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Jul 7, 2007 12:01 AM

Hand Cranked Ice Cream Recipes

Hi folks,

I just got a hand cranked ice cream maker so that I can crank out ice cream at a family picnic. The included recipes want me to first make a custard and even simpler recipes seem to want me heat up the milk/cream in some way. I know it's possible to do an ice cream by just adding milk, cream, etc with no heating (Hey, we did it at girl scout camp when I was a kid and everyone's doing it in ziplock baggies these days, right?).

Any recipes and suggestions for a simple vanilla ice cream?


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  1. you can do it without heating, but there's a reason why recipes ask for it. Without heating even just the cream mixture, you'll get larger ice crystals. Heating kills the proteins or enzymes or whatever thing it is in the cream. Once you do that, you'll get smaller ice crystals, which equals creamier ice cream. But if you really want to just throw the ingredients together and churn, go for any recipe that doesn't call for a custard and eliminate the scalding of the cream.

    A good, basic vanilla ice cream is from Alton Brown. Here you go:

    Eliminate the peach preserve if you wish. Or, if you want super basic, replace vanilla bean with a tsp or so of extract. (keep in mind you really do need to steep the vanilla bean in hot liquid to get the flavor). but each substitution, you take some of the goodness away from the recipe.

    6 Replies
    1. re: adamclyde

      Thanks a bunch!

      Larger ice crystals might be ok. I want the kids at the picnic to get that same sense of awe that I experienced as a kid when I realized that simple ingredients make delicious ice cream. My other option, I suppose, would be to whip together the custard base at home and go from there. It might be a little less exciting for the kids but I don't want to take away too much goodness.

      1. re: MollyGee

        You are right that kids at a picnic couldn't care less - if it is cold and has sugar, you are going to be fine!

        That said, you don't have to do a custard either if you don't want to. The Alton Brown recipe there is just cream and stuff (no eggs). It is heated, but you can do that before hand and still take that to a picnic. anyhow, good luck. You'll like that recipe.

        1. re: adamclyde

          I went w/ a recipe from the White Mountain (maker of a better quality hand-cranked machine than the cheap-o one I got at Target) web site. I did heat the milk and then brought the combined ingredients in the cooler and the kids loved the end result. My problem was that I didn't have the right salt for the ice. I figured my pretzel salt would work but I think it dissolved too quickly to get the ice cold enough. We couldn't get more than a milkshake-like slurry (after two hours of cranking), but, you're absolutely right: if it's cold and has sugar the kids'll love it!

          1. re: MollyGee

            White Mountains, in my opinion, are the best ice cream makers available. I wish I had one of the motorized kinds... someday when I have a proper backyard (they are LOUD!).

            Glad the kids loved it!

            1. re: adamclyde

              White Mountain hand cranked ice cream freezers are very good, however, they are a bit pricey. As for their motorized units, I wouldn't waste money on it. They have had nothing but trouble withe the Chinese made motors and aside from being very loud and noisey, they usually burn out or lock up after 2 or 3 uses. The motors just do not have the amperage to run the freezer properly.

            2. re: MollyGee

              my family has done this for years with one of the white mountain hand-crank ice-cream makers, and we love it. The cranking should take about half an hour. after it starts getting harder to crank, you've also got to pack it with ice and let it set for, oh... we usually do about 4 hours, so that could also be the reason it was milkshake-like.

      2. I'm about 8 years late to give you a recipe, but I thought I lost my mother's-in-law recipe and was looking for a replacement when I saw your post. I have found her wonderful recipe and I'd like to share. NO COOKING!!! Hope you like it. We have for years!!!

        3.5 C sugar
        6 or 7 eggs
        3 cans evap milk
        2 Tbsp vanilla
        1 Tbsp lemon extract
        1 pint heavy whipping cream
        Beat whip cream until soft peaks form. Set aside. Beat eggs and sugar until frothy. Add canned milk and all flavorings. Fold in the whipped cream and pour into ice cream canister, fill with regular milk until full.

        1 GAL
        2.25 C sugar
        4 or 5 eggs
        2 cans evap milk
        1.5 Tbsp vanilla
        2 tsp lemon extract
        1 pint heavy whipping cream