We eat a lot of ice cream in our house. If it came down to baked goods or ice cream? Three of the four people I live with would say “GOODBYE CAKE!” without a second thought. Several months ago I bought my first ice cream maker, I agonized over the purchase because I wasn’t sure if I would actually use it, I was worried it would just be another appliance taking up space and I had terrible memories of ice, rock salt and rusting ice cream bowls from my childhood. Lucky for me I found an ice cream maker attachment that hooks up to an existing appliance (my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer) and it works like a dream. No ice, no salt, no rust — only perfect ice cream every single time. (The only downside is the bowl has to freeze for at least 15 hours before it can be used … 15 hours is a long time to wait when you want ice cream now.)
I am an expert with standard issue vanilla. There was a bit of a hiccup with my first batch of chocolate and over the summer I made a fresh peach ice cream that caused me to weep tears of joy. Still not convinced to make your own ice cream? Let me see if I can convince you of the joys and simplicities of homemade ice cream and inspire you with a few new recipes.
It tastes better. 1 of 5
I love cookies and cream, but I prefer my cookies a little more crushed and mixed in compared to what's available commercially. When it comes to peanut butter cup? Those hunks of candy should still be recognizable and take effort to chew. Whatever your preferences are, it's much easier to control the texture, flavor and mix-ins when you're the one in charge.
Recipe to Try: Fresh Peach Ice Cream
No one else likes peaches so I got this batch all to myself. It was divine. If you have the time, scrape and soak half a vanilla bean in the milk and cream for a few hours before making it. (Remove the vanilla bean before mixing.)
You know EXACTLY what’s in it. 2 of 5
You're the one buying and mixing the ingredients, meaning if you want it to be all organic? Buy all organic ingredients. If you want it to be slightly lower fat? Buy lower fat ingredients. There's something magical about making something absolutely delicious with only cream, milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Recipe to Try: The End All Be all Vanilla Base
Seriously, add anything to this vanilla base and it will become your new favorite. Or just eat it all by itself, it is that good. (Bonus if you can use a vanilla bean instead of extract.)
You can accommodate food allergies. 3 of 5
Maybe you love the idea of Rocky Road but are allergic to nuts. Perhaps your child loves strawberry ice cream but can't have artificial food dye. Perhaps you're working around a dairy or egg allergy and the only store bought options are either too boring or way overpriced.
Learning to make your own can help keep your family safe as well as make you very popular in food allergy circles where treat options are limited.
Recipe to Try: Chocolate Bourbon Ice Cream (Dairy Free)
While the recipe calls for a specific caramel, I'm ready to pour in homemade caramel sauce just so I can eat this. I'm not even lactose intolerant and it still looks amazing.
Photo Credit (with permission): Twinkle VanWinkle
It’s cheaper. 4 of 5
So it may not be cheaper than the really cheap ice cream, but have you tried that stuff? Ew. I'll pass, thank you. When you make your own ice cream it comes out like those super premium and expensive pints of ice cream rather than the cheaply made half gallons. When you do the math and realize how much you can make for not a lot of money, there's no reason to every buy cheap ice cream again.
Recipe to Try: Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Egg Free!)
Make sure to let the raspberries really break down in the sugar with this recipe, my husband didn't like the bits of frozen berry (I was in a hurry.) Also, use fresh lemon juice like she suggests, it adds a really nice flavor to the base.
Photo Credit (with permission): Lindsey Johnson
The possibilities are endless. 5 of 5
When I was in Michigan this month I tried a sweet corn blueberry ice cream. I've also had cereal milk ice cream as well as raspberry jalapeno sorbet (which I DO NOT endorse, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of the endless possibilities.) Chances are you could take any food you love and recreate it in ice cream. (I saw a recipe for creme brulee ice cream last week, OH YES I WILL, thank you very much.)
The Recipe to Try: Cereal Milk Ice Cream
Curious about cereal milk ice cream? My friend Emily made it with great success and you can learn all about it here!
Photo Credit: Emily Elling
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.