I had never made ice cream before when I was married in 1994, but we received a frozen treat maker as a wedding gift, and thus began my foray into the world of frozen dessert making. After much experimentation I came up with this very tasty basic ice cream recipe that is smoothly perfect in texture as well as flavor.
The recipe makes approximately a half gallon. Once you get the hang of it, this process goes really fast. I make it about once a week all summer long and on special occasions the rest of the year. The whole family loves it.
2 cups milk
¾ cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup whipping cream
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium saucepan. Add milk and heat to very hot. Refrigerate egg whites. Beat egg yolks. Add one cup hot mixture, stirring constantly. Add all back into milk mixture and heat on medium, stirring constantly, to 160 degrees F. Cool two hours to overnight. Strain custard mixture. Beat egg whites till stiff peaks form. Whip cream, and add egg whites and cream to custard mixture. Freeze in ice cream maker. Ripen in freezer.
These are the directions for the varied flavors I do, all using the same basic recipe above.
French Vanilla: Add 1 T. vanilla to base mixture.
Toasted Marshmallow: Cut down sugar just a tad. Add 1 tsp. vanilla to custard mixture. Spread about half of one bag of large marshmallows in a foil-covered pan and toast in the oven till brown, about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Add to finished dessert, chop up, and mix in.
Coconut: Add ½ tsp. vanilla and 2/3 tsp. coconut extract to base mixture. Add ½ cup toasted coconut to finished dessert before ripening.
Banana Cream Pie: Puree two bananas in blender with some of custard mixture and add to rest of ice cream with ½ tsp. vanilla. Make about three dozens tiny disks of pie crust (bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes) and stir into finished ice cream before ripening.
Cherry: Add ½ tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. cherry extract to base mixture. Add ½ cup chopped maraschino cherries to finished dessert before ripening.
Strawberry: Cut down sugar a tad. Add ½ tsp. vanilla and two cups sugared and pureed strawberries to base mixture.
Peach: Add ½ tsp. vanilla and 15 oz. can peach slices in syrup, pureed, to base mixture.
Watermelon Gelato: Add 1-2 cups pureed watermelon, half of a 3-oz. package watermelon Jello, and approximately 8 drops red food coloring and 2 drops yellow food coloring to base mixture.
Lemon Custard: Add ½ tsp. vanilla to base mixture. Add small package instant lemon pudding to finished ice cream before ripening and stir very well.
Orange Spice: Add ¼ cup orange juice concentrate and 1 tsp. cinnamon to custard and whipped cream mixture.
Rum Ginger: Add 2 tsp. rum extract and ½ tsp. ginger to custard and whipped cream mixture.
Pumpkin: Add ½ cup canned pumpkin, ½ tsp. vanilla, ¼ tsp. each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves to base mixture.
Egg Nog: Cut sugar in half. Replace whipped cream with 1 ½ cups egg nog. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and ¼ tsp. nutmeg to custard and egg nog mixture.
Amaretto: Add 1 tsp. almond extract to custard and whipped cream mixture.
Chocolate Rum: Add scant ¼ cup cocoa to sugar before adding milk at the beginning. Add 2 tsp. rum extract to base mixture.
Chocolate-Marshmallow-Banana: Add scant ¼ cup cocoa to sugar before adding milk at the beginning. Add ½ jar marshmallow cream, and ½ banana to some of cooled custard mixture in blender.
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato: Add ½ cup Nutella to custard mixture. Add ½ tsp. vanilla to base mixture.
Mint Chocolate Chip: Add ¼ tsp. mint extract and 6 or 7 drops green food coloring to base mixture. Add desired amount of chocolate chips to finished dessert before ripening.
Peppermint: Add ½ tsp. peppermint extract and 3-4 drops red food coloring to custard and whipped cream mixture. Add 1/3 cup finely crushed soft peppermint candies to finished dessert before ripening.
Rootbeer: Add approximately ¼ bottle (to taste) rootbeer concentrate to base mixture.
Pistachio: Cut sugar in half. Add small package instant pistachio pudding to finished ice cream before ripening and stir very well.
Crème Caramel Toffee Crunch Gelato: Add ½ tsp. vanilla to base mixture. Add ½ jar carmel topping and desired amount of toffee bits to finished dessert before ripening and swirl gently.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Add ½ tsp. vanilla and strawberry jam to taste to base mixture. Ten minutes before churning is done, add chopped pieces of partially thawed strawberry cheesecake.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Add ½ tsp. vanilla to base mixture. Ten minutes before churning is done, add about a third of a tube of cookie dough, partially thawed and chopped.
M&M Malt: Add ½ cup malted milk powder to sugar before adding milk at the beginning. Add desired amount of M&Ms to finished dessert before ripening.