Ever since I was a kid, my mom has made the some of the world’s best homemade ice cream. I am not just saying that because she is my mom. Ask any kid on my block, my family, friends, or any of the many neighbors on my block and they will all attest “Leanne’s mom makes the best ice cream.” She makes about 4 gallons of it for our 4th of July block party. The next day, I pass out the remaining ice cream to the volunteers on the morning trash patrol. Many neighborhood kids flock to help clean up the block, just to get one more homemade vanilla ice cream cone.
Her most popular flavor is an old fashion no cook vanilla ice cream, but she also makes other variations like banana-nut and bing cherry-vanilla, plus a few different sorbets. As far as desserts go, my mom’s vanilla ice cream is my son’s favorite, and of course he didn’t want any cake for his birthday this year; he wanted Nana’s Ice Cream. Well, I had just one problem: Nana is out of the country currently and therefore we couldn’t technically have Nana’s ice cream. I had to try to make it myself for the birthday boy. Nana was kind enough to guess at the ingredients and measurements for me via an ichat. I could not find a recipe online that sounded exactly like what she described. Nevertheless, I tried my best to duplicate the ice cream for the boy. The following is an amalgamation of what I came up from her comments and from reading 3 or 4 other recipes. I am happy to report, the birthday was a success and the ice cream turned out delicious. The kids quickly gobbled it all up, so it must have been close enough.
“Close Enough” Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 5 cups half and half
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- *5 eggs (2.0 ounce size each or enough bantam eggs to equal 10 ounces)
- 2 T. vanilla extract
- *salt for the churning process
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes). Whisk in the sugar until mixed thoroughly. Add the half-and-half and the vanilla. Whisk it together and pour into a container that fits in the fridge. Refrigerate until ready. Add ice and salt outside/ around the container. Let the ice cream churn and freeze until it is the consistency of thick whipping cream. Pour into freezer size container and cover it with plastic wrap (on the surface of the ice cream) quickly transfer to the freezer for 3 or more hours to harden.
- *My mom recommends pasteurizing eggs ahead of time or buying store bought Pasteurized Eggs. Throughout the internet, there are lots of quick tips on how to pasteurize eggs at home for things like ice cream, mayonnaise, and dressings.
- *A generous amount of salt is necessary to lower the freezing temperature of water, well below 32 degrees. I used a ratio of about 1/2 c. salt to 6 cups ice, but I am nowhere near precise with that. I just pour some salt over the ice until it looks about right, from what I have seen my mom do, as the churn turns.
- *We use a large old fashion wooden ice cream maker that uses ice and salt to chill the ice cream.