-in freezer/compressor ice cream maker add the mix to it and freeze. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. If you have a freezer canister model. Pre-chill using one of these methods.
  7. Eat and/or store in a freezer proof container in your freezer. This ice cream stores quite well, getting a little harder in texture but still remaining soft and easy to scoop.


Serving Suggestions

Because it is so sweet, a scoop of this ice cream goes amazingly well with anything based on dark chocolate.  For example, it is a perfect side to a slice of flour-less chocolate cake.


Notes and Variations

I should sub-title this recipe the simplest ice cream base in the world because really that is what it is. You can see how easy the basic foundation of half condensed milk and half cream/milk is to experiment with. Depending on the strength of the flavors you want to add, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of any spice could be used in place of the cardamom. Up to 1/4 cup of a fruit puree or chocolate or caramel syrup are other possibilities. Keep in mind that even without added sugar this is a very sweet ice cream, so flavors that balance that are the way to go. Melting a 1/2 once of bittersweet chocolate in half of the half and half before combining is good example.

Update 4/14/13

A recent version of this ice cream that worked out well,  used these ingredient quantities. It has a nice texture, is just sweet enough for me and freezes fairly well.

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 cups of heavy cream

2 cups of whole milk

1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

1 vanilla bean

1 Tablespoon freshly ground cardamom

In this variation I cooked the base by bringing the heavy cream, milk vanilla bean and cardamom to boil for 4 minutes.
Took the pot off the burner for a moment while I stirred in the cornstarch which had been earlier dissolved into 1/4 cup of the milk.
Then I Cooked the mix for around a minute until it thickened from the corn starch.
Then I added it directly to my compressor ice cream maker to churn.
If you are using a freezer canister ice cream maker you need to chill the mix first.


Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream

Cardamom has been one of my favorite spices lately and I have been trying it in all kinds of foods. I decided it would be fun to use it as a strong second flavor in a chocolate ice cream. Then I remembered a fantastic chocolate chip cookie I ate at a little coffee shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn last year. It not only contained cardamom but also some chili pepper which gave it some heat The combination worked beautifully.

My recipe is based on Jeni Bauer’s Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World. In addition to freshly ground cardamom seed, I added ground chipotle pepper which adds a smoky heat to the flavor. The major change to the recipe, besides the additional spices, is that I don’t add any sugar to the chocolate syrup, so in my version it is more of a ganache. Also the original recipe has a full cup of sugar in it, mine only a half cup.

This recipe makes about a 2/3 quart of ice cream.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Chocolate Ganache
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup coffee (I used espresso)
  • 1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (55%+ cacao)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (other ground chili peppers can be substituted)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/12 (3 tablespoons) cream cheese (Organic Valley or better if possible).
Ice Cream Base
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • 1 1 gallon Ziploc bag
  • Ice Bath
  • Freezer proof storage container/s pre-chilled in your freezer.
Make the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Prepare bittersweet chocolate by finely grating it. A serrated steak or bread knife is good for this.
  2. Prepare cocoa powder by sifting it.
  3. Brew the coffee or espresso and add it while hot to a small saucepan on low heat.
  4. Mix in the chili powder, salt and a big pinch of the cardamom.
  5. Add ¼ cup of the heavy cream.
  6. Add cream cheese.
  7. When mixture is well combined and warm whisk in the cocoa powder. I use a fork rather than a whisk.
  8. When mixture is well combined, add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the Ice Cream Base
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and cardamom in a 4 quart, heavy bottomed, saucepan.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil for 4 minutes.
  4. Remix the corn starch slurry and whisk it into the milk mixture.
  5. Lower the heat and cook for a minute, stirring with a heatproof spatula until thickened.
  6. When you can coat the spatula with the mixture, run a finger through it and leave a clear trail that doesn't immediately fill back in, the mix is ready. Remove from heat.
  7. Add the chocolate sauce to the mixture, whisking to incorporate. It the syrup is difficult to remove from the pan stir some of the hot milk mixture into it first.
  8. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Chill the Mix
  1. Prepare an Ice bath in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the mix into the Ziploc bag.
  3. Gently lower the bag into the ice bath, removing the air in the bag until you get near the top and can seal it.
  4. Spread the mix into a thin layer around the bag and keep it submerged until the mixture is cold. About 30 minutes.
  5. For other pre-chilling alternatives click here.
Freeze the Mix.
  1. Pour the mix into your ice cream maker. It is easiest to cut off a corner of the bag and pour it from there rather than through the top.
  2. Freeze as per manufacturers instructions.
Harden the Ice Cream
  1. Scoop ice cream into the pre-chilled storage container/s.
  2. Press down a piece of cling film over the ice cream to remove any air (optional).
  3. Seal and store in your freezer for at least a few hours before serving.


Notes and Variations

I am pleased to report that my girlfriend and primary customer, was blown away by this ice cream when made as recorded in the recipe. Never one to leave well enough alone however, these are some of things I will probably experiment with next time.

  • I think I will try cutting back the spice amounts to 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. I would like to get the slight burn left by the pepper in the finish down a little. Also though I like the very strong cardamom flavor, but I’m curious about what will happen with the balance tipped more towards the chocolate and coffee.
  • I’m tempted to add some finely grated chocolate, maybe 1/4 cup, into the mix towards the end of churning.
  • I purposely did not strain out the crushed cardamom seeds before chilling because I wanted that occasional blast of spice. You may not want this.
  • Using 1/2 cup of sugar rather than the called for 1 cup did not noticeably hurt the texture of the ice cream and resulted in just the right amount of sweetness to my taste.



Now that I have made this a few times, here are some more notes.

As I am currently making it, this is a drastically dense, dark chocolate ice cream. It is more an Ice Fudge than an Ice Cream.

I have cut the spices back to what I suggested above 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black cardamom seeds and 1/8 teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper. Additionally I am using (from Whole Foods) Organic Valley cream cheese, milk and heavy cream, and Dagoba unsweetened chocolate for baking. Cocoa powder is Penzey’s Spices Natural High Fat Cocoa.

Now for the bad part. As I have currently laid out the steps, this is without a doubt the messiest ice cream recipe I have yet to make. Your kitchen will look like a chocolate bomb went off in it. The chocolate sauce is very, very thick and combining it with the dairy mix is not pretty. The resulting combined mix is like a very thick pudding that does not want to go into or come out the pre-chilling Ziploc bag willingly. Lastly it since it is so rich in fats, clean up takes lots of soap and water.

I am going to try a few things differently next time. First I’m not going to make a separate chocolate sauce. After cooking and thickening the dairy/cornstarch mix I am going to add the chocolate sauce ingredients directly to it, one at a time and gradually incorporate them over a very low heat. I will add the cream cheese, then the baking chocolate, then the cocoa.

I think Im going to either add more milk or use 2%.  Not that the current fudginess isnt interesting or tasty, but it is a bit to much of a good thing.  If you want to serve something that is sure to get a reaction from your friends, make it as is.

For this one recipe I am not going to use a Ziploc bag for prechilling. Either I will put the pot right into the Ice bath directly or use flat rectangular Pyrex dish, not sure yet. I think given how much heat this thick mix retains it is important to pre-chill it. On the other hand there is so much fat in it, maybe it isn’t needed at all. With a compressor ice cream maker it might make the most sense to just let it cool down on off the stove for 10 minutes and then go right into your machine.

Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen – Instant Read Thermometer


Thermapen – Instant Read Thermometer

There is nothing more generally useful in the kitchen than a fast, (as in instant), accurate thermometer.

Conversely, trying to work with a slow, inaccurate one is worse than not having one. I am quite seriousness. If you spend $12 on a junky thermometer, you will ruin more dishes than if you don’t use one at all and instead just use whatever rule of thumb the recipe suggests for gauging doneness.

The Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer is simply the best one you can buy for anywhere near the money.

Open it up, it turns on and works flawlessly. Fold it closed and it turns off. The Thermapan has everything you would want in a thermometer. It is well made, rugged and mindlessly simple to use. Yes it costs around $90, but it’s worth every penny. And you don’t have to just take my word for it, if you click on the Amazon link below you will see that out of 354 customer reviews, 316 are 5 star.

It is one of those tools that once you own it you wonder how you lived without it.

As I did, you will find more and more uses for it. And as useful as it is in cooking egg custards for ice cream, it is fantastic for cooking meats and fish to exactly the level you desire.

In ice cream making you will use it for two primary purposes.

  1. To make sure your egg custards cook enough without overcooking and ruining. Custards need to hit that sweet spot of between 170° F and 185º F but not go over which can happen very quickly as the mix is approaching a boil.
  2. To test the temperature of mixes when pre-chilling especially if you own a canister style ice cream maker. You want that mix to get to within a few degrees of freezing, without actually freezing. A thermometer like this can help.

Do you need this thermometer to successfully make ice cream at home? Absolutely not! But if you get pleasure from tools that help take cooking to that next level of exactness and reliability the Thermapen is for you.


Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen – Instant Read Thermometer
Bob ClarkJan 1.
The only home instant read kitchen thermometer worth owning.

Pre-chilling an Ice Cream Mix

It is a standard practice when making ice cream to pre-chill the mix before adding it to an ice cream maker to freeze. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. The faster an ice cream freezes the smaller the ice crystals will be. Tiny ice crystals translate to smooth ice cream without a noticeable grain, or worse, big, very noticeable pieces of ice.
  2. Immediately pre-chilling a mix after taking it off the stove stops it from continuing to cook. This is particularly important for egg custards, for which those extra few minutes of being hot might mean the difference between ice cream or scrambled eggs.
  3. With freezer canister style ice cream machines you don’t have any choice but to pre-chill the mix to as close to freezing as possible. If the ice cream mix isn’t really cold you run the risk of ending up with a cold ice cream soup.
  4. Pre-chilling for hours potentially allows the ingredients to combine more completely and taste better.

Well, except for number 3 I think all these reasons can be taken with a large grain of salt. Not that there isn’t any truth to them but that you can make perfectly delicious ice cream with no or minimal pre-freezing. Lets review our options.

Skip Pre-Chilling

With my Simac Il Gelataio built-in compressor ice cream maker I often go from stove to ice cream maker with no pre-chilling and have not had any problems with either egg custards over cooking or ice crystals ruining the resulting smoothness of the ice cream. Every model ice cream maker is different of course so you will have to experiment with yours to see if you can do the same thing. Remember you can not do this with a freezer canister style maker.

Ice Bath Pre-Chilling

Unless you are unlucky enough to have a canister machine with a canister that is starting to get tired or needs a mix to be close to freezing in temperature to work; pre-chilling as I’m about to describe is the best bet for most situations.

  1. Create an ice bath in a large bowl. If you don’t have access to a lot of ice you can accomplish sort of the same thing by filling your sink with the coldest water you can. In this case the Ziploc bag method works the best.
  2. Pour your mix into either a large Ziploc bag (Thank you Jeni Bauer) or a bowl preferably with a water-tight lid. Immerse the container in the ice bath. If you don’t have a water-tight bowl rest it on the ice as deeply as you can.
  3. Stir contents occasionally to help it dissipate the heat.
  4. With a Ziploc bag your mix will be cold in about 20 minutes. With a bowl of ice it will take around 30 minutes.
  5. Pour into your ice cream maker. If using a Ziploc bag it is a little easier to cut off one of the bottom corners to release the mix.

Refrigerator Pre-Chilling

This is the old fashioned, standard way of pre-chilling an ice cream mix and it will take at least 4 hours to end up with a cold mix. It does have some of advantages if you are in no hurry to make ice cream. For one thing it’s very easy. Just pour your mix in a bowl from the hot saucepan. Cover the bowl and place it in your fridge. It also has the advantage of allowing the ingredients in the mix to bond together more completely. If you want to maximize this effect, you can refrigerate the mix overnight. I am of the opinion this will improve the taste of your ice cream marginally if at all but I might be wrong.

Freezer Pre-Chilling

For some reason no one seems to recommend pre-chilling a bowl of mix directly in your freezer. I’m not sure why. Unlike the set and forget refrigerator method you would have to keep an eye on it and stir pretty regularly to prevent the mix from actually freezing (think big bad ice crystals). The use of a good instant read thermometer would be useful for this. One would think you would be able to cut the pre-chill time to between 30 minutes and an hour using this method. An experiment worth trying.

A freezer can also be helpful if you own a very temperamental canister ice cream maker. After getting your mix cold in the refrigerate, move it into the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes before you are ready to make it. If you have a thermometer you want the mix to be within a few degrees either side of freezing 32º F /0° C before moving it into your ice cream maker.

If Pre-Chilling Why Not Just Make Ice Cream?

Let’s say you are using the ziploc bag in an ice bath method. Well if you have some rock salt you can take this one step further and just make the ice cream! Read about it here.

Types of Ice Cream

The delicious dessert of chilled milk or cream has developed into many varieties, in many cultures, over time. There is a great deal of overlap of ingredients among foods that take different names, for example ice cream and gelato. There is no French Academy of Frozen Desserts (as far as I know) whose job it is tell us what is and isn’t ice cream etc. Today, the word is used to cover desserts made with a whole range of ingredients. I bring this up to lead you to the most important point of this post, which is: Don’t get hung up on names and categories. They simply are not important to the fun of making ice cream at home. Having said that, it is interesting to review the various styles of ice cream if for no other reason than to understand a common language even if we know that it is an inexact one.


The Dairy-Egg Ice Cream Matrix

Boy that sounds impressive. Maybe I can get a grant to explore this further. Ice creams can be divided into four groups that result from the intersection of the answers to two questions. Does a recipe contain dairy products or not and does it contain eggs or not? These groups pretty much encompasses the entire universe of frozen desserts. Is knowing this profoundly useful in some way? Heck no, I just had fun thinking of it.



American, Philadelphia Style, or Standard Ice Cream

vanilla_ice_cream_150_150There are probably even more names for this style. This is ice cream at its most basic, made of milk, cream, sugar and added flavoring. It’s flavor is primarily about the simple direct taste and richness of cow’s milk. A pint of classic Philadelphia ice cream, from which the whole universe of ice creams expands, could be made up of 1/2 cup of whole milk, 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 6 tablespoons of table sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. For the sake of purity you can even leave out the vanilla. Mix to fully incorporate the sugar, until smooth. Freeze as quickly as you can while agitating in some way (Here is a method.). If no additional ingredients have been added to prevent large ice crystal formation, standard ice cream is best eaten right out of the ice cream maker, with only a short period of hardening in the freezer.

Philadelphia style is easier to make than egg custard based ice cream because it is heated only enough to effectively incorporate the sugar. Some recipes call for additional heating, even boiling, in order to release some water from a mix or to thicken one containing corn starch. This is done to improve the resulting texture of the ice cream. I urge you try making Jeni Bauer’s version to experience what a huge difference a truly outstanding texture can make to an ice cream.


French Style, Custard, Frozen Custard, Gelato

frozen_custardThese dairy based ice creams contain another primary ingredient, egg yolks. In these ice creams it not uncommon to see 10, 12, or even more egg yolks per quart/liter. In addition to adding a gloss to ice cream, egg yolks help keep ice crystals small and texture smooth. They also add a deep richness, complexity and egginess to the taste of ice creams made with them. That has both a benefit and a cost as the egginess can compete with the intended flavor of the ice cream. For example, strawberry ice cream can become strawberry – egg ice cream. However, when the flavors are complimentary, as in olive oil gelato, it is mind blowing. As the word custard implies ice cream containing egg yolks are almost always cooked to form a thickened custard before freezing. This is done for reasons of both health and flavor.


gelato_displayGelato is an Italian word for frozen. It often contains more milk, and less or no cream, than Philadelphia style ice cream. Gelato may contain a great number of egg yolks but this is not always the case. The only consistent factor I could find is that when made commercially it is made using a churning process that incorporates as little extra air as possible. True gelato is more dense than standard ice cream. There is a myth that gelato is lower fat or somehow healthier than ice cream. Though this is not the case, I encourage you to tell yourself this while on vacation in Italy.


Non-Dairy Ice Creams

coconut_milk_ice_creamFrozen desserts approximating ice cream, and in there own ways capable of being just enticing, can be based on a number of non-dairy liquids. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, the milk of other animals such as goat, vegetable and fruit juices; these cover some but probably not all possibilities. For that matter, delicious frozen treats can be based simply on ice such as granita or sorbet. Except for those that embrace ice wholeheartedly (under- explored and under-appreciated I’m afraid), many non-dairy ice cream recipes are as much about ingredients whose purpose it is to approximate the smoothness and mouth-feel of dairy ice creams as they are about flavor. Whether you are obsessed with smoothness or not there is great room for experimentation in making dairy-free ice creams at home. In addition to offering a whole alternate play-space of delicious foods, they have the potential to be not just less unhealthy than traditional ice creams but actually healthful. Read this as an example.

Frozen Yogurt

lemon_kefir_frozen_yogurtI think you can make the case that the rise of frozen yogurt began as a marketing scam whose purpose was to dupe people into thinking that it was healthier than ice cream. It is not. Depending on the recipe it may or may not be low fat but is often high in sugar; which depending on the person and consumption level, can be very unhealthy. With time people began consuming it simply to enjoy the inherent taste of yogurt, primarily that tanginess that comes from being fermented. Yogurt and other fermented liquids and foods are best thought of as one more potential flavor ingredient with their own unique attributes.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream

This is a perfect holiday season ice cream, if for no other reason, than it can be hard to find cranberries in the supermarket the rest of the year. Kerry Saretsky, the recipe’s author, states she was led to the idea for this frozen custard by cookies made with white chocolate chips and cranberries. Sounds right to me!

The Secret Ingredient (Cranberry): Cranberry Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chunks Recipe on the Serious Eats blog
Kerry has her own excellent food blog which I urge you to visit.
French Revolution

Possible Variations

First my standard caveat; chefs make choices about technique and ingredients for a reason. I list some things I might change, not as a criticism, but to reinforce the point that ice cream making is forgiving, and to encourage experimentation. In most cases I suggest that the first time you cook a recipe, do so exactly as laid out by its creator.

Kerry uses a hand mixer to combine the eggs and sugar. I’m currently hot on using a blender for this. Blend the eggs and sugar until pale and smooth. Then when you are ready to combine the cooked milk and cream mixture with the eggs, pour it into the blender in a very thin stream, with it turned on to its lowest setting. I describe this in a little more detail here.

I would probably go with 3/4 cup of sugar rather than a full cup as Kerry uses for this recipe. Cranberries are tart so many (most?) people probably wont find the full cup of sugar too much. This is just my personal taste.

Since this has 5 egg yolks in it, I think you would be safe reversing the proportions of milk to cream if you wanted to turn it into a lower fat gelato. By safe I mean I don’t think you would give up much in terms of creaminess. This would be especially ok to do if you plan to eat it all right out of the machine. With less fat, what’s left will freeze harder in your freezer and may need a few minutes to warm up before serving.

I think I also would be tempted to take this over the top a little, based on its chocolate chip cookie roots, and mix in a 1/4 cup of nuts (chopped walnuts or almonds), maybe even a little shredded toasted coconut. My favorite chocolate cookie recipe is out of the old Paul Prudhomme classic cookbook Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen. Lori Taylor’s Chocolate Chippers is chock o’ block full of delicious add-ins: dates, toasted coconut, granola, and walnuts. Here is the recipe online. Now of course if you start loading up this recipe with all these additions, you are moving pretty far way from the balanced elegance of the original. I know, make the ice cream as Kerry describes, and then serve it as an ice cream sandwich between a couple of Lori Taylor chocolate chippers!

Since I brought up the Louisiana Kitchen I have to mention another recipe because it is one of my all time favorites: Barbecue Shrimp. This heart attack inducing, butter loaded, hot pepper infused, take on marinating and cooking shrimp is so spectacularly delicious that regardless of any dieting distractions you may be currently fostering, I urge you to try it at least once. If this was typical of what Mr. Prudhomme was eating regularly in 1984, his cover photo makes total sense, from the big smile on down.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cranberries, White Chocolate / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Brown Butter Ice Cream


I am a total push-over for what I think of as elemental ice creams. Ones made with a few simple, earthy ingredients: cream, sugar, eggs and their derivatives, egg custard, caramel, scorched milk etc… So when I found Pim Techamuanvivit’s recipe for browned butter ice cream on Chez Pim I considered my day made! To quote her:

My brown butter ice cream recipe is a result of an experiment. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a quest: one to see how much brown butter I can get away with adding into a pretty classic, basic ice cream base recipe. I want my brown butter ice cream to actually taste like brown butter, not just hinting at it.

Talk about sympatico to my own approach to making ice cream and cooking in general. She can count me as a new fan. One thing I want to point out about this recipe before turning you over to her, is the obvious and ingenious use of a blender to mix everything together, incorporate all that fat, and temper the eggs when making the custard. What a great process simplifying technique! I’m going to be using it going forward. Now on to the recipe:

Brown Butter Ice Cream, or, how to make ice cream in a blender on Chez Pim

Brown Butter Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Brown Butter / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 55 min

Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Vegan coconut milk ice cream recipes are good alternatives to ones based on dairy products in frozen desserts for a whole slew of reasons. Let me quote from:

Top 10 Alternatives to Cow’s Milk on www.theecologist.org

Coconut milk is a very creamy, dairy-free alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk. Those who subscribe to the low-carb lifestyle often prize coconut milk for it’s minimal starch content. A vegan drink, it is also soya-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and nut-free while its fat content is considered to a ‘good fat’, easily metabolised by the body and quickly turned into energy rather than being stored as fat. Coconut milk is also rich in lauric acid, a substance also found in human milk, which researchers have shown have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Unlike other nut or plant milks, the saturated fat content of coconut milk is significant at five grams per serving, so drink it in moderation.

What I really enjoyed about this post by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan on The Kitchn blog, was its sheer joie de vivre or should I say joie d’expérimenter. Set some extreme starting rules and see what you can come up with that stays within them, still resembles ice cream, and of course tastes good. In this case, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar; pretty extreme wouldn’t you agree? Well Sarah came through with a spectacularly simple combination of coconut milk, inherently sweet fruit and vegetable juices, and corn starch. Talk about versatile and tasty. In the post she tries different combinations of beet juice, apples, celery, carrots, pears, ginger; just about anything you would use in your juicer. Read the recipes here:

3-ingredient-healthy-ice-cream at the The Kitchn blog

Not that the recipes need it, especially if eaten right from your ice cream maker, but one direction I might go if experimenting, would be to add ingredients to try to smooth out the texture further and keep it softer when stored in the freezer. Maybe a tablespoon or two of an appropriate liqueur or vodka. Also you have to wonder what you could come up with using a really good juice recipe book as the basis for more flavors to try.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Coconut Milk / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min

How to Make Ice Cream In a Bag with Kids

I want to say up front that I haven’t tried this recipe myself yet.  But I have gotten so many requests for it along the lines of “Have you heard about making ice cream in a bag?” or “My kids made ice cream in a Ziploc bag at school.” that I decided to go ahead and post this.  As you will see its a very simple process and I have it on good authority that kids love the simple magic of it.  Each Ziploc bag makes a cup of ice cream (2 servings).  I can see this as a fun kid’s party activity. Though come to think of it 15 kids and liquids hmm…   PLEASE NOTE STEP 5:  This mixture gets very, very cold while freezing.


Since I have published this I have gotten feedback from friends that this technique works quite well. See the videos at the end of the post. If you don’t have an ice cream maker I urge you to try this method. You should be able to make up to pint of any recipe on this site with no difficulty especially if you use rock salt rather than table salt.


  • 1 quart size, freezer ready, Ziploc bag
  • 1 gallon size, freezer ready, Ziploc bag
  • 3/4 cups of table salt. Rock or Kosher works even better.
  • 2 cups of ice


  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Add all the ingredients to the quart Ziploc bag.  Try to remove some of the air and seal it securely. Mix the ingredients together by gently shaking and rocking the bag.  “Gentle” may want to be emphasized here.
  2. Add the ice into the gallon ziplocTM bag.
  3. Add the salt (sodium chloride) to the bag of ice.
  4. Place the sealed ice cream bag inside the gallon bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon bag securely.
  5. Gently rock the gallon bag from side to side. It’s best to hold it by the top seal or to have gloves or a cloth between the bag and your hands because the bag will be cold enough to damage your skin.
  6. Keep rocking for between 10-15 minutes at which point the mixture should have solidified into ice cream.
  7. Serve. This is a no lose activity because at worst you will end up with a vanilla “milk shake” and happy kids irregardless of how solid the ice cream actually ends up getting.

Why it works.

Ice needs energy to melt, to phase change from a solid to a liquid.  It draws that energy out of the ice cream mix (and little hands if they aren’t holding the bag by the zipper seam!) causing it to get cold. Adding salt to the ice lowers it’s temperature of freezing so that even more energy than usual is needed to get it to melt.  This cause the ice to get colder and draw out more energy, faster from the ice cream mixture causing it to freeze.

This recipe is based on one by  , in the Science Projects section of About.com.   You can read the full post here.


My friends Kristi and Alex decided to try this out with their son Max and as you can see from the short iPhone videos below the process works as advertised. They doubled the recipe and added some thawed out frozen strawberries. I don’t see why you couldn’t make any recipe on this website using this method.

Max tumbling the ice cream while it freezes.

The moment of truth.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Over the Top Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted caramel ice cream has been a “flavor of the moment” for a very long moment now. It reminds me a little of the cupcake craze that started at the Magnolia Bakery in New York almost 12 years ago, and is still working its way around the country and the world as the next big thing.

No matter, because salted caramel deserves it’s reputation. It has introduced a lot a people to the joys of savory ingredients in ice cream and is one of the those flavors that people tend to get super serious cravings for. With that in mind I think that Molly Wizenberg’s recipe on Orangette will satisfy the most intense cravings of the biggest fans of this flavor. With 11 egg yolks, a proportion of half cream to half milk, and a corn syrup based, dark caramel, this is one very smooth, rich and tasty caramel sensation.

Molly expresses a concern that the cooking method described will not necessarily bring the eggs to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature needed to kill any Salmonella bacteria if present. Should this stop you from making this recipe, only you can decide. By the way, to put this into perspective, being a stickler about this, means you would never eat another sunny-side up (soft yolk) egg again.

Once you click through, scroll down the page to get to the recipe.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Recipe on Orangette

As I have pitched this recipe as a craving satisfier, you may find yourself to be to impatient to cool the mixture down over night. If that is the case you can check out various pre-chilling alternatives here.

Over the Top Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Caramel, salt / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hours 10 min

Strawberry and Balsamic Ice Cream

As the authors say in their introduction, strawberries and balsamic vinegar are one of those flavor matches made in heaven. This is a very rich, egg custard based recipe. With a cream to milk ratio of 1 3/4 cups of cream to 3/4 cups of milk and 5 egg yolks, I would classify this is a frozen custard. The strawberry ice cream that results is delicious, with a technicolor stawberry flavor, and a rich and creamy texture. Try it even if you have to substitute fresh for frozen strawberries.

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe on finecooking.com

Strawberry and Balsamic Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Strawberries / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Ice Cream and Gelato Maker Manuals

A  collection of Ice Cream Maker Manuals you can download.  Note most have recipe collections, so if you are interested download one for each brand.



Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker Manual


Cusinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence™ Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker

Cusinart ICE-100 Manual

Cuisinart ICE-50bc Manual

Cuisinart ICE 45 Mix It In Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker Manual




Lello 4080 Lussino Manual


Simac Il Gelataio The Ice Cream Man Manual

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Recipes


While writing my review of the Cuisinart ICE -100, I was surprised to find that most of the manual is comprised of quite a fine little ice cream cookbook. I would have a expected to find maybe strawberry, vanilla and chocolate recipes of dubious quality but instead there are 27 recipes that run the gamut of frozen deserts, difficulty levels and sophistication of flavors, from the basics to the exotic. They even give you a nutritional breakdown of each recipe. Hmm.. I have to work on figuring out how to add that to Iloveicecream.net. Plus it has some very on target, no nonsense tips. They use both corn starch and pectin in their Gelati recipes which are two ingredients added to improve texture that you don’t see very often in American gelato recipes. For more traditional approaches to using corn starch based custards click here.


Cuisinart gives the standard advice of letting an ice cream mixture rest in the refrigerator for a few hours to 3 days before freezing it in your ice cream maker. The reason they offer is that this allows the ingredients to bind together for a more even and consistent flavor. This in turn prevents fat ice crystals to form when freezing. This advice is a major convention in ice cream making and honestly it drives me to distraction. Ever since owning a freezer/compressor ice cream maker I usually go from stove to sieve to ice cream maker. I have NEVER had noticeable ice crystals form or notice any spoon to spoon differences in the taste. However I have to admit that just like with soup it is possible that mixtures and custards left to set sit for a few hours or over night might taste better, especially if relatively complicated with multiple ingredients and/or flavorings. With simple 3 or 4 primary ingredient recipes I doubt this is true. Also it makes sense to me that with very low fat recipes, milk or non-fat yogurt based, there is probably more of a possibility of large ice crystals forming but again it hasn’t happened to me.

The booklet notes that using lower fat dairy products will result in a less creamy and rich tasting ice cream. True but you can compensate for this by using cornstarch (see link above) and/or an egg yolk or two depending on what you are aiming for.

There is an interesting note on Sorbet. Taste for the sweetness of the fruit you plan to use, as the freezing process reduces it. If the fruit is very sweet you can reduce the amount of sugar called for.

It is interesting to compare the proportions of cream to milk in the simple (eggless) ice creams, egg custard ice creams and gelati. In simple ice cream it is 2 to 1 cream to milk. In the egg custard it is 1 to 1 with 5 egg yolks. In the gelati it is basicly 1 to 2, the reverse of the simple ice cream. I would summarize that a Frozen custard would be 2 to 1 cream to milk plus those 5 egg yolks. I like it. I think this is good way to consistently categorize dairy based frozen desserts.

More comments below in among the list of recipes.

Here is a list of all the recipes included:

Simple Ice Creams

  • Simple Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Simple Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Butter Pecan Ice Cream
  • S’Mores Ice Cream
  • Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
  • Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Custard Style Ice Creams

  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Butter Milk Ice Cream
  • Fresh Mint with Chocolate Cookies Ice Cream
  • Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Grand Marnier Ice Cream

Alternative Ice Creams

The Dairy-Free Vanilla is interesting in that it uses soy milk powder to improve the texture of the resulting ice cream as the recipe is so low in fat. I wonder if corn starch would also work in this capacity?

If you have a Whole Foods or health food store near you, you should be able to purchase Goat milk. I urge you to try it in a vanilla ice cream and this recipe is a very simple way to do so.

  • Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Dairy-Free Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
  • Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Goat Milk Ice Cream
  • Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream


What caught my attention is the use of both corn starch and pectin in Cuisinart’s gelati recipes. 2 tablespoons of corn starch and 1 tablespoon of pectin. The purpose is to absorb water and prevent larger, grainy tasting ice crystals, making for a very smooth gelato. This is new to me and I will append my experience to this post once I try it. One of the things you notice when you make ice cream at home is that it tends to freeze much harder in your freezer than commercial ice creams do. The corn starch/pectin combo should help alleviate this issue without having to resort to more fat or sugar (neither of which freeze). You could eliminate the eggs and still end up with what I bet would be a pretty creamy ice cream, though then it wouldn’t be gelato and would taste significantly different. Im just saying…

  • Basic Vanilla Gelato
  • Chocolate Hazlenut Gelato
  • Custard Gelato
  • Espresso Gelato
  • Lemon Gelato
  • Macarpone and Fig Gelato
  • Mixed Berry Gelato
  • Olive Oil Thyme Gelato
  • Pistachio Gelato

Frozen Yogurts

  • Honey-Almond Frozen Yogurt
  • Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt


I am looking forward to making the Prosecco Grapefruit Sorbet as soon as as Florida grapefruit season kicks in.

  • Coconut Sorbet
  • Prosecco Grapefruit Sorbet


If you really want to learn a lot about a topic then write a blog on it. Why do these sauce recipes use corn syrup I wondered? Well I found this great post on David Lebovitz’s site that explains it well. In a nutshell corn syrup prevents sugar crystals from forming and therefore promotes a smooth and shiny sauce.

  • Caramel Sauce
  • Hot Fudge Sauce

 Download the Cuisinart Recipes PDF file here

Burnt Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Ice Cream

One of the best things about making ice cream at home is that of all the many foods you can cook, it is both very forgiving and very open to experimention. Once you learn a small set of basic techniques you can let the mad scientist in you run wild.

Last night I wanted to make some ice cream for dessert. After looking in my refrigerator I saw that I had some half and half, some buttermilk and some Meyer Lemons on hand. Also the idea of a caramel appealed to me at that moment. So I went to iloveicecream.net (what an awesome website! 🙂 ) and found two recipes I could mix and match from to make ice cream from what I had on hand.

Burnt Orange Ice Cream

Buttermilk Ice Cream

I primarily used the Burnt Orange recipe to see how to make a citrus caramel and the Buttermilk recipe to find out that the buttermilk is added in after the custard is heated up on the stove. So here is what I came up with. Note this ended up being a relatively low fat, low sugar recipe.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 Large Meyer Lemon zested and juiced. Try to have around ¼ - ½ a cup of juice.
  • ½ cup of table sugar
  • ¾ cup of half and half
  • ¾ cup of buttermilk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine half the sugar, and the 2 egg yolks and salt in heat proof, medium sized bowl. It needs to be big enough to hold the whole recipe.
  2. Combine zest and half and half in a saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Stir so that mixture doesn't burn. Remove from heat.
  3. Now we are going to make a simple caramel from the juice and sugar. In a heavy bottomed saucepan add half the sugar to the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over a medium low heat. Let the mixture boil until it starts to brown, swirl the mixture occasionally. I found that I had to add a tablespoon of sugar after awhile to kick it over the point of caramelizing. Once its starts to brown it does so quickly, so start stirring with a fork. You want to go for at least an orange brown color, but brown it as deeply as you wish, just keep it moving so that it doesn't burn. When you are finished remove from heat.
  4. Slowly add about ½ cup of the half and half/zest mixture to the caramel, whisking vigorously. Mixture will bubble and steam. when things calm down, add the rest in a thin steady stream, continuing to whisk. I prefer to use a fork for all this whisking as there isn't enough custard to fully engage a whisk. Return the caramel to the stove and cook over a very low heat until everything is well mixed and hot.
  5. Remove mixture from heat and in a series of small trickles pour into the bowl containing the egg yolks, whisking vigorously. The point here is to combine everything slowly enough so that the eggs don't overcook into scrambled eggs. If you are leery of this process you can use a more traditional tempering method.
  6. Pour the combined mixture back into the caramel saucepan and cook over a medium low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. 170 degrees Fahrenheit on a reliable instant read thermometer is good. Do NOT let it come even close to boil.
  7. Pour mixture into a clean bowl and stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.
  8. If you have a freezer/compressor ice cream maker you can pour the mixture into it as soon as you would like and freeze as per the manufacturers instructions. One pint wont take more than 20 minutes or so to freeze.
  9. If you have freezer bowl style maker, refrigerate the mixture until its cold, at least 2 hours, before making. For other pre-chilling methods click here.


So how did it turn out? Well I wont be entering any ice cream competitions with this recipe but it did the job, everyone forced to try it (little persuasion needed), liked it. I found the citrus caramel and buttermilk flavors worked very well together as I had hoped. Mission accomplished.

This ice cream freezes hard after an extended period in the freezer.  Microwave for 10 seconds to soften before scooping and serving.

Though I found the recipe plenty sweet for my taste, if you have strong sweet tooth that would be the first thing I would suggest changing. Maybe add a 1/4 to 1/3 cup more sugar. Next I think I would try heavy cream in place of the half and half or maybe add tablespoon of cornstarch to smooth out the texture a bit more.

A good video from finecooking.com on making caramels.

Lemon Frozen Kefir

Clotilde DuSoulier at Chocolate and Zucchini entitles her post, and very refreshing and delicious recipe “Lemon Kefir Ice Cream” I hope she will forgive me for dropping the Ice Cream part. Not so much for accuracy (who cares really), but because I have been neglecting my frozen yogurt recipes section and kefir is close enough. 🙂

This is a very simple, low fat recipe that, as Clotilde points out, has numerous delicious substitution possibilities. For example, any citrus fruit in place of lemons. She uses Meyer Lemon, The Queen of the Lemon Family. I know this to be a fact, as the tree in my backyard reminds me copiously twice a year. You can use other fermented milks, buttermilk, or yogurt instead of kefir is you wish. Any sweetener you would like can take the place of agave syrup: Honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, or mix of all the above, etc.. And finally a splash of Limoncello or other alcoholic flavoring of your choice would not be out of order.

Lemon Kefir Ice Cream at the Chocolate & Zucchini Blog.

Lemon Frozen Kefir

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Meyer Lemons, Kefir / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Chunk Soy Ice Cream

Alice Currah at Savory Sweet Life has come up with a dairy free (soy milk based) recipe that is very simple to make, and great for people with food allergies. The peanut butter chunks are added during the churning so it is easy to leave those out for kids who have an allergy to peanuts. Chocolate and banana are one of those Olympian flavor combinations that you cant go wrong with. One fun variation to try might be to add chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups rather than just peanut butter chunks.

{Dairy-free} Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Chunk Soy Ice Cream Recipe at the Savory Sweet Life blog

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Chunk Soy Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chocolate, Soy Milk, Banana, Peanut Butter / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Deni Ice Cream Maker with Candy Crusher

Deni Ice Cream Maker

Colorful little guys aren’t they?

The Model number varies by color so:

  • Raspberry – Model 5202
  • Lime – Model 5203
  • Blueberry – Model 5201
  • Platinum – Model 5204
  • White – Model 5205

This Deni ice cream maker is freezer canister based and comes with hand cranked compartment for grinding candies or nuts, etc to add to your churning ice cream while it freezes. It has a 1.5 quart capacity. Like all freezer canister models you have to store the main canister (that white cylinder behind the plastic in the middle of the units as can be seen above) in your freezer for 8 hours at least to freeze it. 24 hours is probably more like it. Then when you make your ice cream mixture you have to pre-chill it so that its very cold if not close to freezing. (Tip: If you have consistent problems with freezing it sometimes helps to stick the mixture in your freezer for 20 minutes or so right before you make it.) When everything is absolutely ready to go and not before you take the canister out of the freezer pour in the ice cream mixture and wait and pray for 30 minutes or so until your ice cream freezes.

The Deni is a simple machine both to use and clean. After using it once or twice you will probably be able to do so in your sleep though that’s not recommended :). You can check out the manual here for the whole story plus it has some recipes in it.

The nicest thing about this ice cream maker is that it is one of the least expensive you can purchase. At time of writing the prices vary on Amazon between $45 – $60 depending on the color. It has been my experience that the mojo in the freezer canisters that causes them to actually freeze ice cream goes back to heaven (or hell) after a year or two, so regardless of manufacturer, a colorful, inexpensive model that matches your retro 1960’s Plastic Space Pod decor and works for for a few years would be a nice thing.


Since I have been burned too many times and no longer have the patience to actually go out and buy one of these freezer canister units and use it for a year, let me summarize the Amazon customer reviews written by those intrepid purchasers who have gone into the breach for us.

At time of writing there were 36 reviews.

  • 5 Stars – 18 – (50%)
  • 4 Stars – 5 – (14%)
  • 3 Stars – 3 – (1%)
  • 2 Stars – 1 – (.3%)
  • 1 Star – 9 – (25%)

64% of the reviews are positive. 1% neutral and 25.3% (a quarter) negative. This is not a good sign but let’s see what people actually said.

A few of the five star folks said the machine worked flawlessly. For example:

I bought this so I could replicate more exotic ice cream flavors that aren’t readily available in my new small town. This machine really is fantastic. It’s cute and it works well. The deserts turn out great. The included recipes are helpful. Not a single complaint.

Many people complained of never getting past “cold soup” in the freezing process. This is the classic problem with freezer canister based makers. You can sometimes get around this by making a smaller quantity of mix, say a pint rather than a quart and by making sure your mix is right around freezing before adding it to the machine.

When commented on, the candy crusher was described as a disappointment, people instead hand chopped or used their food processors, both of which make a lot more sense to me.

A complaint brought up a few times was that the mixing blade doesn’t fit well against the bottom and sides of the canister. This can cause a layer of rock hard frozen ice cream on the canister walls that in turn acts like an insulator, preventing the bulk of the ice cream mixture to freeze.

One person said that if you turn the unit off in the middle of churning it doesn’t turn back on.


Unfortunately these reviews are very typical of all freezer canister ice cream makers. For some people they consistently work, for most others they sometimes produce “cold soup”. This particular unit seems to have a problem with how snugly the paddle fits in the canister, which can exacerbate the freezing problems for some people. Though in this price range (under $100) it’s typical for a quarter of customers to have some kind of problem with their units. The good news is that they look great and are very inexpensive. If you are willing to work with its idiosyncrasies, and buying one gets you into making ice cream you wouldn’t otherwise then go for it!

Here is a link to an Amazon page where you can purchase the Deni and/or read the customer reviews directly.

Read the review of my current favorite ice cream maker.

Here is a list of Ice Cream Making Tools We Recommend.

Or a review of an alternative freezer canister maker click here.

For some tips on getting the most out your ice cream maker click here.

Deni Ice Cream Maker with Candy Cusher
Bob ClarkJan 1.
Very inexpensive way to start making ice cream at home.

Tips for Working with Your Ice Cream Maker

A work in progress collection of tips for getting more out of your ice cream maker.

Ice Cream Hardness

Hard ice cream doesn’t come straight out of any home ice cream maker. In freezer canister based models it will never be harder than soft serve (but it should be at least that hard, not cold soup!) In freezer compressor units you will end up a consistency more like soft scoop. A scoop of ice cream straight from the machine will hold its shape in a bowl. If you want it harder than that you will have to store your ice cream in the freezer at least a few hours. Think about it. The motor of any maker not the size of a refrigerator would burn out if it was asked to churn what many people consider properly hard ice cream. Which leads me to..

Your ice cream maker is not a food processor.

Don’t expect it to churn ultra dense mixtures loaded with candy, nuts, ball bearings, giant chunks of x, y, z etc… This is especially true of any freezer canister or less expensive compressor unit. With freezer canister units stick to simple, non chunky flavors or add small quantities of mix-ins near the end of churning a little at a time.

freezer_canisterTips for Freezer Canister Models.

If you have trouble getting ice cream mixes to freezer, I feel your pain. Try the following.:

  • Make half recipes. More specifically make 1 pint rather than a quart at a time. If that’s not enough ice cream for what you had in mind and you have the freezer space, buy a second canister and use that for the second 1 pint.
  • Make sure EVERYTHING is very cold. The canister should be rock hard, frozen solid, having been stored for at least 24 hours in the coldest part of your freezer. The mix should be cold bordering on freezing. Experiment with moving it from the refrigerator to your freezer for 30 minutes before freezing. (Note the word “experiment” as you don’t want it to actually freeze. Ideally the mix should be at a temperature between 27° F and 35° F (-2.8° C and -1.7° C). You can read more about pre-chilling techniques here. Make your ice cream in a cold room. I once put the whole canister unit in my freezer and ran an extension cord out. It didn’t work :).
  • If your unit is more than 2 years old and the canister was well frozen and you used a very cold, almost freezing mix and you still ended up with cold soup, it’s not your fault. If the canister doesnt freeze cold enough or melts to quickly your only option is to replace it. Either purchase a replacement canister or better yet buy a real ice cream maker with a built in compressor.

Please share your tips in the comments below.

Strawberry Ice Cream with Red Wine Vinegar

Admit it, the “with red wine vinegar” part is why you are reading this right? Vinegar in Ice Cream!? Actually it is an inspired idea and should work very well, both intensifying and brightening the strawberry flavor. This and the use of condensed milk was enough to convince me. There were a couple of things that threw me at first. Combining sweetened condensed milk with 3/4 cup of sugar means the result is going to be VERY sweet. And using an entire teaspoon of salt in a quart of ice cream is a little unusual. The recipe is from a renowned San Francisco Ice Cream shop named Humphry Slocombe which I definitely plan on visiting the next time I’m there. I confirmed with these guys that the sugar and salt quantities are correct. Also that it would be ok to reduce the added sugar to 1/2 cup.

Sophisticated Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe at Oprah.com

Strawberry Ice Cream with a hint of Red Wine

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Strawberries, Red Wine / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary Ice Cream with Hot Lemon Syrup

First off I know this image is gigantic, but I don’t care, I love that old metal ice cream can.

I’m always on the look out for interesting lemon recipes because I have a Meyer Lemon tree that keeps on giving, a giant, bad hair day, rosemary bush and fresh ginger in house, most of which ends up going bad and getting replaced in an ongoing entropy feedback loop. When I ran across Katie’s recipe I knew I had to try it. I am happy to report it tastes as good as it looks.

Normally I would just link you over to recipe at this point, but I thought it might be helpful to list the ingredients in American quantity equivalents.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Juice 4 lemons
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, very finely grated

Note: The above will (i think) be less sweet than Katie’s version as castor sugar is finer than American granulated sugar. But I tend to cut back on the sugar used in most recipes.


Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary Ice Cream Recipe with Hot Lemon Syrup at the What Katie Ate blog.

Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary Ice Cream with Hot Lemon Syrup

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 35 min
Total Time: 55 min

Helado de Cajeta

Nicky at Delicious Days, introduces this recipe by saying:

My dear friend Stephanie (who already kindly shared her grandma’s tamales recipe and her mum’s peach cobbler recipe with d:d-readers) has not only sent me the most delicious treat, but delivered a fantastic ice cream recipe (I SO MEAN THAT! Probably my favorite ice cream EVER!) and guest post along:

As Delicious Days is one of the world’s best food blogs (and I SO MEAN THAT!) I am really looking forward to making this. I am a big fan of Dulce de Leche, but was not familiar with a Mexican version; Cajeta, a sweetened caramelized goat’s milk. With the prevalence of Mexican grocery stores these days I don’t expect any trouble finding Cajeta, but if you cant, substitute Dulce de Leche which can be found in any Latino market. Not to mention the fact that there are a million places to buy Cajeta online.

Helado de Cajeta Recipe at the Delicious Days blog

I suggest using your gelato mixing blade for this recipe, if you have one, as the additional density you will get, should complement it well.

Update 12/20/12: I finally made this and it’s absolutely killer. Cajeta is completely addicting and makes an incredible topping.

Helado de Cajeta

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Cajeta / 2 quarts

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 40 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

Cuisinart ICE-100

Let me get right to the point. This new Cusinart ice cream and gelato maker is a very exciting product. I think it is a breakthrough home ice cream maker. It has almost every feature I would want if I were designing one from scratch, offered at a price that probably can’t go much lower without over compromising quality.

  • The closest thing to a true home gelato maker that I have found.
  • It looks and feels very well made.
  • It has a very solid, quick freezing compressor built in. You will never have to pre-freeze a big clunky bowl in your freezer again, and then have it not work because the two hours you waited for your custard to cool wasn’t long enough, or your kitchen was too hot or the ice cream gods were simply against you that day.
  • Unlike most other current production gelato makers, except the $600+ Lellos, the mixing paddle is driven from the bottom and not the top. This is HUGE. Top driven paddles are inherently flimsy and can actually snap if you make a really thick ice cream. Plus the top driven paddle design is much more prone to motor overheating. There you are in the middle of churning and your machine shuts down because the motor has overheated. With a bottom driven paddle this is much less likely to happen.
  • 2 mixing paddles. One optimized for ice cream and one designed to incorporate less air for making true gelato and sorbets. Hurray!
  • An anodized aluminum mixing bowl with a handle that just lifts out for serving and cleaning.
  • A 3 year limited parts and labor warranty. No small thing on a three hundred dollar purchase.
  • It retails for $299. You would have to spend over $1000 for a significantly better machine, and those that cost less are problematic in terms of quality. You can confirm this for yourself by looking at the Amazon customer reviews for less expensive freezer compressor machines.

Here are some additional images of the product.

Mixing Bowl

The mixing bowl. I know you are probably thinking “yeah, so what?”. But believe me a simple thing like a well made bowl with a handle makes a real difference when you are cooking. You would be surprised how often obvious features like not including a handle on the bowl or not even making it removable are par for the course for clueless manufacturers. My 1975 Simac il Gelatario which I otherwise love, has a mixing bowl you can not remove from a 50 lb ice cream maker! I would have killed for this one simple feature.

The nice solid, won’t snap when the ice cream gets too thick, (yes this has actually happened to me once with a cheap freezer canister machine) but otherwise standard, ice cream mixing paddle.

Gelato Paddle

Take a look at that! A true, air-reducing gelato paddle. That set of double blades on the right force the custard down while churning minimizing the amount of air incorporated into the mix.  This is unique among home ice cream makers and is going to get you as close to real gelato as is currently possible in a home machine.

Cuisinart’s Demo Video


Ok, so what are the downsides to the ICE-100? Well the biggest one is that it is a new product so we don’t know really know how it’s going to hold up over time. From my own experience with the unit, gut feeling and given the 3 year warranty, if I needed a gelato maker and didn’t want to take a risk with a used, older Simac or spend $600 on the Lello, this is what I would buy today (06/2013). I’m going to keep an eye on the Amazon customer reviews and will update this review accordingly if they start to show problems. Right now they are all very positive.

There are only 3 missing features from my fantasy perfect machine list.

  1. It’s not dead quiet. No actually it’s loud. Well unfortunately EVERY ice cream maker is loud.
  2. I wish it had a slow speed setting for churning gelato. Keep in mind NO home maker has this.
  3. A digital temperature gauge. I can’t honestly think of how I would use this but it would be cool.



In conclusion the Cuisinart ICE-100 is the best home ice cream maker I have tried.  The few remaining non ice cream making friends I have left (having evangelized the rest into submission or into not returning my phone calls) I am actively pestering to buy one. At $299 it is admittedly not a spur of the moment purchase but still a great value. With this machine there will be nothing between you and the recipes you want to make. Which is the ultimate compliment you can pay a cooking tool.


Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
Bob ClarkJan 1.
The best home ice cream maker for anywhere near the money.

Heather Honey Ice Cream

My girlfriend has a friend and colleague who with her husband, keep bees in their back yard. Tampa may not be the densest of cities, but the area they live in is a beautiful old streetcar suburb where the craftsman style houses are pretty close together. The bees don’t seem to mind. If anything the neighbors for blocks around conveniently provide lots of flowering plants to keep them both busy and content. I’m telling you all this because I don’t think I ever really tasted honey until I had some fresh from their hives.

This story is yet another example of how the long shelf life, mass farmed foods we buy in the grocery stores are zombies of what they started out as. Rather than gold colored sugar syrup, this honey had complexity and depth of flavor the way a great wine does, the extent to which I wouldn’t have believed beforehand. So I know this super simple recipe (4 ingredients) made with a great honey will produce an absolutely killer ice cream. If you can use local farm bought fresh milk and cream, Holy Cow!

Heather Honey Ice Cream at the 101 Cookbooks Blog

Heather Honey Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Honey / .75 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Buttermilk Ice Cream

What to do with the buttermilk left over from making pancakes, why make ice cream of course. For some reason it seems to be impossible to buy buttermilk in any quantity smaller than a quart. Well after you try this simple, if rich to the point of insanity, recipe, you may be purchasing buttermilk to make ice cream, and using the leftovers for pancakes.This truly is an insane ice cream. It uses 12 egg yolks. That’s right, an entire dozen egg yolks! If you want to be a stickler about it, this really isn’t even ice cream but a frozen custard. If you used milk for most of the heavy cream, you would have a gelato. If you used 24 eggs you would have a world record! Actually I shouldn’t joke, I bet I will eventually find an eggnog ice cream recipe or something similar, that comes in at 24 eggs. I like what Deb Perlman at The Smitten Kitchen says towards the end of the post.

 I’m going to share with you a little secret: You don’t need to use all of these egg yolks. Oh sure, you can and the results will blow your ice cream-loving mind. However, let’s say you find that you only have six or eight egg yolks on hand, this will also do. The ice cream will be less rich, but still incredibly more rich than anything you can buy at any store.

I’m all in for any recipe that will blow my ice cream loving mind!!!

Butter Milk Ice Cream Recipe at The Smitten Kitchen blog.


Update: 05/19/2013

I have found that this buttermilk ice cream recipe makes a very nice base for other flavors.  Here is a version to use as a base that gives you about 3/4 of a quart:

Buttermilk Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A ¾ quart buttermilk ice cream base. With non-fruit ice creams (nut, chocolate etc..) I like to use brown sugar. With fruit ice creams I use white sugar.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup white or brown sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Add the egg yolks to a blender. Cover with the blender lid with the pour hole open.
  2. Heat cream and sugar in a 3 or 4 quart heavy bottom pot, stirring until steaming and bubbles start forming around the edges. Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Turn the blender on a low speed and very gradually pour the hot cream mix, in a VERY thin stream into the blending eggs. Turn off the blender 5 seconds after the mix has been completely added.
  4. Pour the mix back into the pot and return to heat. Heat, stirring until the temperature reaches 170 F on a good instant read thermometer or you can coat the back of your spoon or spatula with the mix, run your finger through it and leave a trail that doesn't intermediately fill back in.
  5. Take pot off the stove right away.
  6. At this point you need to combine in the buttermilk and vanilla. Also any additional flavors that you wont be adding in as mix-ins later in your ice cream maker. What I do is add everything back to blender and blend together (with the lid on, pour hole closed!) on a high speed for 10 or 15 seconds. A blender acts as a poor mans homogenizer, giving you a better emulsion and adding some air to the mix. This will result in a smoother, lighter texture. However note that you still will have some raw egg in your blender unless you clean it water over 160 F first. This is a potential health risk If you don't want to risk it you can simply whisk everything together in a bowl.
  7. Pre-chill as needed.
  8. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  9. Best eaten right out of the ice cream maker or within 6 hours in your freezer.



Crumbled cookie ice cream with espresso caramel


I love sweetened condensed milk. It is saturated fat, sugar and god knows what else. Sneak it into coffee, cereal, ice tea, oatmeal and anything you would use milk in. You won’t be disappointed. This was the recipe that introduced me to the idea of using it in ice cream. And after experimenting continuously since first making it, I think using condensed milk as the foundation of an ice cream base is the best use of all. In addition to adding a bit of a caramel taste and probably all the sugar you need in most recipes, it performs magic on the resulting texture. You end up with a smoothness, gloss and density that is very similar to very eggy gelato. 

This ice cream on Seven Spoons is a great take on what I am talking about, and takes an already delicious recipe over the top by adding crumbled cookies and a very liberal drizzle of a coffee laced caramel.

Crumbled cookie ice cream with espresso caramel at the Seven Spoons Blog

Crumbled cookie ice cream with espresso caramel

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
condensed milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

Notes on Making Ice Cream

photo by PhotoAtelier (Glen)

Notes on the making of ice cream, gelato etc…

Making Ice Cream isn’t rocket science.

Really, it’s fun. Don’t be intimidated. If you measure things out ahead of time (get your Mess in Place so to speak) and pay attention while you are cooking, you will make great ice cream, better than anything you can buy in a supermarket. Better than you can buy in most ice cream parlours.

Making Ice Cream offers the home chef a lot of bang for the buck.

Making ice cream is one of those activities where the rewards gained from doing it are far higher than what you have any right to expect from such a simple activity. Your friends, family, and kids of all ages will be amazed and delighted. Your inner foodie will bliss out. Who doesn’t love ice cream? Really what more can you ask for as a cook.

You will taste the quality of the ingredients you use.

Simple recipes consisting of just a few ingredients, gently cooked or not cooked at all, as all ice creams are, means you will taste every bit of quality (or lack there of) of the ingredients you use. So use the very best, freshest, most local, most in season ingredients you can. Choose a flavor based on what’s peaking now.

Learn to distinguish between useful best practices, mindless convention, and just plain anal retentiveness.

One of the things I love about Mark Bittman, especially evident if you watch his New York Times videos, is that he cuts through a lot of unnecessary technique that often intimidate people (like me) from attempting particular recipes. Most series of complicated steps in a recipe can be reduced, eliminated or combined if you think about them in terms of answering the following question honestly: “Given my cooking skill level, what are the chances that I will wreck this dish in a way I can’t recover from, if I don’t do things exactly as laid out?” With ice cream making there are a few rules you see all the time which I humbly propose can be ignored most of time. This is especially true if you are planning on eating the fruits of your labor right out of the machine.

The bane of ice cream making is the formation of large and/or irregular ice crystals. I will cover this in a lot more detail in other posts but for now know that a lot of playing with the proportion of ingredients, and variation in preparation technique, comes down to people trying very hard to create tiny ice crystals and therefore super smooth ice cream. This is particularly an issue after ice cream is removed from your maker and stored in your freezer. If you are planning on eating all that you have made right out of your ice cream maker or within 2 – 4 hours in your freezer, it is much less of an issue.

Here is a list of conventions I break regularly and which you may be able to also.

Filter your egg custards and cooked mixes through a sieve when you are finished cooking them.

As long as you combine ingredients well enough to begin with, this is a completely unnecessary step. If your mix or custard is so full of clods of egg or whatever, that it really needs to be sieved, you probably have a bigger problem on your hands. Not to say there won’t be recipes in which you will choose to use a sieve, but that will be an exception not the rule.

Chill a cooked Ice cream mixture in an ice bath, and/or the refrigerator until cold before freezing in your ice cream maker.

This is supposed to create a finer ice grain structure by for allowing for quicker freezing time in the maker. I take the position that if you own a real ice cream maker (see below) you can skip this and go from stove to ice cream maker. I do this all the time and have not noticed any significant worsening of texture. Note that I have yet to read anyone else who condones this, so be forewarned.

Also note this convention can NOT be broken with Freezer canister type machines. With these you HAVE to cool down the mixture to almost freezing.

Chill ice cream mixture for at least 6 hours or over night before processing.

Why? I suppose the flavors might coalesce a bit better but I really wonder if you would taste the difference. It isn’t like we are making a curry or some other complex dish with dozens of ingredients and hundreds of flavor components. Ice creams mixtures typically have 4 or 5 ingredients.

I was happy to run across support for this opinion from Harold McGee the noted food scientist and chef. From his book Keys To Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, The Penguin Press 2010:

Don’t bother to age ice cream mixes for hours. Aging is important in commercial mixes that include gelatin and stabilizing gums, but in home-made ice cream it encourages cream to separate and churn into butter.

Freeze at least one hour before serving.

This is crazy. Ice cream, gelato, etc.. is more often than not best right out of the machine. Another excellent reason to own an ice creamer maker with a built in freezer is that with a reasonably simple recipe you can time things to make fresh ice cream while you are cooking dinner and have it ready for dessert!

Of course and alas there are exceptions to this rule. Ice creams based on Jeni Bauer’s ice cream base only come into their own after a few hours in the freezer. She recommends 4 hours. This is no small thing as her recipes have the best texture of any I have made so far. Lick the paddle and wait.


One of my main goals for the site is to encourage experimentation. We are living through a golden age of home cooking and diy foodie rule breaking. In many ways home-made ice cream is the perfect food to experiment with. The ingredients are inexpensive, the process simple and you can work in small batches of say a pint rather than a quart at a time. If you try something and it doesn’t work out and you have wasted a small amount of ingredients and an hour of your time. Embrace failure and before you know it you will be an ice cream making God renowned by friends and family.

Buy a Real Ice Cream Maker!!!!

At some point Makers of all kinds, realize that they are only as good as their tools. In any given discipline there are a handful of tools that are indispensable to, maybe indistinguishable from, producing high quality results consistently. Knowing this and using that tool or tools is what separates people who care from people that don’t. With ice cream making that tool is an ice cream maker with a built in freezer compressor. You pour your mix in and the machine freezes it while its churning. It works EVERY TIME, no hassles, no devoting 20% or more of your freezer space to a canister. Others may disagree but I have come to this opinion after years of messing with a number of canister style and rock salt and ice (brine) style makers. Life is to0 short. The only reason you should consider the any other type of machine is strictly financial. At time of writing you can get into a used compressor machine through eBay for around $200 including shipping or a very good new one for around $300.

The Anal Retentive Chef

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You Will Ever Eat

So this is quite a claim is it not? Cenk, the food blogger behind Cafe Fernando is a big time, serious, foodie chocoholic. So don’t take his boast lightly. When you visit his website you will be impressed.

Some interesting things about this recipe:

  • It uses a sweetened condensed milk base, which the more I experiment with, the more I am thinking of as a completely seperate category of true ice creams. The textural qualities it creates are unique.
  • No additional sugar is used so all the sweetness comes from the condensed milk.
  • This should be obvious, but you will want to use the highest quality bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder you can.
  • You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this ice cream! However by all means use your machine if you want to serve it more quickly.
  • I don’t know about it being THE BEST, but the reward for effort ratio is very high. It is a simple recipe that results in great ice cream.
  • As Cenk points our do not use more than 2 tablespoons of American corn starch which is different in action from the Turkish version he used.

The Best and Creamiest Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have Recipe at Cafe Fernando

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You Will Ever Eat

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chocolate / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Standard measurements for Ice Cream Making

porcelain measuring cups

This is a work in progress but will contain all the measurements and equivalents I can think of that pertain to making ice cream.

US Standards of Measurements

Ice Cream Quantities

1 scoop of ice cream is roughly 1/2 cup.

1 serving of ice cream is the same, 1/2 cup.

There are 2 cups in a pint  or 4 scoops of ice cream.

There are 4 cups/2 pints in a quart  so 8 scoops of ice cream.

There are 6 cups/3 pints or 12 scoops in 1.5 quarts of ice cream.

There are 8 cups/ 4 pints or 16 scoops in 2 quarts of ice cream.

Tablespoons to Cups

Tbs Cups
1 1/16
2 1/8
4 1/4
8 1/2


Measurement equivalents

1 1/2 t 1/2 T
3 t 1 T
2 cups 1 pint
4 cups 1 quart
4 quarts 1 gallon

Half and Half can be approximated by combining 3 cups of whole milk with 1 cup of heavy cream.

Freezer bowl style machines vary between 1 and 2 quarts capacity.

Know your machines capacity!

Mark Bittman’s World’s Simplest Ice Cream Base

NY Times

Mark Bittman, The New York Times resident foodie and cook has come up with what has to be one of the easiest of all cooked ice cream bases. A basic corn starch base that is simple both in ingredients and in preparation. If you want to make a fast ice cream that is still better than anything you can buy at the supermarket this is the way to go. Plus as he notes in the article you can make this as low fat as you want or need to based on the type of milk or cream you use

Corn Starch Ice Cream Base

Mark Bittman's World's Simplest Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Corn Starch Ice Cream Base Makes 1 Pint
  • 2½ cups light cream, half-and-half or milk (whole or skim), or a combination. You can also substitute buttermilk or yogurt for half (1¼ cups) the mixture.
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  1. In a small bowl blend ½ cup of milk mixture with cornstarch so there are no lumps.
  2. Add the remaining 2 cups of the milk/cream mixture, the sugar and salt to a saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape in the seeds and then add the pod to the pan, if not don't add the vanilla extract now. Cook over a medium low heat until mixture begins to steam.
  3. Remove the vanilla pods and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring until it starts to thicken and just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to very low and stir for another 5 minutes or so until thick.
  4. Take off the heat, stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a bean.
  5. If the mixture has any noticeable lumps, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. If you are not using an ice cream machine with a built in freezing condenser, pour custard into a bowl and refrigerate until cold. This will usually take a couple of hours but here are some options.
  6. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Go to the original recipe for a short list of flavor variations

Corn Starch Ice Cream on the New York Times

A Video of Mr. Bittman preparing the base.

Vanilla Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Eat the Love

I found this amazing vanilla, peach and graham cracker ice cream recipe at Irvin Lin’s wonderful, award winning food blog Eat the Love. It was his contribution to potluck he attended, that as you will see, looks like it was a great afternoon. There is fair amount going on this recipe and it calls for preparing the custard and graham cracker mixes the night before. Consider this an advanced but rewarding recipe.

Vanilla, Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream Recipe at Eat the Love
Note: You have to scroll down towards the bottom of the post to get to the recicpe.

Vanilla Peach and Graham Cracker Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Peaches / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 1 hour
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Desserts for Breakfast


Pumpkin ice cream is one of my favorite fall flavors. You have to do something with all that pumpkin puree left over from pie making. The addition of cream cheese in this recipe is genius. Cream cheese not only adds its own characteristic taste which is a perfect compliment to the other flavors in this recipe; but helps improve the smoothness of any ice cream. I would consider serving it with gingersnaps as essential.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe at Desserts for Breakfast
It would be interesting to replace the sour cream with butter milk. Also an egg custard base might be very nice in this recipe. How about an egg custard base with an entire pumpkin pie chopped up and added during churning?!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Pumpkin/span> / 3/4 quart
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45 min

Burnt Orange Ice Cream

Wow this is an interesting recipe! The burnt part is a caramel made of orange juice and sugar. Tim at Lottie + Doof says this is one of best ice creams he has made and that is saying something. It uses an egg custard base which seems fitting for the caramel. There is no reason why you couldn’t try it with an egg-less base or make a vegan burnt orange frozen yogurt if so inclined. It would also be tempting to add a little Grand Marnier, but enough, first try it as Tim intended.

Burnt Orange Ice Cream on Lottie + Doof

Burnt Orange Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Oranges / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Super Simple Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Mangos are one of my favorite fruits and they make a delicious frozen yogurt flavor that is very easy to make. The hard part is driving to a store that sells Greek yogurt. If you don’t have one near you don’t despair. You can simply use regular yogurt and strain it through some cheesecloth for a couple of hours ahead of time to end up with that same dense consistency.

Super Simple Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe
  • Frozen Yogurt Base
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (preferably whole milk). Try to use a high quality brand ie. Seven Star's, Nancy's etc..
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (preferably non or low fat)
  • If you can't find Greek yogurt strain 2 cups of regular yogurt through cheese cloth (even a paper towel in a colander works) for a couple of hours to dense it up.
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Flesh of 2 Mangoes
  1. Slice flesh off of mangoes and puree in a blender or food processor.
  2. Whisk together well, all the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Process in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.


This recipe makes around a quart and a half of frozen yogurt. Feel free to cut everything in half if that’s to much.

Some complimentary flavors, alone or in combination, that should work well are:

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint

What is the Difference between Ice Cream and Custard?


Frozen custard is kind of a Gelato/Ice Cream hybrid. It combines the density and egg yolks of gelato with with the balance of more heavy cream than milk of ice cream. Thus maximizing the fat content and density of the two. In the US, by law frozen custard has to contain at least 10% milkfat like ice cream plus at least 1.4% egg yolk solids. Commercial frozen custard machines churn in a way so as not to add air to the mixture; this is very similar to gelato.  Lastly frozen custard is often served at a lower temperature so that it is softer than ice cream. This is also similar to the way gelato is served in Italy.

For the purpose of this website ‘Im going to define frozen custard as ice cream that has a roughly a proportion of 2 cups of cream for every one cup of milk and at least 5 eggs per quart.  Additionally it should be served soft right from the machine.

Here is a basic recipe based on one from the American Egg Board that I found on food.com


What is the Difference between Ice Cream and Custard?
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Frozen Custard Recipe
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. In medium saucepan, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, honey and salt.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat metal spoon and reaches at least 160 degrees.
  3. Cool quickly by setting pan in ice or cold water and stirring for few minutes.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to freeze, pour chilled custard, whipping cream and vanilla into your ice cream maker. If your machine is so equiped, use the gelato paddle and speed setting.
  6. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze to desired firmness.

What’s the Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream

serious eats

In Theory

Gelato is Italian ice cream. It is commonly described as being denser and lower in fat than American ice cream. As a result gelati are said to have more intense, less fatty tasting flavors. Let’s look at this a little more closely.



The amount of air churned into an ice cream mix while freezing plays a big part in how dense it ends up being. American ice cream has considerably more air than gelato. It is not uncommon to find supermarket ice creams that are double the volume of their pre-aerated mix. Next time you are in a super- market pick up a quart of premium ice cream in one hand and the least expensive brand in the other. The premium brand better be noticeably heavier and therefore more dense than the cheaper brand. Density is dictated by the style of churning paddle used and/or the speed it turns while churning. Traditionally commercial gelato makers churn more slowly than ice cream makers.



The amount of fat. Ice Cream has to have over 10% fat to be legally called ice cream in the US. Gelato traditionally uses more milk instead of or in a higher proportion to heavy cream than ice cream. Therefore it can be lower in butterfat. However many gelato recipes use large quantities of egg yolks. Often 10 or more per quart. Gelato with a lot of egg yolks glistens in a way most ice creams do not. Needless to say egg yolks are loaded with fat and cholesterol. I am sure this lower fat myth was invented by Italian Gelatiari to offer tourists completely unneeded encouragement and help them feel good about, the insane quantities of ice cream, excuse me gelati, they eat while on vacation in Italy. Not that I would personally know anything about this.



The reality is that the mix and proportions of ingredients in recipes that call themselves either ice cream or gelato are indistinguishable. Also as most home ice cream makers don’t come with multiple speed settings and special air minimizing paddles it is difficult, if not impossible, to make at home the kind of gelato you can eat while sitting on the Grand Canal in Venice, not that there isn’t plenty of fake gelato for sale there either.  Dont get hung up on this.  There are plenty of recipes that you can make and serve as gelato with a clear conscience and a straight face.


For the purposes of my own recipes on this website I’m going to define gelato as having roughly a proportion of two to one, milk to cream and at least four egg yolks per quart. Ice cream will have two cups of cream to one cup of milk or a one to one proportion between the two, and no eggs. Frozen custard will have a two to one cream to milk proportion and at least 4 egg yolks per quart. Understand thes are totally arbitrary rules of thumb that I’m going to use and probably ignore just as frequently.


A last note regarding texture. I think that the texture of gelato should be all about silky-smoothness. It should have a glossy surface and be served slightly warmer and softer than ice cream. Ice cream should be smooth but have a slight chew to its texture, encouraging you to bite into it. Serve it hard enough so that a scoop retains its shape. Like gelato, frozen yogurt should be smooth and served even softer.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home Cookbook

This is an outstanding collection of ice cream recipes, formulated by an one of the best ice cream chefs in the USA, specifically for home machines. If I was going to own one ice cream cookbook this would be it.

After endless experimentation, Jeni Bauer, who owns a small chain of artisanal ice cream shops in Ohio, has come up with what is probably the best texture of any ice cream intended to be made at home. It is smooth, slightly chewy, almost warm tasting and melts in your mouth perfectly. The more I make her ice creams, the more convinced I am, that they have as perfect an American style ice cream texture as we can reasonably expect to achieve at home.

Even better, unlike most other ice creams, these store beautifully in a home freezer and usually don’t get too hard to scoop once frozen. On those occasions when they do, 10 seconds in a microwave will bring them back to their full glory. Actually hers are the only ice creams that I harden in the freezer for a few hours before eating.

Based on what I have made, I would say that Jeni designs her flavors to be primarily about the taste and texture of frozen milk and cream, with the other flavors of the recipe layered on as secondary elements. So for example with her strawberry buttermilk ice cream you first clearly taste the cream, then strawberries and lastly the buttermilk adding a note of tang.

This reminds me of something I once heard Mario Batali talk about when discussing making pasta. A dish of pasta should be about the taste and texture of pasta. The sauce should be added in a small, but sufficient quantity to complement and not overwhelm the taste and texture of the pasta.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not implying that her flavors are in some way weak, they are not. Jeni has chosen to balance her combinations of ingredients in the direction of the underlying dairy flavors and to ensure they end up with an incomparable texture.

The book is very complete, containing not just great recipes but excellent and I’m sure, hard won, tips on flavors, ingredients, techniques and sources. Additionally there are recipes for toppings, ice cream sandwiches and cones. There are also recipes for fantastic, elaborate sundaes, each a tour de force of ice cream making creativity. If you served one of these at a dinner party your guests would remember it for years.

The beautiful thing to always keep in mind, is that making ice cream, even these incredible sundaes, is not like making a soufflé. None of these recipes are that hard or finicky, yet result in memorable foods that are well worth the relatively little effort they take. It is no surprise to me that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home Cookbook won a James Beard cookbook award. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home Cookbook
Bob ClarkJan 1.
The one ice cream cookbook to own.

Mario Batali Molto Gusto Cookbook

This is the cookbook that contains the recipe for my all time favorite gelato and which launched my ice cream and gelato making obsession. All of Mario’s cookbooks are excellent and contain straightforward recipes that can be relied on to result in great meals. This one is well named Easy Italian Cooking, as contains a number of very simple, but high flavor recipes that have been chosen because they are particularly easy and foolproof. You are the perfect customer for this cookbook If you like to cook and but have limited time for it. It also makes a great gift for a young cook just getting started making Italian food.

Gelato Recipes in the book

  • Caramel
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Hazelnut Stracciatella
  • Milk Chocolate Chip
  • Olive Oil
  • Ricotta
  • Strawberry
  • Sweet Corn

Check it out on Amazon: Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking

Mario Batali Molto Gusto Cookbook
Bob ClarkJan 1.
Excellent Italian Cookbook with equally excellent gelato recipes

Olive Oil Gelato

This is the gelato that forced me into making my own ice cream. I was lucky enough to have lived in Brooklyn for a number of years. In case you live under a rock and don’t know this, New York City has become Disneyland for adults. For foodies, with its over 20,000 restaurants, it is a paradise. While I was there Mario Batali opened a wine bar and restaurant named Otto. It is kind of his pizza joint. I’m a big fan of Marios. I think his cookbooks are indespensible for cooking Italian food at home. And Babbo, for a long time his flagship restaurant, is a source of many fond memories of wonderful meals at the bar.

When Mario opened Otto I went to check it out. I sat at the bar and ordered what the bartender told me to. Mario’s New York restaurants have great staff and can almost always be counted on for good advice. The wine was very good and very reasonably priced, another signature feature of his restaurants. When it came time for dessert the bartender suggested a dish of olive oil gelato.

I thought he was having fun with me since this was obviously impossible but I went along with the gag and said, “sure”! Honestly I thought he was kidding and would soon be back with a real suggestion. Well a few minutes later a tall ice cream glass filled with green-yellow gelato was placed in front of me. In case there was any doubt about the ingredients, sea salt and olive oil were drizzled on top.

Well it was the most delicious gelato I had ever eaten and still is. Extremely smooth and creamy due to the 10 egg yolks and 1/4 cup of high quality olive oil that are the heart of the recipe. The flavor is a kind of super french (eggy) vanilla with a strong note of olive oil, but really that description doesn’t do it justice at all. You have to make it to experience just how incredible it is.

After I left New York this gelato was one of the things for which I would occasionally get serious but unresolvable cravings. One day at a bookstore I happened to pick up the latest Batali cookbook and while flipping through it found the recipe. Hallelujah! Thus began my adventures in ice cream making and here we are today.


The one recipe on this website that would be part of my last meal. What are you waiting for? Make it NOW. I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Olive Oil Gelato
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Olive Oil Gelato based almost entirely from Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali It makes 1.5 quarts, about 12 servings. The recipe can be halved. I strongly suggest you eat it out of your ice cream maker or after just a few hours of freezer hardening. Gelato does not store well for long periods. Use the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil and the freshest eggs you can.
  • 3½ cups of Milk
  • 1 cup of Heavy Cream
  • ½ vanilla bean split or 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling when serving.
  • flaky sea salt for serving
  • Ice bath. Bowl full of ice cubes big enough to fit another heatproof bowl that can comfortable hold your cooked custard.
  1. Whisk the egg yolks, ¼ cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium, heat proof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine cream and milk in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove from heat.
  3. If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean with a paring knife and add them to the hot milk. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. If you are using vanilla extract skip this step as it gets added latter in the recipe.
  4. Add ¾ cup of sugar to the milk and heat just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Very gradually whisk 1 cup of the milk mixture into the eggs.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and cook stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon, until the mixture reaches 185° F. on an accurate instant read thermometer. If you don't have an instant read thermometer use you can tell the custard is ready if when you coat the back of a spoon with the mixture and run you figure across it, the track left by your finger doesn't get filled in by surrounding mixture. I urge you to watch this excellent video on tempering eggs in egg custard to really understand the cooking process. Note: 185° F is a good 15 degrees higher than most people recommend and very close to that scrambled egg line. If you don't have a fast and accurate instant read thermometer, I would suggest taking it off the burner once it is over 170° F.
  7. Immediately strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl (No, not the one you used above!). It helps a little if you chill the bowl in the freezer first. If you are using the vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean stir it in now.
  8. Place this bowl into an ice bath and leave it there until the mixture gets cold. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours preferably overnight. A couple of notes on this. If you don't want to wait 6 hours, don't. I'm just not convinced you are going to taste a big difference in flavor. Also a faster if slightly messier way of cooling down the mix is to pour it into a large Ziploc bag and immerse that in the ice bath. You will end up with a very cold mix in less than 30 minutes.
  9. Freeze the custard in your gelato (ice cream) maker according to manufacturer instructions. Add in the olive oil about half way into the process.
  10. Pack into a freezer container and place in your freezer for at least one hour. If you actually do this, wait an hour before eating some that is, you are insane.
  11. Gelato is best served the day it is made.
  12. Sprinkle each serving with a very little bit of flaky sea salt and drizzle with a line or two of super high grade extra-virgin olive oil.

How to Buy the Best Ice Cream Maker

What features make a great ice cream maker?

An ice cream maker is a pretty simple machine that only has to do one thing well. Stir a frozen dessert mixture at a consistently cold temperature and a constant speed until it has thickened and frozen to the consistency you want. You would think you could buy a machine that can do this for $20. Well you can’t. Here are the major things to look for:

A Consistent Freezing Temperature

If your ice cream machine doesn’t get and stay cold enough your mixture will never thicken and freeze into ice cream. If the unit gets to cold you risk snapping the paddle or overheating the motor.

A Strong Motor

As ice cream thickens it get harder to stir. A strong motor is needed to keep the paddle turning without straining itself and overheating.

A Strong Paddle

A sadly not uncommon feature in cheap ice cream makers is a a flimsy plastic paddle that can break easily if the ice cream mixture freezes to hard before the machine is turned off. With better machines you normally don’t have to worry about this.

Reasonably Quiet

Heavy motors can mean loud motors or gearing. No ice cream maker is going to be dead silent but neither should you have to live with an airplane engine in your kitchen. If you are really sensitive to loud noises, home ice cream making may not be for you. On the bright side a good ice cream maker usually only takes 20 – 30 minutes to do its job.

Easy to Clean Up

This isn’t normally an issue. With most current models all the parts (bowl, paddle) can be removed from the main unit and washed separately. With some vintage machines the bowls couldn’t be removed and they are a bit of a pain to clean. My personal Simac il Gelataio The Ice Cream Man is like this but I love the thing and gladly put up it.

Easy to Store

If you are like me you have to many kitchen gadgets and minor appliances as it is. In all honesty I couldn’t care less how difficult something like this is to store but I know I’m unusual in this regard.

Beautiful Design

This may or may not matter to you. I am a big fan of industrial design, especially vintage design and derive a lot of pleasure from how well a machine is designed and made. That’s why I own a vintage ice cream maker and why I will be reviewing them. Don’t worry there are plenty of current made units that are beautifully designed and constructed.

Auto Shut Off

This feature prevents a unit from self-destructing if the dessert mixture you are making freezes to a consistency that’s to hard. I can’t think of a unit that doesn’t come with this. However a not uncommon problem with ice cream makers is auto shut off devices that are either defective or to sensitive and end up turning off the unit before the mixture is finished freezing. By the way it’s my personal opinion that you shouldn’t rely on this or a timer to turn off your machine. After 20 minutes or so you should taste and choose the consistency you are looking for.

Types of Ice Cream Makers

There are three primary types of ice cream makers.

Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker

  • This was your grandmother’s (great-grandmother’s, Thomas Jefferson’s ?!) ice cream maker. Unless one of the following describes you:
  • Enjoy messy, repetitive, heavy labor.
  • Have a very, very strong commitment to energy conservation.
  • Really want to make ice cream at home but can’t afford an electric ice cream maker
  • Collect antique ice cream makers for their own sake.

You can forget about these. At least I will be on this website. If you beg to differ please post a comment or drop me an email and I will happily post your dissent.

Freezer Canister

This is currently the most commonly sold type of electric ice cream maker. It’s not hard to understand why. They are the most inexpensive, and sell new for between $20 and $100. With a freezer canister ice cream machine, the bowl (canister) that the ice cream mixture is processed in, contains a liquid inside its walls that freezes after it is stored in your freezer for at least 24 hours. This frozen bowl is what your ice cream is actually made in.

I will keep at least one current review for this type of machine on the site in order to give people an entry point into ice cream making. Honestly my personal experience with them has been mostly bad. But unless you luck into an incredible deal for a used unit with built in freezer, they are the only game in town for under a hundred dollars. NEVER buy one of these used unless you know the person selling it very well and it has been used in the last month or two. Click here for a review of our current favorite freezer canister ice cream maker.

Real Ice Cream Machines

Ta-da! These are ice cream makers that have their own built in freezer for chilling your ice cream mix while churning it. Let me be subtle here, YOU WANT ONE OF THESE! They work, (Some better than others of course, hence the reviews) plain and simple. There are two problems with them. They are expensive, almost always over $200. They are heavy, 30 lbs. and up. Ideally you will be able to store yours close to where you plan to work with it.

There are variations of these makers I plan to look at for fun on the site: vintage, commercial, laboratory grade mixers and freezers but mostly the reviews will be about readily available high end consumer models.

Click her for a review of our current favorite ice cream maker.

Jeni Britton Bauer’s Ice Cream Base

To make great ice cream you need to start with a great base recipe that you can then build on with additional flavors. I first read about Ms Bauer’s in Saveur magazine and her base is one that I use regularly. I was put off from trying it for a while because of her use of cornstarch and (horrors!) corn syrup. Boy was that a huge mistake! For one thing the light corn syrup she uses is not the same as the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas. Most importantly, for philadelphia-style, eggless bases, it doesn’t get any better than this one.

The most amazing distinguishing quality of Jeni’s base is its texture. Smooth, grain free and slightly chewy, with an inherent warmth that allows you to bite into it without it being so cold as to hurt your teeth. And it melts in your mouth in that perfect lush wave of dairy creaminess which is what ice cream is all about. Her’s are the only ice creams I make that I prefer eating after hardening for a few hours in my freezer, as opposed to right out of the ice cream maker. That time and additional freezing very noticeably locks in the texture. Unlike most homemade ice creams this recipe stores well and scoops out like a dream.

No ice cream recipe is for everyone (what fun would that be?) so let me point out a few aspects that I have read people having i