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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Home Churned Vanilla Ice Cream

Some of my favorite memories of summer involved hand cranking, homemade ice cream. All the kids in the family would take turns turning the crank until Mom said the ice cream felt ready. She had a knack for knowing when it was just perfect.

Today there are a lot of electric models on the market. Those are fine too. But, the old hand crank ice cream models are the most fun especially if you have a lot of kids around and full of energy. Put the kids in charge of the ice cream, and they’ll be happily busy for quite a while.

Ice and Rock Salt

No matter what type of ice cream churn you’re using, you need lots of ice and rock salt. Typically I buy two large bags of ice. I keep those in the cooler and add as needed. On a cool day, you’ll use less ice. On a hot day, you’ll use more ice.

The smaller ice chunks work better than cubes from the freezer, though you can use your own ice cubes. You’ll just need to shake and poke a bit to keep it from bogging down the churn.

The rock salt is not table salt. It’s a chunky type salt sold in boxes (looks a bit like old-fashioned rock candy). Around here, rock salt is usually with the home canning supplies. Check at the front of the grocery if you don’t see it. They usually always have some tucked away somewhere.

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Recipe

My family has tried loads of homemade ice cream recipes over the years, but we always come back to this one.

•           5-6 medium eggs (beaten)
•           2 cups sugar
•           5-6 cups milk
•           1 pint half and half (a product in a carton in the milk section)
•           1 pint heavy cream
•           ¼ tsp salt
•           2 ¼ T vanilla flavoring

Combine the eggs and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add milk, half and half, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla. Again, stir to get the sugar evenly mixed.

Pour into ice cream barrel or machine. Check directions. Churn as indicated.

Tips for Homemade Ice Cream Making

         Be sure to add more ice and rock salt as you go along. There’s no science to this. Just keep an eye on the ice cream bucket and add when the level drops.
         Pour off extra water as needed. Many of the churns have a hole for letting out water. Do remember that the ice cream churn water is loaded with salt, so do not pour it on your lawn or flowers. Salt can kill your plants.
         Put a towel over the top and let the ice cream sit for a half hour or so after the ice cream is ready. This allows the ice cream to firm up and means that it won’t melt so fast when you’re trying to eat it.
         Wipe down the top of the ice cream container before opening. You don’t want any salt or salt water dripping in the ice cream. Salt is not a good topping for ice cream.
         If you do like extras in your ice cream, then you can add those either before or after churning. I find that pieces of fruit (like strawberry) tend to freeze and taste chunky and icy. So, I add those items right before serving. Some people prefer the toppings churned in. It’s fine either way.
         You can freeze the homemade ice cream, but it does taste better fresh.

If you love ice cream, also check out Zip Lock Baggie Ice Cream. No churn needed. Just put the ingredients in a zip lock bag and shake away.


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