Monday, September 3, 2012

The Best Ever Homemade Ice Cream

In honor of Labor Day and many, many family parties with  homemade ice cream...the day just wouldn't be the same without it.

This is the first in my attempt to post a recipe a day of our family's favorite recipes. To see the rest, clicky here. For the record, this is a work in progress until the end of the month. =]

My husband was one of eight kids, seven of whom were boys. When we all lived close together, family get-togethers were a blast. OK, yes, I muttered at the time, but our kids loved hanging out with their cousins, and of course, there was the food...  

When it came to family parties, we were all assigned to bring something. Most of us daughters-in-law got assigned homemade ice cream to go along with whatever else we brought, but no one could compete with my mother-in-law when it came to the ice cream. 

Believe me. I tried. 

One time, in desperation, I bought a couple cartons of Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip (my favorite brand because it tastes homemade), plopped it in a bowl, used the mixer to soften it up, then stuck it in the ice cream maker and called it mine. 

I did get rave reviews at that family party, but couldn't keep a straight face when asked for the recipe. I confessed and got a couple of high-fives from my sisters-in-law. My kids still tease me about it.

This is my mother-in-law's recipe and she is famous for it. It's pretty much a given for Labor Day, Memorial Day, family birthdays, etc.

She has a basic base and then adds what she wants to it. A few of the favorite alterations are below. 

Jeanette's Basic Ice Cream
4 eggs
4-1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
2-1/4 c sugar
4 c whipping cream
4 c half and half
1 c milk
Beat eggs ‘til slightly thickened. Add vanilla and salt. Slowly add sugar and beat til mixed. Mix in whipping cream and 2 c half and half. Pour into one gallon ice cream container and add remaining half and half. Add milk to fill line. 
Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.
For our favorite variations, add the following to the base as directed:

Cookies and Cream:
1 sm pkg Oreo cookies - 2/3 broken and 1/3 finely smashed/crushed. 
To be fair, my mother-in-law scrapes the filling off the this last third before crushing, but I can never bring myself to do that.
When mostly frozen, after about 10-15 minutes, add cookies. Letting it set up a bit keeps everything from settling on the bottom.

Toasted Almond
1/2 c Nestle Quik
1/4-1/2 t almond extract
1-1/4 c toasted almonds 
For toasted almonds, heat oven to 350. Place almonds on a cookie sheet. Stir after 10 minutes. Cook for 3-5 minutes longer. Watch carefully as once they start to brown, they go from toasty to burnt quickly. Cool before adding to ice cream. These are soft when warm, but as they cool, they get crunchy.

Chocolate Chip:
1/2 c grated dark chocolate
1/2 c grated milk chocolate
I like to add peppermint extract, but I couldn't tell you how much. Maybe I'll experiment today. =]
For Chocolate/Chocolate Chip, add 1/2 c Nestle Quik as well.

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