Homemade Ice Cream!

“Ice cream is happiness condensed” (Jessi Lane Adams). Have you tried making your own? You can come up with crazy ingredient combinations and colors, or use fresh fruit and all-organic ingredients. Plus it’s simple and fun—today’s ice cream makers have come a long way since the old-fashioned wooden bucket freezers with crank handles. Modern machines have removable, freezable canisters and don’t require salt or ice.

This article from Every Day with Rachel Ray has everything you need to know about getting started—from deciding what kind of ice cream maker you are and what equipment you need to recipes, tips and how to add yummy mix-ins. CookingLight.com has a good illustrated tutorial plus tips on making low-fat ice cream. SeriousEats.com offers 10 tips for making amazing homemade ice cream but the bottom line is: follow your machine’s instructions! Don’t overfill it, and don’t try to make ice cream when the canister isn’t fully frozen.

If you don’t have the budget or the space for an ice cream maker, no worries! RecipeTips.com shows you how to make homemade Cookies ‘N’ Cream ice cream using a hand mixer, whisk or fork to break up the ice crystals during freezing. David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop, offers another machine-free method for making creamy, custard-like ice cream using a hand mixer or spatula.

And finally—why not harness your kids’ energy to make Kick the Can Ice Cream?  After you put a few simple ingredients, plus rock salt and ice, in two nesting coffee cans, they get to kick it, roll it or toss it until it’s ready to enjoy!

We’d love to hear your experiences with making ice cream at home. Any tips to share? Please post them in the comments below.

Thanks to Flickr user joyosity for the amazing photo—be sure to check out her Carrot Cake Ice Cream recipe!