Homemade Vanilla Ice-Cream

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Making ice-cream at home was always on my mind and I had been thinking about it from past few weeks. I finally got a chance to make one last weekend on the occasion of my dad's birthday. Vanilla is a basic one which complements so well with many other deserts. So I started out with vanilla flavored first.

I remember my mom making ice cream at home when we were kids. We had no ice cream maker. So it was made in the traditional way of freezing and churning it couple of times. We used to help her by transferring the mixture to the freezer box, keeping it in the freezer to set, removing it, keeping it again, in course of which we would eat up half the ice cream :) By the time the ice-cream was actually done, it would almost see it's end. But it's something we enjoyed thoroughly. She is still of the opinion that it's not worth spending all the time and energy in making it at home when we get better ones with varied flavors in the market. Well, I wanted to try it myself before I could second on that!

I agree that making ice cream at home can be a tedious and lengthy process and the resulting product may not be as smoother and creamier as the one we get in market. That is primarily because of the higher fat content and continuous pumping of air during the freezing process. Adding to this are the artificial colors, flavor, stabilizers, emulsifiers and preservatives. But there is something about the homemade one that you would want to make it at home again and again. It's free from all the artificial flavoring, coloring and preservatives... it feels so good to make and proud to eat!

Since I had no ice cream maker to assist me in making ice cream, I had to make it the traditional way. These machines give much better texture and are smoother as the ice crystals are broken down during the process of freezing and added emulsifiers. I used an electric mixer to break the ice crystals. The longer you freeze and churn, the better is the result.

Although the end result is close to what we get in the market, it has more ice crystals in it which is quite evident while tasting it. But it's still so close that you will not miss the store brought one! Top it up with anything you like, like I did mine with grated dark chocolate.

Here's what we need:

1 litre full fat milk, boiled and cooled
200 ml heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp grated dark chocolate

Add sugar, cream and vanilla essence to the milk and mix well. You can use condensed milk instead of milk and sugar. Condensed milk works way better than regular milk. Adjust the sugar if using condensed milk as it already contains sugar in it. Transfer to a freezer proof bowl, cover and freeze it for about an hour. When it is just about to solidify, remove and churn it using a hand blender or mixer. If doing it by hand, mix vigorously till all the ice crystals are broken down. Transfer again to a freezer proof bowl, cover and freeze it for about an hour. Again when it's just about to solidify, remove and churn it using a hand blender or mixer. Continue doing this for about 6-8 times, till most of the ice crystals are broken down. Finally scoop out to ice cream bowls and top with anything of your choice. Enjoy scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream!

This is my first attempt with homemade ice cream and I am pretty much satisfied with the results achieved. I would strongly recommend using condensed milk as the crystallization would be far more reduced and ice cream would result to be more creamier.


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