Ice Cream the Old-Fashioned Way


It’s almost summertime, and the livin’ is supposed to be easy, according to George Gershwin’s lyrics in “Porgy and Bess.” And part of livin’ easy in the sweltering days of summer often includes cooling down with a bowl or cone of ice cream.

You could go to one of the many seasonal ice-cream stands in the Greater Lansing region (the season doesn’t matter at the Michigan State University Dairy Store, where you can get your ice-cream fix year-round), or you can turn ice cream into a family adventure by making your own.

There are two main methods for making homemade ice cream. You can use an ice-cream machine and livin’ will still be easy or you can use the manual method that will count as a workout in your healthy living plan.

According to, using a machine to make vanilla ice cream will take about three hours. That’s 35 minutes of prep work and mixing and just over two-and-a-half hours in the freezer.

You can turn vanilla into any flavor you want by adding fruit, nuts, chocolate and more. But if you want to be a purist and enjoy the king of flavors, vanilla should be your choice.

Vanilla Ice Cream (machine method)

¾ cup white granulated sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups milk

Stir sugar, cream and milk into a saucepan on low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Don’t overcook this mixture – it’s ready when a small ring of foam appears around the edge.

Transfer mixture into a large measuring cup or another pourable container. Stir in vanilla extract and chill at least two hours (overnight is best).

Once chilled, pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s directions, usually about 20-25 minutes.

Ice cream is ready to serve when it is softly frozen. If you want it to be more like store-bought, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the ice cream and place it in the freezer for another two or three hours.

You don’t need a churn to enjoy ice cream. A few different ingredients, a little bit of elbow grease and just over six hours (most of that in the freezer) and you will have a yummy dessert. These manual methods are fromhandletheheat.comand use a two-ingredient method (even though there are three ingredients), a stir-and-freeze process or a plastic bag method.

Vanilla Ice Cream (two-ingredient method)

2 cups heavy cream, chilled

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, chilled

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, mix in the condensed milk and vanilla.

Pour into a sealable container; cover the ice-cream mixture with plastic wrap and seal. Freeze for at least six hours, until firm. Keep leftovers (what leftovers, right?) in the freezer.

Vanilla Ice Cream (freeze and stir or plastic bag methods)

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1¼ cups whole milk, chilled

2 cups heavy cream, chilled

Freeze-and-stir method: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about two minutes. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt until combined. If the mixture is not cold, put it back in the fridge for about 30 seconds.

Transfer the mixture to a deep stainless-steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously with a spatula and return to the freezer. Check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring it as it freezes. Repeat for two to three hours until fully frozen.

Plastic bag method: Place ice-cream mixture in a quart-size sealable bag, removing as much as possible and sealing tightly. Place the bag with the mix inside another sealable quart bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing. Place those bags inside a sealable gallon-size bag and fill with about 4 cups of crushed ice and 4 tablespoons crushed salt. Once sealed, wrap the bag in a towel or put on warm gloves and vigorously shake the bag, massaging it between shakes. The ice cream should freeze in about 5 to 8 minutes. The more vigorously you shake, the smoother your ice cream will be. Again, if there are any leftovers, keep them in the freezer.



Tags: ice cream

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