finished ice cream will be creamy and delicious. Serve
as is or gild that lily with berries or other
your once-in-a-lifetime dream cruise aboard the Good Ship
Lollipop come to a crashing halt on the rock candy cliffs of
some lonely dessert island, wouldnít it be great to whip
up a little stash of ice cream? Fear not, dauntless
traveler, today we make ice cream without a net. And by
"net," of course, I mean "ice cream
YOU NEED TO LEARN THIS
it: Your love for ice cream burns with the heat of a
thousand suns. Why, the last time one of your smart aleck
friends snarked, "If you love ice cream so much, why
donít you marry it?" didnít you call your lawyer to
see if it was legal yet in your state?
same time, youíre well aware that, in a cramped kitchen
such as yours, single-use items like the garlic press, the
electric can opener and the ice cream maker are just not
worth the space. What to do, what to do?
tell you what to do: Keep reading.
STEPS YOU TAKE
turns out, there are a number of ways to produce a delicious
frozen confection at home without the use of special
machinery or newfangled contraptions. Before we get to a
couple of them, though, letís talk about what ice cream
is, not because you donít know, but because perhaps youíve
never really thought about why we make it the way we do and
what happens when itís made.
quick note: When I talk about making ice cream, I mean ó
for lack of a better phrase ó "real" ice cream,
the kind thatís made from nothing more than actual cream,
a bit of sugar and a handful of quality flavoring
ingredients. None of that high fructose corn syrup or
carrageenan that you find in most of your store-bought
then, that youíre only using the aforementioned "good
quality ingredients," hereís how ice cream
traditionally is made. After combining ingredients, the
cold, liquid mixture (called the "base") is
churned in a machine whose parts are icy cold. The "icy
cold" part allows the creamy base to freeze from liquid
to solid. The churning mixes air into it, increasing the
volume, lightening the mouthfeel and softening the finished
product, so you donít end up with an unscoopable ó
albeit tasty ó giant white ice cube.
hereís a boring bonus fact about that air: The phrase
"overrun" refers to the amount of air thatís
churned into ice cream. If you start with 1 gallon of base,
for example, and you churn into it enough air to end up with
2 gallons of ice cream, thatís called a 100 percent
overrun. Trot that one out next time thereís a
conversational lull at the cocktail party.
out the recipe below, and youíll see how we get air into
the mixture using whipped cream.)
couple of methods for homemade ice cream without the
machine, both of which are predicated on moving the base
across an ice cold surface, thereby freezing it into ice
idea is to put the base in a container and seal that
container inside another, larger container along with some
salted ice (more on salted ice in a minute). You can use two
plastic bags (one that is pint- or quart-sized, the other
quart- or gallon-sized). Or you can use two different-sized
coffee cans or plastic food storage containers. Anything
that can be sealed securely and will give you plenty of room
for ice will work.
of your containers, seal the ice cream base along with any
flavoring ingredients in the smaller one, and place it
inside the larger. Add enough salted ice to the larger
container to fill completely. (You want about 1/2 cup coarse
kosher salt or table salt per 4 to 6 cups of ice.) Seal the
larger container, then shake them together until the base
freezes into ice cream ó often in 5 minutes or so. Open
the small container, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. (If
the ice cream hasnít set, shake some more. Or put it in
the freezer until set.)
a heavy, shallow pan or bowl or a smooth slab of marble (you
have a large, smooth slab of marble lying around, donít
you?) in your freezer for several hours or overnight, enough
to be colder than Ayn Randís heart. Pour your base and
your flavoring ingredients onto the surface, then set it
back in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, just enough for it
to start to freeze on the edges. Take it out, and use a
spatula to scrape it over onto itself several times. You can
also use a whisk or, if youíre really crazy, an electric
smaller amounts of base, the surface will be cold enough to
continue freezing it while you mix and you can get ice cream
in just a few minutes. For larger amounts, youíll need to
mix it a few minutes, then put it back in the freezer for 20
minutes again to continue freezing. Either way, though, youíll
soon enough have what appears to be ó and, more important,
tastes exactly like, because thatís what it is ó
delicious ice cream that you made yourself.
we salt the ice when we make ice cream?
of all, regular tap water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
That means ice water, because itís a mixture of ice and
water, is right around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the
temperature at which freezing water turns to ice and,
consequently, thawing ice turns back into water.
water, on the other hand, wonít freeze until it reaches a
much lower temperature; the more salt, the colder the
temperature needed to freeze the water.
assume youíve added enough salt to make the water freeze
at 20 degrees F ó no problem in a home freezer thatís
probably about 0 degrees F. Now, if you take that ice out of
the freezer, when it gets back to 20 degrees, itíll melt
back into water. Regular ice, on the other hand, wonít
turn back into water until it reaches 32 degrees. And thatís
why salted ice water (or icy salt water) is always colder
than regular water. Dig?
youíre making ice cream, that means that the colder the
ice water, the faster our base is going to freeze into our
yummy, yummy dessert.
ICE CREAM BASE
15 minutes, plus freezing time
about 1 pint (4 servings)
whipped cream to our custard gets air into the base, making
a lighter, easily scoopable final product.
cups heavy cream
teaspoons vanilla, optional
the custard, whisk yolks and sugar together until well
combined; reserve. Heat 1 cup cream to a simmer in a
heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat.
Temper the cream into the yolk mixture a tablespoon at a
time until 5 ounces are mixed in. Whisk yolk/cream mixture
back into remaining warm cream. Heat gently, stirring
constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 1/2 minutes.
Whisk in optional vanilla, then remove from heat; chill in
freezer until very cold but not frozen.
While custard chills, whip remaining 1/2 cup cream to soft
When custard is cold, fold in whipped cream with a spatula.
information per serving: 458 calories, 37 g fat, 22 g
saturated fat, 286 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates, 28 g
sugar, 5 g protein, 33 mg sodium, 0 g fiber
ON A THEME
lighter ice cream, make custard with 1 cup whole milk or
half-and-half before proceeding with the folding in of the
of making custard, substitute one can of sweetened condensed
milk. Chill and fold in whipped cream as above.
much flavoring ingredients as you like, and taste as you go:
chocolate chips or syrup, macerated berries, etc.