Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July is National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month so take your family out to the ice cream parlor for a cool summer treat or make your own homemade ice cream!

When I was growing up we always made homemade ice cream during the summer especially on the Fourth of July or when we had a family gathering. We had a wood hand crank type ice cream maker. After putting the sweet cream mixture in the central metal canister and adding the paddle and lid, we placed crushed ice and ice cream salt around the canister in the wood bucket. Then my Dad would turn the handle which mixed the cream and rotated the metal canister until the ice cream froze. At first the handle turned easily but as the mixture chilled and thickened it became more difficult to turn. Of course, all the kids had to take a turn at turning the crank; that was part of the fun of making homemade ice cream.

After a while the handle wouldn't turn any more because the ice cream was frozen. Then my Dad would pack the freezer with ice and cover it with a burlap bag to keep it cold. We always made vanilla ice cream and then topped it with fresh strawberries or peaches or hot fudge.

Today the self freeze machines make it easy and quick to make homemade ice cream anytime of the year. We use an electric plastic bucket ice cream maker and an automatic freezer bowl ice cream maker.

The electric plastic bucket ice cream maker is similar to the wood hand crank maker except there is no hand crank. The cream mixture goes in the metal canister and then crushed ice and ice cream salt are layered and packed into the plastic bucket. Then you plug in the ice cream maker and the canister turns automatically and stops when the ice cream is frozen, approximately half an hour.

The automatic freezer bowl ice cream maker requires no ice or salt to make ice cream. You place the bowl in the freezer about 24 hours before you plan to make ice cream or if you have room in your freezer keep the bowl there so you can make ice cream whenever your heart desires. The bowl contains a cooling liquid between a double insulated wall that freezes. Mix up your ice cream mixture and chill several hours. Place the frozen bowl on the base, put the mixing arm in the freezer bowl, add the lid, and turn on the switch so that the bowl begins to turn. Then pour the chilled ingredients through the spout on the top of the ice cream maker. You can see the ice cream as it spins and freezes, 20 to 30 minutes. You can make ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet with this ice cream maker.

Scoop and eat the soft creamy ice cream right from the maker or freeze for a firmer more solid ice cream. Homemade vanilla ice cream makes yummy root beer floats.

Some ice creams are made with custards, that is, liquid cooked with an egg yolk-sugar mixture. Adding egg yolks enhances the smooth texture of a custard; cooking the egg yolks makes them ultra-safe. But many recipes don't require eggs.

We used to make ice cream using fresh eggs as ingredients but today using fresh uncooked eggs is not recommended because they might not be safe to eat raw.

Vanilla ice cream is still the most popular flavor. Other favorites are chocolate, strawberry, cookies 'n' cream, butter pecan, peach, and coconut.

Our Wood Bucket Hand Crank Ice Cream Maker looked similar to this but was not electric and had a crank type handle. It also looked more rustic.

Electric Plastic Bucket Ice Cream Maker

Automatic Freezer Bowl Ice Cream Maker

Vanilla Ice Cream

3/4 C. sugar
5 egg yolks
1 C. half and half
2 C. heavy cream
2 teaspoons Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract or Watkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla Extract
dash of salt

Add sugar and egg yolks to a pan and blend well. Add the half and half. Over low heat cook the mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. (You can also use a double boiler.) Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla, and a dash of salt. Chill thoroughly.

Transfer the cream mixture to your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.

Chocolate Ice Cream

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 egg
1 C. half and half
3/4 C. sugar
1 t. Watkins Vanilla Extract
3 C. heavy cream

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Keep warm.

Put the egg, half and half and sugar into a blender. Blend until the sugar is dissolved and smooth.

Whisk this into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add heavy cream and vanilla.

Chill thoroughly. Transfer to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Makes one quart.

Chocolate Almond Ice Cream

4 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 C. sugar
2 C. half and half
1 1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. cocoa powder sifted
1 1/2 t. Watkins Vanilla Extract
1/2 t. Watkins Almond Extract
3/4 C. toasted almonds

Add sugar to the beaten egg yolks and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Scald the milk and half and half.

Slowly add 1 C. of the milk to the egg mixture. Then, add the egg mixture back to the milk mixture. Stir in cocoa, heat just to steaming. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

Chill for 4 hours. Pour into freezer container. Add toasted almonds. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to freeze the ice cream.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 pt. strawberries, pureed
1 C. sugar
1 large egg
1 C. half and half
1 t. Watkins Vanilla Extract
3 C. heavy cream

Puree the strawberries in a blender. Mix sugar, egg and half and half in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the strawberries and mix.

Add the vanilla and heavy cream. Whisk it in and blend well. Chill thoroughly.

Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Makes one quart.

Oreo Mint Ice Cream

2/3 C. coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. heavy cream
1 C. milk
2 t. Watkins Peppermint Extract

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Whisk in the sugar and beat until dissolved.

Heat the cream and milk until it just begins to steam. Do not boil. Slowly add 1 C. of the cream to the egg mixture. Add the eggs to the pan with the rest of the cream. Blend well and cook for 1 minute. Add the peppermint extract.

Chill for 4 hours. Pour mixture into the freezer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Just before the ice cream is done, add the crushed cookies. Makes one quart.

Lemon Velvet Ice Cream

2 1/2 C. heavy cream
2 1/2 C. half and half
1 C. fresh lemon juice
1 t. Watkins Lemon Extract
2 C. sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Chill well.

Transfer the mixture to your ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Mkes 15 1/2 cup servings

Rocky Road Ice Cream

1/3 C. cocoa
1 C. sugar
2 C. milk
1 t. Watkins Vanilla Extract
2 C. heavy cream
dash of salt
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1 oz. square semisweet chocolate
1/2 C. almonds or pecans

In a large saucepan, combine cocoa and sugar. Whisk in milk gradually. Stir over low heat until sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Add vanilla, salt and heavy cream to cooled mixture.

Grate chocolate. Stir chocolate, marshmallows and nuts into cocoa mixture.

Pour into ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Stir well after freezing to make sure that nuts and marshmallows are evenly distributed.


  • Put your ice cream canister in the freezer 24 hours before you plan to make ice cream.

  • Have the ice cream mixture as cold as possible when you put it in the canister. If it is not cold enough, the water in the milk separates and ice crystals form.

  • Make your ice cream base the day before. The colder it is when you get ready to freeze it the better.

  • Add your favorite cookies, nuts, fruit, or flavorings.

Did you know?

  • The first ice cream parlor opened in America in 1776 in New York City.

  • Dolly Madison served ice cream at the second inaugural ball in 1812.

  • The ice cream cone was patented in 1903 by Italo Marchiony. He was a ice cream vendor on Wall Street and didn't have enough dishes to keep up with demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor.

No comments :