A Beginner’s Guide to Ice Cream Making


Few things in life quite measure up to ice cream. Bad day? Ice cream. Beautiful weather? Ice cream! Need a quick fix dessert? Ice cream again. In short, there are not many situations that a blob of ice cream can’t make better. 


With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great to be able to make your own? Well, the good news is you can- and you don’t need to buy a fancy machine. This simple step-by-step guide through the basics of ice cream making is easy enough for anyone to master- and is perfect for cooling down on a hot day or pairing with a delicious hot brownie for a cozy pudding. 


What You Will Need


  • A non-stick baking tray (this recipe fits an eight by ten-inch tray)
  • A whisk
  • Equal parts full-cream milk and heavy cream (one and a half cups each)
  • Two-thirds of a cup of sugar (castor sugar is best)
  • One tablespoon of vanilla extract (you can add a different flavoring if you prefer)
  • A pinch of salt


Yep, that’s it! Oh- and make sure you have a spare shelf in the freezer.


Things to Know Before You Start


  • Metal pans freeze faster than glass, so they are better for this method. 
  • It helps to chill the pan in the refrigerator before you start.
  • The method is super easy- but it’s time-consuming. Set aside a few hours so you can check on the mixture regularly until it is ready. 


Our Beginner-Friendly Ice Cream Making Method


Step One: Combine the Ingredients and Chill.


Put your milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Mix well until combined, then leave in the fridge until cold. You can also pre-chill your ingredients before you mix them to save time. Take a chilled (preferably metal) baking tray and pour the mixture carefully in.


Step Two: Freeze for 90 Minutes


Put the baking tray on a flat shelf- careful not to spill anything! Leave it there undisturbed for an hour and a half. 


Step Three: Remove, Whisk, and Return to the Freezer


Once 90 minutes have passed, take out the tray and whisk the mixture well. Make sure you scrape everything off the side and break up any chunks. The mixture should still be pretty runny, so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like ice cream just yet. Put it back in and wait for another 45 minutes.


Step Four: Repeat this Process Several More Times


Over the next two hours, check the mixture every 30 minutes- whipping it well with a sturdy whisk and breaking down the chunks each time. It is important to always scrape the sides and return the tray to the freezer as quickly as possible. 


After a couple of hours, you should start to see it thickening and looking more like ice cream. It can take up to five hours to be fully ready- depending on how quickly you whisk and the power of your freezer. 


Step Five: Serve or Cover 


When your ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency (usually after three or four hours), you can serve it or cover the tray and leave it to harden a bit more. 


Ice cream made using this method will be very solid after a day or two in the freezer. Leave it out for 15 minutes at room temperature, and it returns to a lovely consistency. 


There you have it- a simple five-step guide to the basics of ice cream making: perfect fluffy results every time! 

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