How To - Tips and Tricks

How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine – 3 Simple Methods

If you are one who loves to have homemade ice cream it then follows that you would have all the necessary machines or utensils necessary. But what happens when you either do not have a machine or your ice cream machine broke down?

We have taken time to research and bring you several methods that would help you know how to make ice cream without an ice cream machine.

 So no matter the circumstance that calls for a cone or bowl or soothingly cool ice cream, you can always cater to your cravings with minimal stress.

So fasten your seat belt and get ready to go with us on exciting journey of innovative ways of making ice cream without a machine.

how to make ice cream without an ice cream machine
3 flavors of ice cream

How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker In 2 Simple Methods

Using A Bag, Plastic Jar/Container or Ice Cream Ball

This method is actually a fun method that would get your kids excited about making ice cream and at the same time learn some science principles.  It involves tossing the ball or bag around or shaking it vigorously.

This recipe we are sharing is for one serving so you can double it depending on how large and strong your bag is or the capacity of the ice cream ball.  Note that since this recipe doesn’t call for egg yolks, it wouldn’t be as creamy as a recipe that would have egg yolks. If you want the creamier version then use the 2nd method that starts with a custard base.

Furthermore, you can tweak this recipe to suit your taste and preferences.

Ingredients

1 Cup Milk (you can use full fat/ whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half)

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons White granulated sugar

4 Cups Crushed Ice 6 Tablespoons Rock Salt (sometimes referred to asice cream salt)

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Instruction For Preparation

  1. Crush your ice (you can either buy pre-crushed ice or crush the ice yourself). You can either place the ice in a plastic bag or use whatever is appropriate to crush the ice or use a heavy duty food processor.

  2. Then fill your container or a large heavy duty plastic bag with the crushed ice to halfway. Ensure that whatever container or plastic bag you use is something that can be closed very tight and wouldn’t get easily broken when shaken vigorously. Also make sure that the container you put the ice into is large enough to contain the bag that would house the ice cream mixture.

  3. Add the rock salt into the ice and seal the ice cream ball or bag and shake well to mix the ice and salt. Some people also use regular salt but because the grains are smaller, you may not get evenly frozen ice cream.  The reason rock salt is used in this method is because salt helps the ice to further hit a colder temperature. This enables the ice cream to freeze fast and evenly.

  4. Get a smaller Ziploc bag and pour all the ice cream ingredients into it. If you want your ice cream to be creamier, use heavy cream milk or half and half. Press out all the air in the bag after you have put the ingredients then seal the bag tightly and then place into the larger bag or container. If you are using an ice cream ball, then all you need to do is place all your ice cream ingredients in the compartment and process to the tossing and shaking step.
  5. Place the bag with the ice cream mixture into the container with the ice and seal the larger bag or container tightly.

  6. Start to toss (if using a plastic jar or ice cream ball) or shake vigorously if you are using plastic bags. This process can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes depending on how vigorously you can shake the container, how cold the ice is and the quantity of ice cream you are making. If your ice cream doesn’t get as solid as you want, you can put it in the freezer for a minimum of 5 minutes.

  7. If you used a plastic or bag, ensure that you wipe the bag with the ice cream before opening it up to serve the ice cream. This is to avoid getting salty residue into the ice cream.  You can eat your ice cream from the bag or container or scoop out and garnish with some add-on ingredients.

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Using The Custard Base Method

 A custard base makes for a very rich and creamy ice cream. But the reason why many people avoid it (especially without an ice cream machine) is because it requires a considerable period of vigorous churning. The essence of this post is to share some tips that would show you how to use a custard base to make ice cream at home without strenuous churning.

Note that this method takes more time than the plastic bag/ice cream ball method so it’s not really something that you can make on a whim. You have to put some thought into planning and making ahead.

So here goes…

Ingredients

8 Large Egg Yolks

¼ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup White Granulated Sugar

2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Evaporated Milk

2 Cups Heavy Cream

Instructions For Preparation

  • Separate the eggs because you’ll be using only the yolks. You can also use fewer eggs for this recipe but do not go below 5 eggs. If you are wondering what to do with egg whites, check out great recipes on this post –197 Cake Recipes .

  • Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt and whisk all together. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and pale yellow in color. Stop whisking when you lift the mixture with the whisk and it fall off in thick ribbons.

  • Get a larger mixing bowl than the one you have mixed the egg yolks in. fill it halfway with ice cubes but leave enough room for the smaller bowl to fit into it.  This same ice bath would be used to chill your custard base so that it would not freeze completely.  Remember to keep your heavy cream in fridge all these while.
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  • Next place the cup of milk in a saucepan and put on heat to simmer.  It is best to use evaporated milk because it would reduce the large ice crystals that may form. This in turn means that you wouldn’t have to churn the ice cream so often and vigorously. If you don’t not have evaporated milk, then use full fat milk.

  • Add the vanilla extract and stir properly and slowly whisk in the heated milk into the egg mixture. Ensure that you pour in the milk in a drizzle so as not to scramble your eggs.

  • Place this mixture on low heat and continue whisking. Once your mixture gets to a thick and custard-like consistency, remove it from the heat. Do not overheat this mixture so that you’ll not scald the milk or boil the egg.

  • Now pour this combined mixture into a container that would fit into the ice bath and then place it in the ice bath. Move to the step while your custard mixture is in the ice bath.

  • Get another mixing bowl and place the 2 cups of heavy cream in it and start to whisk. If you are whisking by hand it would surely take a longer time than if you are using an electric mixer for the cream to double in volume.  Stop whisking once the cream becomes light and airy and has doubled in size. Do not over mix or else it would form stiff peaks and become whipped cream.

  • Combine the mixture that you placed in the ice bath (ensure that it is totally chilled) and the cream that you just finished whisking. Use a spatula or flat utensil to fold in the cream to the custard base. Gently mix until there are no lumps.

  • If you have ice cube trays, ensure that they are clean and then spoon the mixture into the tray and freeze. This would enable the ice cream to freeze faster without the formation of large ice crystals. This freezing process would take at least 4 hours.

  • If you want to have the regular ice cream shape, then remove the frozen ice cream cubes and use a food processor to combine them. Transfer the processed ice cream into a freezer safe container with air tight lid and put in the freezer.

  • Another method you can use is to freeze the entire ice cream in a large container from the get go. Then remove it from the freezer every 30 minutes and whisk vigorously whether by hand or an electric mixer. Ensure that you break up the frozen edges and whisk the entire ice cream vigorously.  After about 3 hours, leave the ice cream to freeze completely. The reason for the constant whisking (churning)is to break up whatever large ice crystals that have formed.

  • Serve your ice cream as desired!

A Variant Of The Custard Base Ice Cream

Ingredients and Equipment Needed

If you are using ice cream mix,, use 1 pint ( that would be about half of the mix)

But you can also use the above recipe

Extra- large mixing bowl

Smaller mixing bowl (that would contain the ice cream)

Crushed ice

¾ Cup rock salt (ice cream salt)

Whisk or electric hand mixer

Towel

Instructions For Preparation

  1. Place the ice in the extra-large mixing bowl and mix in the salt.

  2. Place the smaller bowl in the mixing bowl with the ice. Ensure that the smaller bowl is well surrounded by the ice. Then fill it with the ice cream mix.

  3. Beat the mix with your hand mixer for at least 10 minutes but if you are using a whisk this step would take 15 minutes. You can half cover the bowl with a towel to prevent the content from splattering all over the place. After the 10 or 15 minutes, the mix would get very cold but it most probably would not look like ice cream at this point.

  4. If you are using the custard base recipe above, then you would have followed steps 1 – 9. So at step 9. You mix until there are no lumps. Don’t let your mixture form soft peaks.

  5. Next cover the bowl with a towel and put both bowls in the freezer (this includes the bowl with the ice bath and the one with the ice cream). Leave them in the freezer for 45 minutes.

  6.  After 45 minutes, bring out both bowls from the freezer and draw a spoon over the top of the ice cream  and it would have the consistency of thinned out pudding(this is if you are using an ice cream mix).

  7. Beat again for about 5 minutes (if using an electric hand mixer) or longer if using a whisk. At the end of this step, your mixture would be like soft-serve ice cream.

  8. Finally, remove the smaller bowl from the ice bath and cover with a plastic wrap. Ensure that the plastic wrap touches the top of the ice cream.

  9. Freeze for 2 hours or overnight. Serve as desired!

This recipe was adapted from https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-an-ice-cream-machine-171060

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 Using A Food processor Or Blender

This method is very simple and all it requires is pureed frozen fruit, sugar and heavy cream.  You can use any type of fruit that you want as long as it is frozen.

Here’s a sample recipe:-

Ingredients

1 10 oz. Package frozen strawberry

2/3 Cup heavy cream

½ Cup sugar

Instruction for Preparation

  • Combine the frozen fruit and sugar in a food processor or blender and run until the fruit is roughly chopped.

  • Leave the food processor or blender still running and begin to drizzle in the heavy cream.

  • When all the heavy cream is added and well mixed, stop the food processor.

  • You can scoop out and serve immediately or store in the freezer for no more than one week.

Some folks argue that this is not really ice cream but frozen smoothie. But many others have enjoyed it as ice cream so if it works for you then fine.

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Expert Advice on Homemade Ice Cream

There are many things you would learn by trial and error when you start making homemade ice cream. More so, when you do not use an ice cream maker, you can be sure that there would be a lot of bumps on your learning curve.

Thankfully, there are many expert home cooks who have gone ahead of use to make the mistakes and experience the frustrations.  This segment is a compilation of advice from such veterans which we hope would help reduce your learning curve and save you a lot of frustration.

The following points are not all there is by way of expert advice for making ice cream at home. Check out our previous post for more pointers. Click here to read it.

Tweaking A Recipe

One fact that has been proven about home cooks is that they love to tweak recipes. While this act of experimentation aids learning, it is also a recipe for frustration. Here are some ingredients that you have to be wary of substituting or tweaking:-

Dairy Products

Most people for health reasons would want to use a dairy product that is less fatty but that is a No! No! The higher the fat content of a recipe, the creamier the ice cream would be. Let’s be honest, ice cream and counting calories are mutually exclusive.

The more decadent and creamy, the more ‘ice cream’ it is. So just kick back and enjoy your full fat ice cream; chalk it up as your cheat day!

There are other cold treats you can make without full fat cream but they’ll definitely not be ice cream. You can try making popsicles or smoothies.

Most commercial ice cream makers use stabilizers to make their ice cream hold up for long. But if the fat content of your ice cream is high, then the need for stabilizers decreases because most creams already contain stabilizers and thickeners. This is the more reason why you should just follow the recipe and use the type of milk and or cream that it calls for.

If for any reason you want to swap any dairy product that a recipe calls for, be sure that you understand the alternate ingredient very well and how it interacts with the other ingredients.  

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Sugar

Like we said earlier, some folks want to eat their cakes and have it by enjoying rich creamy ice cream and still remain on a diet. Hmmmm! I don’t think so!

One ingredient that people either swap or reduce is sugar. Reducing the sugar would increase the formation of large ice crystals or make your ice cream freeze in large icy chunks so it’s best to use the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for

Frozen Fruits

Although you can swap one frozen fruit in a recipe with another, it is important to understand how the swapped fruit would interact with the other ingredients. Some fruits have more water concentration than others. Some recipes might call for roasted strawberry instead of frozen strawberry or roasted and frozen strawberry.

The developer of the recipe surely has a reason for that; roasted strawberry has more concentrated flavour and is dehydrated. This would therefore determine its interaction with the other ingredients and also the quantity of liquids that may be required.

 To help you understand this point better, here’s the water concentration in some fruits:-

Dates – 26%

Coconut – 44%

Banana – 75%  

Raspberry: 86%

Pear -89%

Orange: 90%

Strawberry – 94%

Blueberries – 95%

Water melon- 96%

This means that if your recipes calls for dates and you want to swap with watermelon, you’ll be increasing the water content of the recipe. Before you do this, you have to be sure that you can factor in the interaction of all the ingredients and know how to balance out the liquid content.

A failure to do this means that you would get a different result from what the original recipe would yield.

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Extracting Flavors

To extract more flavors for your ice cream, you may need to marinate the flavour (for example vanilla pod or cinnamon stick) in the milk for about an hour before continuing to heating the milk. With this method, you would get the strongest hint of whatever natural flavour you want to use.

Storing Homemade Ice Cream

Many home chefs complain that their ice cream does not hold up for long. That actually is not peculiar to you. Homemade ice cream is not meant to last as long as store bought. In fact homemade ice cream is meant to eaten as soon as possible.

Like we mentioned earlier, most commercial ice cream makers use stabilizers to ensure that their ice cream would have a long shelve life.

If you want your homemade ice cream to last for a while and still hold up its yummy creamy texture, then you may need to add stabilizer. However, be careful to check the ingredients in the cream you are using in the recipe. Remember that we said that most creams have stabilizers and thickeners as ingredients.

 But in the event that you do not have the knowledge or expertise to include a stabilizer in your ice cream recipe, it’s best to prepare it as close to serving time as possible and you can store them in single serve containers for ease of service.  It also reduces thermal shock which occurs when a large batch of ice cream is brought out to soften before serving and then the leftover is placed back in the freezer. This process allows large ice crystals to form in the ice cream.

One final point on the issue of storing homemade ice cream is this: – always cover your ice cream with the plastic wrap or wax paper touching the surface of the ice cream. This prevents air from getting into the air cream and causing freezer burn.

Conclusion

Now you know that you can make your ice cream at home even if you don’t have an ice cream maker. But if you have the space and funds, why not invest in an ice cream maker? That way you can be sure of stress- free delicious yumminess at all your convenience. 

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Chisom

Chisom was raised in a home where something was always cooking or baking in the kitchen. She developed her love for baking and the culinary arts from an early age. Through the years she has undergone several formal and informal training on cake decoration. She obtained two certificates from The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Arts. Her wealth of experience spans over 30 years of hands on training and experimentation. She is proud to say that whatever tips and advice she passes on are tested and proven. She has also inspired many to great entrepreneurial heights in the world of cake decoration and culinary arts.

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