Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Peach Ice Cream Recipe & How to use a Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker

We were finally able to make homemade ice cream this past weekend! After finding our vintage hand-crank ice cream maker, then cleaning the rust out, and getting everything except the rock salt, we couldn't wait to get cranking.

Here's how it all went down...



We knew we wanted to try a simple recipe with super basic ingredients, so we went with a minimal peach mixture (since they are in season & available at our neighborhood farmer's market) and it didn't involve creating a custard. Custard versions include eggs and require a cooking stage, which from what I understand is fairly customary in making homemade ice cream, but as I mentioned, we just wanted to keep things simple and basic for the first go round - boy were we happy with the results.



The ingredients for the ice cream base included:
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pod vanilla bean, beans reserved
Honestly, this ice cream base could be used to make a simple vanilla ice cream alone or incorporated with a host of other natural ingredients to make whatever flavor you desire - it was so easy. We obviously went with peaches - you'll need about 3 cups (roughly 4 whole peaches) of peeled slices to match what we made if giving this recipe a go.

1. Slice and peel 3 cups peaches:



2. Mix cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean in a bowl.
3. Roughly blend peach slices in a blender or food processor.
4. Incorporate into bowl with base ingredients.



At this point, it was time to start using the ice cream maker. Since I'd never used one before and Tim couldn't actually remember all the steps from the ones they used way back when (haha), we pretty much followed the steps word for word laid out on this Wayward Spark tutorial by Camille of Red Onion Woodworks on Etsy. Camille has a knack for doing things right, so we knew we'd be in good hands with her tutorial.

Once we had our ice cream mixture complete, we poured it into the main canister barrel that fits inside the ice cream maker making sure to leave room for the churned ice cream to expand. We then inserted the dasher into the barrel, secured the lid on, and affixed the hand-crank top in place. Next, we simply added layers of ice cubes in and around the metal barrel followed by layers of rock salt, careful not to cover the top of the barrel - we went with about 3 layers of each.



Side note: Did you spot that gray furry nose up there? For some reason Basil loves ice cubes. Whenever we open the freezer, he prances over to investigate in hopes of getting one. Tim always tosses out a chip or two on the kitchen floor to appease him. This time though we had to keep shooing him away from this ice since it was mixed with rock salt.

Speaking of rock salt - this was the most difficult part of the ice cream making process (finding it that is). I was unfamiliar with rock salt in general, so get a good look at what it looks like below if you're in my same boat. It's supposedly carried in major grocery stores and hardware stores year round and can be known to be re-branded in the summer as "ice cream salt." We had no luck finding rock salt locally so ended up purchasing a 5 pound bag online - this way we'd have more in reserve for future use.


Finally, it was time to crank! As you can see, we took this part very seriously. We cranked and cranked - then we cranked some more:


Almost immediately after starting, the ice began to slowly melt and slide down into the bottom of the bucket's wooden frame. We continued to add layers of ice and rock salt as needed.

After about 20 minutes (Tim was timing us on his Droid's timer app) we both wanted to take a peek at our progress. We'd heard all around the cranking process starts out pretty easy and gets gradually more difficult as time passes - meaning the ice cream is thickening. The cranking remained fairly easy for us throughout the full 20 minutes so we were definitely curious...



To our great amusement and surprise, the ice cream had thickened and firmed up nicely. We felt it was ready right away. Tim slowly removed the dasher, scraping the ice cream off and into the canister - at this point we both tried samples.


I have to tell you this was genuinely the best ice cream I've tasted - so light, creamy and basic. You just can't go wrong with whole, natural foods. As mentioned before, since ice cream has so few ingredients (if made right in our opinion), the quality of those components is key so we went with all natural organic variations.

After the churning process is complete, this is the stage to put the canister in your freezer to let it firm up properly for a couple hours, which Tim did, but not without my filling up a small bowl in it's current soft consistency. I actually liked it better a little softer and right out of the ice cream maker, though that hasn't stopped me from eating more now that it's been firmed up in our freezer for a few days.

All in all, we had a blast finally getting to make homemade ice cream. It was easier than we thought and hope to do it more often - especially when we have others over. My favorite ice cream flavors are mint chocolate chip and coffee, while Tim swears by straight up vanilla. It would be fun to try these flavors in the future - what are your favorites?

11 comments:

  1. This looks delicious! Thanks so much for the shout out.

    I just found a recipe for mint ice cream (in this cookbook http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9781570616693-1) which looks pretty good, so that may show up on my blog sometime in the nearish future.

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  2. I've made ice cream both cooked and uncooked, and I have to say that the custard really makes the ice cream super creamy and rich. And definitely never go with skim or reduced fat versions of the dairy items which results in very icy results. Your peach ice cream looks delightful! I just made some watermelon sorbet which I need to experiment with further. Not as fruity as it could have been.

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  3. This looks SO good! We tried a hand crank before and it took a L-o-n-g time :) But was worth it.
    Yum!!!!
    Nathalie

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  4. Thanks guys!

    @Camille - we are all eyes and ears on the mint recipe. If it works for you, we hope to follow suit!

    @Page - I think we'd be ready to tackle a custard now that we've taken it for the initial spin. Any tried and true recipes you love?

    @Nathalie - how long did you go for? And we agree - totally worth it.

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  5. I'm envious...as I read through I began remember the ice cream we use to make on my aunts farm during the summer....my favorite was banana/vanilla. Yum! One of my dogs loves ice too. She comes running when we push the button for ice on the fridge.

    OH, and the antler chews are a favorite chew for 2 out of 3 of my dogs. The two big dogs which is great since they go thru other chews like kibble...

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  6. @Waterrose, banana/vanilla sounds delicious. That is so funny about dogs and ice cubes - along with the antlers. We need to stock up on a few more.

    Keep well this weekend.

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  7. I love your swan meausring cups! Where did you get them?

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    1. That would be a Christmas gift from Tim. They were in Restoration Hardware a couple of years ago. Hope you can find a set!

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  8. Joyce (Terre Haute, IN)September 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    I've been making homemade ice cream for years and I too, encountered the "rock salt" dilemma. However, one particularly bad Indian winter when all the stores had sold out of rock salt and de-icer, I was walking out of our local Kroger's and literally stopped right in front of 50 or more bags of "water softener" salt! This was the "rock salt" variety and not the preformed pellets. I gave $4.99 for a 40 lb. bag. Because it's used for water softeners, it is Grade A, perfectly clean rock salt! It's cheaper, cleaner (no rocks or grit) and you can buy it year round! I've been using it ever since. Hope this helps! Blessings, Joyce

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  9. Joyce (Terre Haute, IN)September 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    ...OOPS! That would be on bad "INDIANA" winter and not Indian.

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    Replies
    1. So funny Joyce!! Thanks for the tip on the 40lb bag of water softener salt — sounds like a great deal and would get us through many summers with our ice cream maker!

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment here in our corner of the world.

P.S. Any comments from the animal kingdom will be forwarded to Basil in a timely manner.