Celebration is in order because this Sunday, July 16th, is National Ice Cream Day! If you were looking for an excuse to indulge in your favorite frozen treats during the hottest time of summer, now you have it! How can you NOT enjoy a bowl of ice cream on this specially recognized day??
I love ice cream, and I have a summer birthday. My thoughtful and generous sister, Jenny, had the brilliant idea this year to gift me an ice cream maker for my special day. This is a gift I wouldn’t have considered getting for myself (ice cream is inexpensive and delicious when purchased at the grocery store), but I’m having so much fun with my new toy! My daughters are pretty thrilled about it too.
Jenny and her family gave me a Cuisinart 2-quart frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream maker (like this one). It holds a lot of ice cream, and it’s simple to use. Can’t beat that! The manual includes a number of recipes, and if I work my way through all the ones I find tempting, I’ll be making ice cream and other frozen treats well into the fall (perfect time to try the pumpkin pie ice cream!).
I won’t mention how many batches of homemade ice cream I’ve made so far this summer, but I’m going to share three recipes that I’ve loved and will be making again . . . and again.
Jenny’s Strawberry Ice Cream (with too many strawberries)
Along with the ice cream maker, Jenny shared her perfected homemade strawberry ice cream recipe with me. Thanks, Sis!
- 3 cups strawberries, diced
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 1/4 cups 1% milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan and cook until strawberries are tender. Mash strawberries in the pan to get rid of large chunks and drain off some of the juice. Set aside to cool, refrigerating if time allows. In a large bowl, whisk together cream, milk, and sugar. Add the strawberries (including remaining juice) and vanilla. Pour into ice cream freezer and churn according to machine’s instructions. Makes 2 quarts.
I’m going to confess that I “messed up” and prepared way too many strawberries (I have a problem reading recipes….) I had plans to save half for a future batch of ice cream, but in my rush to get the ice cream churning so my girls and I could indulge after lunch, I dumped all the strawberries into the milk mixture. I only remembered this once the ice cream began to flow out of the top of the machine half-way through the process. In the end, I spent more time cleaning up my mess than it took the ice cream to churn, but it was a gloriously delicious mess! The top part was soft, like a milkshake — the best strawberry milkshake I’ve ever had! The bottom part was perfect strawberry ice cream.
One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility; substitute the fruit of your choice for the strawberries and change up the proportion of cream to milk to suit your taste. Jenny recommends a frozen berry blend for a beautiful purple ice cream that feels like an extra-special treat.
As for the cream-to-milk ratio, I really like a softer homemade ice cream straight from the ice cream maker, so more milk is suitable. However, that makes for an icier treat once frozen solid. (That’s assuming you stop yourself from consuming the entire batch and you have anything left over to freeze.)
On to the next delicious recipe…
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
This is based on a recipe from the Cuisinart user manual, but I changed up some measurements.
- 1 1/8 cups peanut butter (not natural – use the sweetened stuff for the best flavor)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add about half the milk, and mix until sugar is dissolved. (You can use a hand mixer for this, if you prefer.) Stir in the remaining milk, heavy cream and vanilla. Transfer to ice cream maker and churn according to your machine’s instructions. Makes 2 quarts.
This ice cream was so delicious and so easy to make. It’s just a matter of stirring together a few ingredients and turning on the machine. It’s a good thing I have to leave my machine’s freezer bowl in the freezer for about a day before it’s ready to use; otherwise, I would be too tempted to whip up a batch of this ice cream on a whim!
And now for my latest obsession…
Chocolate Ice Cream
I found this recipe online and made a variation of it based on which ingredients I had on hand and what appealed to me. I was looking for a recipe that got rave reviews and that did not include eggs. This was so creamy and full of flavor!
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir the cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons of milk in a small dish and set aside. Pour the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Combine the remaining milk with cream, sugars, and molasses in a 4-quart sauce pan. Heat on medium-high until mixture is boiling. Whisk in the cocoa powder and continue boiling for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is slightly thickened. Gradually pour the hot mixture over the chocolate chips and whisk together. Add the salt and continue stirring until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool the mixture in an ice bath, stirring occasionally, and refrigerate. Once ready to make the ice cream, pour the mixture into the frozen canister and churn according to machine’s instructions. Makes 1 quart.
Chocolate ice cream has never been my
drug treat of choice, but this recipe may have won me over. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the rest of the afternoon, and I was so sad when I finished it off the next day (I didn’t eat the quart myself, though I could have — we shared with friends!) It stayed creamy and scoop-able once frozen. I have nothing negative to say about this ice cream. I’m already planning a repeat!
So, these are my favorites from my week (err, summer) of ice cream making. Make plans to treat your family in honor of National Ice Cream Day! I’m putting my freezer bowl back in the freezer, so I’m ready for another creamy creation. Share your favorite frozen treat recipes with me in the comments!