How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

Written by ehow food & drink editor
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Homemade ice cream is easy to make with an ice cream maker and can be a fun activity for the entire family. Become creative with flavorings and enjoy an all-natural treat after dinner.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ice cream maker directions
  • Cream or half and half
  • Sugar
  • Egg yolks, if desired
  • Flavoring extracts
  • Fresh fruit, if desired
  • Crushed ice
  • Rock salt

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    Make Homemade Ice Cream Easily With an Automatic Machine

  1. 1

    Read the directions to your ice cream maker carefully before you start to make homemade ice cream. Each machine works a little differently and may require some prep work before you pour the ingredients in the machine. Most electric ice cream makers do not require rock salt or ice like manual machines do.

  2. 2

    Put the bowl of an automatic (electric) ice cream maker in your freezer about 24 hours before you want to make a batch of homemade ice cream. This ensures that the bowl will be cold enough to produce a frozen dessert.

  3. 3

    Gather together your basic ingredients for homemade ice cream, including cream or half and half, sugar, flavoring extracts such as vanilla or almond and egg yolks, if the recipe calls for them. Usually 4 to 5 cups of liquid and 1 cup of sugar will yield 2 quarts of ice cream. Many ice cream makers come with a recipe booklet, so check the specific measurements appropriate for your machine size.

  4. 4

    Cut up fresh fruit to add to your ice cream. Bananas, peaches and strawberries are popular choices for homemade ice cream flavors. Cut up the fruit for a chunky ice cream or make into a puree for a smoother texture.

  5. 5

    Turn on the ice cream maker before you put the ingredients inside. Once the motor is running, pour the ingredients into the bowl through the top of the machine.

  6. 6

    Put the cover on the ice cream machine and let it run for the allotted time given in the directions. This is anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes depending on the model and the size of your machine.

  7. 7

    Take the ice cream out of the machine when it is finished. The ice cream will be very soft. If you prefer a harder ice cream, put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

    Have Fun Making Ice Cream in a Manual Ice Cream Maker

  1. 1

    Put rock salt and crushed ice into its compartment on a manual ice cream maker. This is the "old fashioned" kind of ice cream maker that takes lots of movement to produce results.

  2. 2

    Pour the cream, sugar and flavorings into the main compartment of the ice cream maker. Make sure the cover is securely fastened.

  3. 3

    Roll or shake the manual ice cream maker to let the ingredients bind and freeze. Each ice cream maker is different, so read the directions to know how long it may take before you see results. The rolling can be a fun activity for kids.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to make a custard-style ice cream a little bit healthier, substitute the egg yolks with an egg-substitute product. The ice cream will be the same consistency without the cholesterol content of real eggs.

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