Cool down with ice cream

July 2, 2013 

Create some fun by gathering the family together to make homemade ice cream.

SPECIAL TO SIERRA STAR — Special to Sierra Star

Sure, it's nice to go to an ice-cream parlor and order your favorite ice cream treat, but it's also nice to get the family together for some homemade ice cream once in a while. Whether you use the old-fashioned type of ice cream maker that you have to hand crank, or you use one that is electric and does the work for you, the end result is what everyone's waiting for.

I have a hand-crank one, and must admit that since my sons have "flown the coop" I rarely use the ice cream maker. We used to tell the kids that anyone who expected to get some ice cream was required to put in their time turning the paddles! They never questioned or challenged that rule, so I guess they figured that was just part of life.

Since most of us like fresh fruit as well as ice cream, I thought it would be fun to combine the two favorites for our weekly food adventure. Get the cream, sugar and fruit and let's get that ice cream maker going!

Vanilla ice cream with berries

I am not sure why this recipe calls for reduced-fat milk and heavy cream, too!

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups 2 percent reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 recipe mixed berry blend (recipe follows)
  1. Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until frothy. Stir together sugar, flour and salt until well blended. Gradually add sugar mixture to eggs, beating until thickened. Gradually add milk, beating until blended.
  2. Cook egg mixture in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 15 to 20 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 170. (Mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon.)
  3. Fill a large bowl or pan with ice; place Dutch oven in ice (or transfer hot mixture to a stainless steel or bowl), and stir occasionally 10 to 15 minutes until custard is completely cool. Transfer mixture to an airtight container; cover and chill 8 hours. Stir in whipping cream, vanilla, and berry blend.
  4. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1-gallon ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and freezing times will vary.) Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Berry blend

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor 30 to 45 seconds.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; cover and chill at least 2 hours. Makes about 4 cups.

Fresh peach ice cream

  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen peaches, peeled if preferred
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar (to be divided)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons peach brandy
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks
  1. In a bowl combine peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and peach brandy. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Remove peach mixture from refrigerator and drain juice into a cup. Return peaches to refrigerator.
  2. In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, heavy cream, milk and vanilla. Bring just to a boil.
  3. In bowl, whisk egg yolks. While whisking, stream in about 1/3 of the hot cream mixture. Then return to the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan and while whisking, stream in the egg yolk-cream mixture. (What you are doing is called tempering.) Return mixture to the heat and stir constantly. Mixture will thicken as it returns to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl set over ice. Add the reserved peach juice.
  5. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream begins to stiffen, when very close to done, add the peaches and continue to freeze until done. Makes 1 quart.

Blackberry cheesecake ice cream

Start by placing the mixing bowl portion of your ice cream maker into the freezer while you prepare (you will keep it in there overnight).

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) softened cream cheese
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. In a large saucepan, stir together 3 cups sugar, pudding mix, salt and whole milk. Bring mixture to a medium boil. Stirring constantly, keep it at a medium boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Take 1 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk it into the egg mixture. Then take the egg mixture and whisk it into the milk and pudding in the saucepan, thus tempering the eggs so they will blend smoothly rather than cook like scrambled eggs. Return to heat and bring to medium boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk the softened cream cheese into the mixture. Cool quickly by placing the mixture (in a bowl) over a bed of ice. Place plastic wrap over the surface to prevent it from forming a skin.
  5. In another bowl, mix the blackberries and heavy whipping cream. Chill both bowls overnight.
  6. Next morning, stir the berries and cream into the custard mixture. Place this into the chilled ice cream maker bowl and prepare according to the manufacturer's directions.

Fresh fruit ice cream

This recipe requires no cooking and no eggs.

  • 3 cups (1 1/2 pints) half-and-half
  • 1 can (14-oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pureed or mashed fresh fruit, such as peaches, strawberries, bananas and raspberries
  • Food coloring (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients in ice cream freezer container; mix well.
  2. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

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