Snacks & Treats

DIY Ice Cream (Without A Machine)

Sep 9, 2016

Ice cream is my desert island food, the one thing I struggle to keep in the house lest I eat it all myself. Homemade is even better — a litre of cream is cheaper than most types of good-quality ice cream, and you can customize the flavours according to the seasons, what you like, or what needs using up.

The key to smooth, creamy ice cream is breaking up the ice crystals as they form, thus the invention of a machine that churns as it freezes. If you don’t have a machine, you’ll just need a little extra time to stir the mixture regularly as it freezes. Make your base, then chill it until it’s as cold as you can get it — the colder it is to start, the faster it will freeze, and the smaller the ice crystals will be.

Pour the mixture into a shallow pan — like a cake pan — the broader the surface area, the faster it will freeze. Put it into the freezer for half an hour, then take it out and stir it vigorously, breaking up the frozen chunks around the edge. Put it back in and do the same every half hour, until the mixture looks like ice cream. If you have a powerful blender or food processor, you could freeze it further, then process it, return it to the freezer, and continue that way until it’s solid.

When adding fruit, like strawberries, rhubarb or peaches, try roasting or simmering it first to break the fruit down and condense it, getting rid of any excess moisture. Cool it down completely and add it to the base mixture, or stir it in when the ice cream is still soft.


You'll Also Love: Easy Homemade Fruit Slushies

Chocolate Sorbet

To make rich, intensely chocolatey (yet dairy free) chocolate sorbet:

  1. Mix 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup cocoa in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in 2 cups of water; bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Take it off the heat and stir in about 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark is best) stir until it melts.
  4. Let the mixture cool, then put it in the fridge until it's cold.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Line a colander with a sheet of paper towel or cheesecloth, and scrape in a large container of plain yogurt. (Bonus: using Greek yogurt will boost protein in your dessert!) Let the yogurt drain in the fridge for up to 6 hours — this will help it thicken up, and result in creamier fro-yo. Scrape it out into a bowl.

  1. Stir in about 1/4 cup (or less) of sugar, honey or maple syrup per 1 cup of yogurt, and add a teaspoon of good vanilla extract.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved (let it sit for a bit to help this along). Add-ins like strawberries or bashed-up Oreos can be stirred in when the yogurt is partially frozen, but still soft.

Key Lime Sherbet

  1. Combine 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 can of lime juice in a medium bowl; stir until the mixture thickens.
  2. Fill the empty can with half & half and add it as well, whisking until smooth.
  3. There’s no need to add sugar, as the sweetened condensed milk is sufficiently sweet.

Mango Sorbet

For an all-fruit, dairy-free frozen dessert, pulse a bag of frozen mango cubes in a powerful food processor until smooth; you may need to add a splash of water (or try a bit of lime juice) and some sugar, if the fruit is very tart. Powerful machines will produce something with the texture of soft ice cream; if you need to add more liquid and wind up with something slushy, you can freeze it to firm it up afterward. (This works with berries too — raspberries work particularly well, with a shake of icing sugar, which dissolves easily, to sweeten.)

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


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