Your best ice cream recipes and tips

An ice cream maker is on its way to my house, and I am a complete novice with making ice cream…but a real expert consuming ice cream. Do you have recipes or tips on making some fabulous ice cream? I’ve seen recipes with and without eggs. I’ve heard of some folks using the sous vide method to cook the ice cream base. Please share your wisdom.
And I saw ispe’s ice cream scoop and just ordered myself one.



What brand did you get? I’ve been thinking about picking one up.

@OCSteve We picked up the Cusinart double-freezer bowl model from Williams-Sonoma. It’s easy to store, compact, and a few friends have given us good reviews. With the E-mail coupon, it’s an additional 20% off through tonight. Cost us about $50-60.
I’m more than happy to share the coupon code if you go all in today :slight_smile:

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Use full fat dairy

If you believe in using alcohol (i.e. vodka) to create a softer, creamier texture, don’t overdo it. A little bit goes a long way.

No need to scald your milk (unless you’re steeping a spice)

No need to temper your custard, esp. b/c there’s no need to scald your milk

Make sure to combine the sugar and egg yolks well (if you are making a custard-based ice cream)

Chill your ice cream base (but not necessarily overnight, that’s overkill)

Don’t overfill your ice cream maker. Make two batches over a couple days is better than making one big batch at once.

Start with a solid vanilla ice cream. Learn to make that first, and learn to make it well, before experimenting with flavors and mix-ins.

Don’t sweat exact measurements, this isn’t like baking.

Have fun.


Two bowls is a plus if you ever want to make more than one batch, since it takes so long to re-freeze the sleeve.

Here’s a non-mobile link:

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coconut-ginger sorbet

1 8.5-ounce jar Ginger People candied ginger puree
2 13.5-ounce cans Chaokoh coconut milk
1 tbsp. lime juice (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Taste and adjust lime juice and salt (freezing will make both less assertive). Freeze according to ice-cream maker instructions. Makes about 1 quart.

I’m not sure if Ginger People still make that product. Their ginger spread seems similar.

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My top tip would be to use real cream, with no carrageenan or other added ingredients. I usually use Strauss heavy cream.

My second tip, always strain your custards before chilling to remove any lumps or stray bits of egg.

My favorite use for my ice cream maker is gelato. It is very easy. I use Nancy Silverton’s recipe whenever I want a quick batch.

Whisk together 1 cup of milk and 3 T. cornstarch, set aside.

In a large saucepan add:

3 cups milk
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder (your grocer will have it)
1/2 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt

Whisk over high heat until almost scalding.
Remove from heat, whisk in milk/cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (10-20 minutes).

Strain, let cool, then refrigerate anywhere from a few hours or up to three days.

Remove from refrigerator,
stir in 1/2 cup whipping cream,
then freeze in your ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Once it is done, you can drizzle in in melted (70%) chocolate; or stir in 1-2 cups fruit purée.

I make a peach gelato right around this time of year using this recipe, it’s pretty fabulous. I haven’t gotten around to it yet this season, and the boy and his friends were joking about, “What, no famous peach ice-cream this year?” But they were serious. :slight_smile:


I experimented this weekend, and I couldn’t believe how cool the process was and how easy it was. I used Ina Garten’s recipe where all you need is heavy cream, sugar, 1 Madagascar vanilla bean, and vanilla extract. It tasted good, but I felt it tasted a bit too sweet and a bit artificial. I used the vanilla bean I bought from Amadeus and some homemade vanilla extract (rum-based) that a friend made for me as a gift. I know I can adjust the sugar level for the sweetness, but I was surprised to find it a bit on the artificial side…or maybe I’ve been eating cheap vanilla all these years and when I finally use the real stuff that tastes strange to me.
I did have a problem with ice crystals, too. Does that happen if you overchurn or leave it in the ice cream maker too long? In my excitement, I forgot to set the timer. It may have gone a few minutes over the 20 in the recipe.
Overall, it was a fun experiment and I’m going to give it another go later this week. I started a vanilla sugar last week, and may wait long enough to use vanilla sugar in the base instead of regular sugar.
Any tips or notes would be appreciated.
Thanks so much for sharing your tips thus far.

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To avoid ice crystals, use more protein, the maximum amount of fat without resulting in greasy mouthfeel, and get the mix and sleeve as cold as possible beforehand. More tips:

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This has been quite the experiment. After batch 1, I decided to try it, again. I made some changes in technique and recipe. I used less homemade vanilla extract this time…I measured this time and used about 1 1/2 teaspoons instead of the free pour from last time. I also added some salt to my base, and used vanilla sugar this time, too. The batch of Horizon Organic Heavy Cream had more thick cream solids this time than last, and I used some of that in my base mix…the last batch had zero to no thick cream solids. I also cooled the base mix for much longer than last time’s 4 hours in the back portion top shelf of my fridge after reading an article that @robert posted that ideal base should be about 40 degrees before placing it into the ice cream maker. I timed the ice cream maker this time, too…limiting the machine to exactly 20 mins of churning and stored in a Tovolo ice cream container I just purchased. I left it in the freezer while we were gone all day, and came back to taste it before I went to bed…the vanilla flavor is way under control this time…likely aided by the addition to salt to the base…and not artificial tasting like my first batch. The grainy ice crystals are gone, too…the texture of this batch is fantastic.
Going to bust it out tonight with some apple pie from Oak Glen for dessert…I can’t wait! It’s been a lot of fun to experiment. I feel like I’m getting better at this with each experiment and can’t wait to branch out to other flavors…and sorbet and sherbets.


DFI think it’s hilarious that you made ice cream for the first time and eyeballed measurements, and used only your instincts for base chill and churning time.

You are a braver soul than I. :slight_smile:


I took @ipsedixit note that you don’t have to chill the base overnight quite literally. I rather like vanilla and usually overpour when I bake, so I figured that ice cream wouldn’t make much of a difference. I was so excited that I forgot to make note of when I turned on the machine. I will note that after 2-3 days, the first batch of vanilla ice cream rounded out a lot and tasted really good.
I’m toying with the idea of getting an infrared thermometer so I can do a temperature check before I churn the base…also useful for other purposes, too. Otherwise, an overnight chill for the base will be required going forward. But will definitely add salt to the base from now on.


I bought a Cuisinart ice cream freezer that has its own compressor several years ago. I make the base, chill it well and then just pour it in and turn it on. No containers to freeze. It is ready and waiting at all times. You can also use it to chill soups and make frosty drinks.

I love my Zerol scoop and spade.

I really like Jenni’s ice cream recipes. When I first got her book I was a bit put off by using a little cream cheese in the recipe and I just shelved it. Suddenly my grocery store started carrying Jenni’s and I bought the vanilla and chocolate to try. The light went on and the book came off of the shelf. It is great ice cream!


Some friends who buy everything have one of those expensive machines. Does a great job but it takes up a lot of counter space and is close to a one-trick pony.

In my former house the ice cream freezer lived on top of my dryer on the lower level of the house, it’s a bit noisy and I could close the door. I didn’t then, nor have I now, freezer space to keep the freezer canister in there. I do have counter space now so it is in my kitchen. My laundry room is right off of the kitchen and now my microwave is there.

I made the chocolate ice cream from Brave Tart a few weeks ago. It is amazing and is so rich that a small scoop is all that one can eat at a time. It is just as good as pudding instead freezing it.

I think the best ice cream maker out there, with price not being a serious condition, is the DeLonghi GM6000. Well-built, fast, and convenient to use/clean.

But for a good, budget-minded option, that does everything well, I think it has to be the Cuisinart ICE-30BC, which is under $80 (give/take $10 depending on where and how you shop).

But if were to win the lottery, and find a way to avoid taxes on the winnings, I’d get the Pacojet, which at last check is under $6000.

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The PacoJet is a very interesting gadget but it doesn’t make traditional ice cream. Scream Sortbet in Oakland used one to make amazing nut sorbets including a pistachio one that was maybe 90% pistachios.

Some used ones on eBay have sold for $2500 or less.

Our house is a bit tired of vanilla ice cream. Last week’s batch is still in the freezer. The kids wanted to change it up a bit with one of our Oak Glen Mom’s County Orchards finds. Sweet cream ice cream swirled with strawberry lemon jam.

The kids think it’s the best batch of ice cream, yet.

3 cups organic heavy cream
2/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup strawberry lemon jam

Heat the cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Chill in the fridge until base is 40 degrees F. Churn in ice cream maker for 15-20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of jam while the ice cream maker is still churning. Add remaining jam when transferring ice cream into freezer container…I did layers and then ran a knife through to achieve the desired swirl effect. Freeze for an additional 2 hours if you like a colder, more frozen ice cream.


I LOVE vanilla ice-cream with jam! I thought I was the only one. Your kids are awesome.

Usually I simply let the ice-cream soften a bit, then swirl the jam in right before eating.


@Bookwich Thanks! I like that my kids are being more thoughtful about food. They’re putting flavor combinations together that they might not normally do. Though, God forbid when they go to college…champagne wishes and caviar dreams on a Capri Sun budget. I hope they don’t mind that the dining hall will not sous vide their eggs.
On the flip side, I made a new ice cream with a different jam last night. Sweet cream made with Mom’s Country Orchard’s Bunny jam (strawberry and peach jam). I used Straus heavy cream for the base, and it tasted amazing even before I put it in the ice cream maker. I can’t wait to have it for dessert tonight.