3 Ways to Make Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker


Summer’s coming and you undoubtedly have ice cream on your mind. What better way to cool off in the searing heat than to indulge in the cold, luscious goodness of ice cream. Here are three ways to make it without taking out your ice cream maker.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

vanilla ice cream

Making ice cream by hand means breaking up ice crystals that have formed as your ice cream freezes to make your result smooth and creamy. So for the best result, use an ice cream recipe that’s custard-based for the smoothest texture possible. You can use this basic vanilla ice cream recipe for starters.

You will need:
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
8 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Heat the milk, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk then add the pod into the saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and infuse for about an hour.

2. Setup an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the smaller bowl and pour the cream into it.
Stir the yolks together in a separate bowl. Rewarm the milk. Slowly add the milk into the yolks, whisking continuously as you pour.

3. Place the eggs and warmed milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula until the custard becomes thick enough to cover the spatula.

4. Strain the custard over the heavy cream then place this in the ice bath to cool. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.

Method 1: Stir and Freeze method

Once you’ve prepared your ice cream mixture, transfer it in a container and chill it over an ice bath. Put a deep baking dish or a durable bowl in a freezer then pour your custard mixture into it. Return the bowl in the freezer.

Check the mixture after 45 minutes. As the mixture freezes along the edges, remove it from the freezer and vigorously whisk the mixture to break up any frozen sections. Return it to the freezer.

Keep on checking the mixture every 30 minutes, breaking any frozen sections with a spatula or a whisk. You can use a hand-held electric mixer for best results.

Continue checking periodically and stir it with a spatula or hand mixer until the ice cream freezes. This will probably take about two to three hours. Transfer the ice cream in a covered container and freeze until ready to serve.

Method 2: Frozen Ice Cube method

ice cube

Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk together the following ingredients – yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract for about 5 minutes or until mixture turns pale yellow and falls from whisk in thick ribbons. Add this to warmed milk, whisking constantly. Transfer egg and milk mixture back to saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until custard becomes thick. Be careful not to overheat or the eggs will scramble.

Whip one cup heavy cream until doubled in volume. Fold the egg mixture into the whipped cream until no lumps remain. Pour mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for 4 hours or until solid.

Process the cubes of ice cream, keep the heavy cream in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer mixture in a container with a lid and freeze for another 4 hours before serving.

Method #3: The Bag Method

Make and chill your ice cream, preferably overnight. Fill a quart or pint-sized zip lock bag with no more than two cups of chilled ice cream then securely seal the bag. Fill the gallon-sized zip lock bag half-way with ice then add about half a cup of kosher salt. Shake the bag to distribute the salt evenly among the ice then place the quart-sized bag inside. Make sure that the smaller bag is covered with ice.

Seal the larger bag and place it inside a couple layers of plastic shopping bags. Shake or roll the bag for about 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully check the inner bag. The ice cream should be a soft mass by now. If not, add more ice and shake.

Turn out the contents of the quart-sized bag in a bowl and serve immediately. You can serve it topped with fruits, nuts and/or a drizzle of melted chocolate.