How to Make Homemade Ice Cream


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How to Make Ice Cream

Learn how to make homemade ice cream by making it yourself in a hand-crank freezer, which are still widely and commercially available. The ice cream sold in supermarkets today is not what it once was. It is also ridiculously expensive!

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • If it’s available, use raw milk and its cream for your homemade ice cream. Farmers will usually sell it during their milking hours if you bring your own container. Raw cream will bring out the flavors of your ice cream a lot more than store-bought cream and it will give it a creamier consistency. 
  • Use the freshest ingredients available to you, especially fruits if you’re making fruity ice cream. 
  • Before you start, scald the can and the dasher. Make sure you have the rock salt (available at most hardware stores) and the crushed ice is at the ready. Make sure the can and the ice cream mixture is well chilled after you scald it.
  • Never fill the can more than three-quarters full—somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters is ideal—because if the can gets overcrowded, your ice cream will become grainy. 
  • The ideal proportion of ice to salt in your ice cream mixture should be three to one. While you’re cranking your ice cream mixture, don’t add ice as it melts away, don’t take any water out, and don’t add more salt.


Make Old-Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream

  • With everything ready to go, pour the prepared ice cream mixture into the can and nestle the can into the tub fitting. Gradually layer the ice and the salt around the can in the proper proportions, turning the crank slowly to let it settle. Let the mixture sit in the iced tub for about 5 minutes, in order to let it chill.
  •  Begin churning so that the can is turning clockwise. Turn slowly for the first couple minutes, then pick up speed for the next 10 minutes or so, until the ice cream is solid. The handle will become more and more difficult to turn until suddenly it will resist, which might make you think that you broke it. Don’t worry! This just means, “It is now ice cream!” 
  • Wipe the top of the can clean of ice and salt water and check to see if it is done. Let the ice cream “ripen;” remove the dasher and pack the ice cream down into the can with a long-handled spoon. Put the cover back on tightly and place a cork in the hole where the dasher was. Put it back in the tub, pack it in with four parts ice, one part salt, then protect the tub with a thick covering (old carpet, a blanket folded over a few times) and let it sit in a shady spot for at least two hours. 

Congratulations! Fresh, homemade ice cream knows no equal when it comes to cooling you and your family off after a hot summer’s day. Try some of our cool ice cream recipes on your own!


Ice Cream Recipes

Want some more recipes? Browse our Summer Recipe archives!


The Forgotten Arts, Book Four, 1979

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We've been experimenting with

We've been experimenting with crazy homemade ice cream recipes this summer..... Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream was a hit with the kids!

My grandson is lactose

My grandson is lactose intolerant, is it possible to make it lactose free?

You can make ice cream using

You can make ice cream using lactose-free whole milk. The texture and consistency will be a little different, but it should still taste the same.

I would like to have recipes

I would like to have recipes for ice cream that does NOT use an ice cream maker.
I like ice cream that sets up in the freezer.

i have made ice cream at the

i have made ice cream at the campground by using two coffee cans! one large and one small.
one pint milk or half and half
1/4 cup sugar (i think)
a 1/4 tsp of vanilla, or a flavor
of your choice
mix ingredients in the small can and seal the lid (a clear lid is best to see when the ice cream is done!) with two or three wraps of masking tape. put into large can and layer one cup of rocksalt with ice around the small can. put the lid on the large can. again a clear lid helps here. you may also want a wrap of tape to keep the lid on.
So! now comes the fun part!
roll the can back and forth across the table for 15 to 20 min. and there you have some ice cream.

My dad made ice cream when we

My dad made ice cream when we were kids, some 30 plus years ago. He used an electric motored machine; I recall how excited he was to have real ice cream without having to hand crank. Our milk came from a local dairy operator, raw cream on top! Dad had a dwarf peach tree and he enjoyed peach ice cream as a special favorite. Both the tree and Dad are gone now, the memories of home made ice cream re-create a special time for me.

me too. Recently my store

me too. Recently my store has received about five manual crank can. Brought back many memories for me. So, I did a video with some older ladies who were here last Thursday night. It was fun and oh so true in so good old day. Please google all-aroundconsignments on face book, then friend me I'll accept, and then then you can see the video. I promise, no strings attached. You can look at my website first if you like. I'm on the web now looking for "real" photos from those days to show the younger folks how we did it.

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