Homemade ice cream is really, really easy. We rediscovered this fact earlier in the year, and have been making it regularly ever since. I don’t know why we didn’t make it very often in years past, but we’re certainly making up for lost time!
The key (as with anything) lies with the ingredients. We found a local source of grass-grazed cream, starting getting our own pastured eggs from the backyard, and use a little of our raw honey, maple syrup, or organic sugar. Add a splash of real vanilla extract, and that’s about it. Your homemade ice cream still has a lot of calories, so I won’t go as far as calling it a health food (though it’s good for mental health :)), but using REAL ingredients (and not using much of what is in commercial ice cream… sodium benzoate or benzyl acetate with that cherry on top?) puts it miles ahead of most anything you’d find in a store. So dig in, and don’t feel guilty.
Real Homemade Ice Cream Base
- 3 cups grass-grazed cream
- 3 pastured eggs
- 1/2 cup raw honey or organic sugar (or other sweetener)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Add everything to a medium bowl and whisk together for a minute, until the eggs are mixed in and the sugar dissolves. (You don’t even need the eggs; they just add a little richness.) Pour into your fancy ice cream maker and let it go for about 30 minutes, or until it’s a nice, creamy, milkshake-like consistency. If it’s still a little too soft for your liking, put it into another container and pop it in the freezer for another hour. And really, that’s it – homemade ice cream. Yum.
The recipe above is for a basic vanilla. If you’re like us, you’ll get bored with that and want to experiment. (For any add-ins, wait until the ice cream starts to thicken up before tossing them into the machine.) Here’s some of what we’ve tried this summer:
- Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the base, then a few spoonfuls of peanut butter at the end
- Mix in some fresh blackberries and chopped walnuts
- Fresh peaches and homemade graham crackers (like peach pie a la mode on a spoon!)
- Puree some fresh strawberries and add to the base
- Add half a can of coconut milk, a few tablespoons of peanut butter, some toasted coconut, and a pinch of cayenne
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, toasted pecans, and homemade caramel
- Crushed pistachios
- And the next one to try, maybe tonight – swap out the honey for maple syrup and crumble some bacon!
The possibilities are endless, as is the fun you’ll have testing the new combinations!