Knowing how to make your own ice cream is a surefire way to impress everyone you know. Who doesn’t love ice cream? Not to mention, it’s a fun activity for beating those hot days. Making ice cream at home is easy enough — the hard part is picking out the perfect flavor.
Acquire the Necessary Tools
There is no need for a fancy ice cream maker, though it would come in handy. You can make ice cream at home with a mixer, an ice cream maker, two plastic bags, or just a pan and a freezer. It all depends on which recipe you use. To make sure you can actually have fun with this at home, start with the most basic recipe. You need the following:
- Small plastic baggie
- Large plastic baggie
- 3 cups of ice
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/3 cup salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
While there are many variations — like using vanilla beans — this guide uses things you might already have in your pantry and freezer.
Combine the Ingredients
In the small baggie, mix together the half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla extract. Try to get as much excess air out of your bag as you can, as this will make the next step much easier.
Shake, Shake, Shake!
Put the ice and salt inside the large bag. The salt helps the ice reach below freezing temperature, so you can actually freeze the ice cream. Making ice cream is more like a science experiment than cooking. Close the small baggie inside the bigger one with the salt and ice and shake for around eight minutes. The actual time will vary based on where you are and what size bags you use. Eventually, the contents of the smaller baggie will freeze into ice cream.
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Enjoy Your Creation
Like a true artist, you have now turned everyday objects into something beautiful: vanilla ice cream! If you enjoyed this, your next step will be playing around with flavors and toppings. You can get creative by adding different mix-ins before and after freezing. There are also other methods of making ice cream that work just as well.
If you really want to get into it, there are home ice cream makers on the market that churn and freeze to get a truly professional ice cream consistency. If you’re a gelato aficionado, this might be the perfect investment for you. It’s hard to get the perfect ice cream consistency with the plastic bag method, but either way, you’ll have a delicious treat that you had a ton of fun making.