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What's the BEST ice cream you've made?

If it's healthier, even better. I did maple custard -- it was subtle, but after mellowing a day had a rich, creme caramel type flavor. At two parts cream to one part whole milk, I can't eat that much more like that.
What's your favorite flavor combo that you've made -- extra points for ice milks or richly-flavored sorbets that don't taste "dietetic."

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  1. The best flavor that I've made was a chocolate-rosemary ice cream. It was a ganache-based ice cream, so definitely not low-fat!

    However, one of the best textures I achieved with my ice cream maker was a frozen yogurt made from drained yogurt. I got the technique from Alton Brown (his recipe for lemon-ginger frozen yogurt, which is on the foodtv website), but I made it chocolate. Chocolate + sour = yuck, so it was not a success. But the texture was incredible! I am currently draining some yogurt and macerating some strawberries to see if I can get both the flavor and the texture together. I'm using fat-free yogurt this time around, though I'll probably use full-fat next time to see if that improves things. Even with full-fat yogurt, though, it's still far healthier than ice cream. I'll let you know how it goes...

    1 Reply
    1. re: maillard

      I know this is old but ya chocolate and yogurt= worst flavours together ever! I think people must have dead taste buds. I don't get it.

    2. I don't make it myself, but my daughter makes a killer strawberry basil ice cream. I'll get her to follow up if interested.

      1. Cardomon ice cream that I made a couple of years ago.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jenniferstimson

          Me too! That was my favorite. I liked it so much I made it into cardamom ginger the next time, and that was fabulous as well. Basically, I take Martha Stewart's vanilla ice cream, omit the vanilla, and steep whatever spices I want in the cream. I've done mint as well, to rave reviews.

        2. There were two: a blueberry ice cream that I made last summer, and a coffee ice cream that I made this summer. That coffee ice cream...man, it was good. I need to make it again soon for some sort of event so I don't eat the whole thing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JasmineG

            Can you post your coffee ice cream recipe? That's my son's favorite flavor too, so at least that way he'll have some and I won't eat it all! thanks.

          2. Huckleberry. Or maybe olallieberry. No, huckle. No, wait, olallie. Um...

            1. Cinnamon.Full fat and fully delieious

              1. Prune/Armagnac. If you haven't tasted this, you may be questioning this combination but it's a real natural. Paula Wolfert has a recipe that primarily uses milk and just a touch of cream. It's great, and the Armagnac keeps it from freezing too hard.

                1. Cinnamon.,full fat, whipped cream etc. I know a lot of you imagine me as as quite zaftig, but I am a 5'4" size 10 to 6, it varies from merchant to merchant and from MD's scale tp MD'scale. I eat real cream, use lard, real butter and despite back surgery in July am back in Yoga as PT. Low fat does not do it, been there done that and my MD said don't do that . So now I am tiny, healthy and fit. Hellman's is on my almost everday sandwich.

                  Find what works for your body.. Low carb for me and my group maybe lown fat for yours

                  Lets not juge each by what works for each other's body types

                  1. I made a pistachio ice cream a few weeks ago to pair with an apricot galette. Very creamy & it actually tasted like pistachio.

                    Also a Plum Raspberry I made was really good.

                    There's a lime frozen yogurt recipe on epicurious.com that also calls for draining the yogurt overnight..it's very good..tasted more like ice cream than yogurt.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sugarbuzz

                      Could you give some more details on the pistachio ice cream? I would love to make a good one, but have never seen a recipe that grabbed me. Did you steep ground pistachios in the heated milk and then drain? How did you achieve the "tasted like pistachio"? Inquiring minds want to know!

                      1. re: Smokey

                        Yes, I steeped the nuts in the cream for a good hour or so. It was from Emily Luchetti's new ice cream book

                    2. The chocolate gelato from David Lebowitz's Room for Dessert...intensely chocolate.
                      Simple vanilla bean ice cream without egg yolks. Just fresh cream, sugar, vanilla bean and pinch of salt. Churned and eaten an hour later.
                      Nectarine ice cream from this summer.

                      1. Sme of our tops are:

                        Apple pie flavor: we just threw a chopped-up big slice of apple pie into a very barely-sweetened base with a tiny bit of vanilla. The flavor got all through the ice cream, with nice chunks of crust and apple.

                        Chocolate hazelnut with home-roasted and -ground hazelnuts.

                        Pina colada with coconut milk and canned crushed pineapple.

                        Thank you.

                        1. Mint chocolate chile ice cream, made with Mexican chocolate, a dash of mint extract and a big slug of cayenne. I split the batch of chocolate chile ice cream in two, flavored half with mint and left the other as is. Our verdict was that the mint version was better.

                          Mango ginger ice cream, made with fresh mango and crystallized ginger.

                          David Lebovitz' strawberry frozen yogurt - basically pureed strawberries with a little full-fat yogurt to smooth it out.

                          Plum sorbet from Chez Panisse Desserts - wonderfully intense fruity flavors.

                          The sorbet and frozen yogurt were probably the lowest in fat and also my personal favorites because I love summer fruit.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cheryl_h

                            Ooh, the mint chocolate chile sounds good. Can you post a recipe? What kind of chile?

                            1. re: Chowpatty

                              The basic recipe is here:

                              I had a lot of Ibarra mexican chocolate I wanted to use up. I found the mix way too sweet for my tastes so I added about a quarter-cup of cocoa and an extra half-cup of cream. Basically I wanted more chocolate and less sugar flavor. You could do this with dark chocolate (about 8 oz) instead of Ibarra and then add about a half-cup of sugar.

                              To the mix I then added a teaspoon of cayenne - again taste to make sure it's to your liking. Then I divided the mix into two halves and added a half-teaspoon of mint extract to one half.

                              When you taste the mint chocolate chile, you first taste the mint, then the chocolate and finally the chile. It is a great combination of tastes. The eggs and half-and-half make the ice cream very smooth and creamy.

                          2. I made a rhubarb and rose petal sorbet this summer; I made up the recipe. It was delicious, great color too, and low-fat, but tasted rich because of the cooked rhubarb. The rose petals were from a friend's garden - no pesticides!. I made sugar-coated rose petals to accompany and guests loved them!

                            1. I used to own a restaurant and we made our own ice creams with a Simac maker.

                              Favorites include:

                              Ibarra chocolate & tequila sorbet

                              Cream cheese ice cream (served with fresh strawberries)

                              Peanut butter ice cream

                              Cactus pear sorbet

                              Sour cream and cherry ice cream

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bogie

                                Bogie---About 30 years ago I picked up a big Simac machine at an auction for $35, brand new---I suspect it fell off somebody's truck---this machine then retailed for around $400. It weighed a ton, was hell to move and awkward to clean but, my, it made lovely ice cream. Downsizing years later we gifted it to a neighbor who worked as a Fed Ex courier carrying heavy loads all day. He picked it up and said "Man, this thing is heavy &%#". But the last I heard he was still making ice cream in it. In our day we made Double Chocolate Amaretto, Bananas & Cream, Toasted Pistachio, Eggnog with Rum, Strawberry Sorbet with Chambord, and Kiwi Sorbet. Pairing a little something from the liquor cabinet with the homemade ice creams and sorbets...lovely. Oh yes, and now I remember, a pear sorbet made with bottled pear nectar, lemon juice, simple syrup, Pear William, and just a drop of red food coloring to make a blush.

                                1. grapefruit-honey sorbet
                                  honey ice cream
                                  strawberry-black pepper sorbet
                                  ginger-condensed milk ice cream

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: ghbrooklyn

                                    oh honey! I made a chestnut honey ice cream to go with my fig/raspberry tart. A very earthy flavor.

                                    1. re: sugarbuzz

                                      I think honey is great in ice cream. It's a totally different kind of sweetness, especially if you use something like mesquite or forest honey.

                                      1. re: ghbrooklyn

                                        I've been itching to make honey ice cream for a while now...Anyone care to share their favorite recipe?

                                        Sadly, I haven't made much ice cream or sorbet this summer...I guess my machine is happy for the break since I overworked it last year. Not as unique as others listed in this thread, buy my favorites from last year:

                                        Strawberry balsamic yogurt
                                        Peach sorbet
                                        Vanilla bean...still my all-time favorite!

                                        1. re: Carb Lover

                                          Here's my recipe, out of an old Saveur:

                                          Honey Ice Cream

                                          1 1/3 cups milk
                                          1 1/3 cups heavy cream
                                          3/4 honey
                                          1/4 tsp vanilla extract
                                          1 egg, separated

                                          1. Put milk, cream, and honey into a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until honey is dissolved and mixture is hot. Transfer mixture into a large bowl set in a bowl of ice. Set this aside, stirring occasionally, until mixture is chilled.
                                          2. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk egg yolk in a seperate bowl until pale yellow and thick. Fold the white into the yolk until well mixed, then fold egg into chilled milk-honey mixture.
                                          3. Process in an ice cream maker.

                                          This recipe stays soft even when fully frozen, so once you've processed it in the machine you may want to further chill it in the freezer to set it up a little more.

                                          1. re: Carb Lover

                                            I once saw a recipe in a gourmet magazine for a sour cream ice cream with honey in it.

                                    2. I think my best two ice creams were:

                                      1. chocolate/cherry, made with the darkest chocolate my husband could stand and fresh Niagara cherries -- served with whipped cream on top, it became a sort of hommage to Black Forest Cake

                                      2. coconut/ginger, with really thick coconut cream and freshly grated ginger. Would have been better with nuggets of preserved ginger in it, but I didn't have any on hand.

                                      1. A Buttermilk Lemon. I wouldn't tell anyone exactly what it was until they tasted it because I just knew if I said the word "buttermilk" everyone was going to go "ewww" before even trying it.

                                        It was a huge hit and when they found out what it was there was stunned silence in the dining room.

                                        1. It's not ice cream but I made a plum sorbet recently with half a cup of this plum sake (called Koshu) I bought at the Takara sake tasting room in Berkeley. It was perfect. Fresh, fruity, floral.

                                          1. Coconut, with Coco Lopez, cream, milk, vanilla and sugar. Marinate pineapple slices in dark rum, grill and serve warm with coconut ice cream.

                                            1. Limone (Lemon) Gelato. Absolutely delicious. I love the tart and sweet taste. However, with 4 egg yolks I don't think it's any healthier than a cream based one.

                                              1. three:

                                                lemon creme fraiche
                                                my mint chocolate ice cream
                                                mexican chocolate ice cream (from epicurious.com)

                                                  1. No extra points, then, for this one: we made chocolate pudding using the Jello pudding mix that comes in a box (the kind you cook) then added a lot of extra (grated) good quality chocolate while it was hot. When that cooled we added whipping cream and amaretto and froze the mixture in our electric freezer.

                                                    1. This is completely cheating - but . . .

                                                      My absolute favorite ice cream I make is - eggnog ice cream. Maybe it is because I only make it around Christmas . . .

                                                      But I buy great eggnog and just into the ice cream maker it goes. Sometimes I add a little extra nutmeg. It is sooo yummy and a total cheat.

                                                      1. Alice Medrich's Cocoa Nib ice cream
                                                        "Chocolate Chip Cookie" ice cream - sub brown sugar for white in a basic ice cream recipe and add chocolate chips

                                                        1. Don't judge me (!), but my go-to flavor is ridiculously easy (because I'm too lazy to deal with the whole egg "thing"). Brownie batter with a peanut butter swirl. The recipe is decadent: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 1/4 cup brownie mix, 1/2 cup sugar, a little salt, 1 cup half and half, 2 cups heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla. Mix it up, pour it in the ice cream machine, swirl in the peanut butter when you get it out and put it into the storage container. Sometimes I chop up cakes/cookies/candies and add them in as well.

                                                          1. We make a killer chocolate but the coffee is even better. Might be because it comes with hot fudge sauce on it....

                                                            1. The BEST I've ever made is roasted pistachio ice cream. This recipe involves a bit of work but I think is worth the effort.