Make Your Own Ice Cream! Activity

3.9 based on 10 ratings
Updated on Mar 2, 2016

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…homemade spearmint ice cream! Store-bought ice cream is good, but trust us – homemade is better. The problem for parents is that making it yourself isn’t usually all that realistic-- the classic recipe starts with homemade custard, which is time-consuming to prepare.

Alec Thomson, a recent graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, created this easy “Philadelphia style” ice cream which takes minutes to make, uses no eggs, and makes an ice cream that’s refreshing, airy, and absolutely delicious. It’s a great way to use something from your garden to make something kids love. So grab the family and let everyone pitch in. Cooking helps kids practice their measuring. Double or half a recipe and fractions get a workout, too. Plus, it’s just plain yummy.

What You Need:

  • ¾ liter heavy cream
  • ¼ liter milk
  • 1 scant cup of sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped, OR ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bunch of mint, rinsed and patted dry
  • chocolate chips, crushed spearmint hard candy or crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (optional)
  • ice cream maker, chilled and ready to go

What You Do:

  1. Place cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large heavy saucepan and heat slowly, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add mint and bring to a simmer, gently bruising the mint against the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and let the mixture infuse for 15 minutes. Taste it; if the mint flavor is strong enough, it’s ready to be strained and cooled. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding solids. Chill in refrigerator until cold.
  2. Meanwhile, chill optional ingredients in the freezer, if using.
  3. Follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker to make the chilled cream mixture into ice cream. Add optional ingredients in the last five minutes, breaking up any clumps beforehand. Without any gums or stabilizers, homemade ice cream tends to be soft and airy when it comes out of the ice cream maker. If you prefer the harder commercial texture, freeze in an airtight container for several hours before serving. Top with whipped cream and a sprig of mint.

As Thomson says, “it’s truly decadent.”

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