Last weekend the smallest kid and I found an ice cream maker at a thrift store, still wrapped in plastic in its box for a whopping $5. We adopted it and started a search for easy ice cream recipes.
We’ve tried a couple of recipes so far, but this one I found a few days ago and its the one we will be sticking to from here on in. It meets my criteria for great taste with minimal ingredients and minimum effort. I want to make our food better for us, but if it’s too complicated or messy.. it probably won’t be repeated at our house.
I can see making this a lot this summer. Tonight we are going to try a recipe for hard shell chocolate. That, a bowl of homemade ice cream and a G&T around my house will get you.. well, pregnant. So I may skip the drink this time.
Easy Vanilla Ice Cream(we tweaked it a little according to the ingredients we had available and it worked just fine)
- 4 cups half-and-half or light cream (we used 2 cups of whipping cream and 2 cups of 2% milk)
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (we used our homemade vanilla extract and scraped some of the inside of a bean into the mix)Combine ingredients and mix. Pour into ice cream maker container. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze leftovers.
The ice cream was perfect. It would be easy to add in extras like fruit or chocolate chips. Next time I’m going to try it with 1/4 cup cocoa and 1/4 cup instant coffee to make mocha, as was suggested by someone in the original recipe.
Apparently you can also make this without an icecream maker by eliminating 2 cups of cream and folding two cups of whipped cream into the condensed milk and vanilla, pouring it into a freezer container and freeze it until solid.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
We purchased a bunch of vanilla beans, split them lengthwise, scraped the seeds & put them seeds and all into a couple of mason jars. We filled one with vodka and the other with dark rum. I like the rum version better, but both taste like vanilla extract. Actually, they both are better than anything I’ve bought in a store before. You have to let it brew for a month or two, shaking occasionally
When the extract gets low, we top it up with more booze and it keeps going strong.