I love ice cream of all kinds. I used to post a new ice cream here every Tuesday, and I called them “Ice Cream Tuesdays.” They never had a real place to live on the blog, so now I’m putting all my ice cream recipes in one place so you can easily find them.
Some of these ice creams are traditionally churned, others are no churn. I even have some gelato, Sicilian gelato, and sherbet and sorbet recipes.
Consider this an ice cream resources pages to learn about different types of ice creams, pieces of equipment you might need, great ice cream recipe books plus links to the going on 50 ice cream recipes here at Pastry Chef Online. And then of course you can check out this great round up of ice cream sauce recipes to pour over or swirl into your creations.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Ice Cream: Definitions
It seems kind of silly to define “ice cream,” but there are actual guidelines that define types of ice cream and other frozen treats: gelato, Sicilian gelato, sherbet, sorbet, granita, ice milk, etc.
All are frozen desserts. On that, I think everyone can agree! But they differ in the amount of milk fat and the amount of air whipped into them, and how they’re frozen.
I think for home ice cream making purposes, a good definition of ice cream is a frozen dairy dessert made mainly of sweetened cream or a mixture of milk and cream and frozen in a churn to whip in air and keep the ice crystals small.
Custard-based ice creams or “French” style ice creams contain eggs. Philadelphia-style ice cream doesn’t use any eggs, so it’s a bit less rich and the flavors tend to be more pure since there is no egg to contribute its own flavor.
Gelato usually contains less fat and also less air than ice cream. This means that it’s a denser product with almost a chewy mouthfeel.
Sicilian gelato is made with a cooked milk base that is thickened with cornstarch. The starch helps to keep it “scoopable” even straight from the freezer.
Sherbet usually contains fruit juice and some dairy. Sorbet or sorbetto doesn’t contain any dairy at all.
Granita is usually made with sweetened fruit puree like sorbet, but it is allowed to freeze “still.” Once it is frozen, you scrape the surface with a fork so you end up with large, icy crystals.
No-Churn ice cream is usually made from a base formula of:
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups (1 pint) of whipping cream
To that base, you can add almost any flavorings, swirls, or mix-ins you can think of. Nigella Lawson (or her grandmother) gets credit for putting a no-churn coffee ice cream dessert on the map just a few years ago, and since then, no churn ice cream is everywhere.
Gear for Making Traditionally Churned Ice Cream
I have 2 2 quart Cuisinart Ice Cream & Gelato makers that I really quite like. They’re the kind that have the inserts you store in the freezer. The insert stays still while the “dasher” spins, controlling crystallization and making up a creamy, soft-serve ice cream in about 20 minutes or so.
I have also used an old-fashioned electric ice cream churn. I find them a bit messier to use because you have to deal with packing ice and salt around the canister for churning. The nice thing about them is that they will make up to a gallon of ice cream, so if you’re making it for a crowd, that’s the way to go.
There are no right or wrong kinds of churns. There’s only the kind you like the best. Old fashioned churns tend to be a bit cheaper, but you don’t have to store the cylinder in the freezer, so it doesn’t take up freezer space.
Also, you have to plan ahead to use the Cuisinart kind. If you don’t store your cylinder in the freezer, you’ll need to remember to put it in a good 24 hours before making ice cream. That’s why I just generally leave one in the freezer all the time.
It’s also nice to have dedicated containers for storing your ice cream as well as owning a good scoop or two. Here are some options for you to consider:
Great Books About Ice Cream
For the longest time, David Lebovitz reigned supreme when it came to ice cream recipes.
Other books are out now too offering fun and unique flavors and flavor combinations.
A couple of my recipes even feature recipes from some of these books, so take a look and be inspired!
And now, I give you the best ice cream recipes I have. Actually, all the ice cream recipes on the site, including a couple of ice cream cakes. Enjoy!