I can’t think of anything that sounds better today than ice cream! Maybe an ice cold Coke but you drink that while making the ice cream. Right? Especially since it’s the first of the season. And it’s hotter than hades.
You know you’re a boomer when you remember this….When I was a kid, it was always my job to sit on top of the ice cream freezer as my daddy or one of my uncles cranked the freezer. I’m not sure why me…other than I was skinny and my rear end was a perfect fit for the top of the freezer. And I was the only girl and the oldest. All of the boys were busy chunking rocks at snakes or chasing themselves. Which I was usually doing, unless there was ice cream to be made!
My grandma would get the ice cream mixed up, with input from her 3 daughters….is is too sweet? Maybe we need to add a little more cream. No it needs more sugar. You’re putting peaches in there aren’t you?
Ice cream was a lot like potato salad and Thanksgiving dressing. Those three dishes were always debatable and adjustable. Too much. Too little. Of whatever was being added. Then we’d all take turns tasting before concluding that it was “just right”. I knew I was an official, bona-fide adult when an aunt stuck a clean spoon under my nose and said, “Here. You taste it. What does it need?”
So anyways, I’d perch my gimbley butt on top of the piles of old towels that the aunts had placed on the top of the ice cream freezer for my “comfort”. They didn’t want what rear-end I had to freeze off.
It seemed like it took forever for that crank to fnally start pulling down, forcing the cranker to put more muscle into the job. The uncles, grandad and my daddy all took turns cranking out under the live oak tree. So that made ice cream a group effort thus assuring everyone who helped to think that THEY got the first bowl full. Nope, that would be ME! Because without me and my skinny rear, there would be no ice cream. I made certain that the first bowl was mine. All I had to do was coerce the cranker with, “I’m not getting off unless I get the first bowl!” Ha! I had them right where I wanted them!
Someone always had a chocolate cake hidden away and Grandma made a killer peach cobbler. Chocolate syrup was forbidden! Why in the world would you want to squirt chocolate over heavenly ice cream? I love chocolate, but not on this. Ever. And thus, we had our Ice Cream Supper! To be a true “supper”, there should be more than one freezer of ice cream. No sandwiches, no hamburgers or hot dogs…just pure old sugar!!!!
Now, I have an electric White Mountain freezer…a 6 quarter. The Cadillac of the ice cream world!
My recipe is a combination of my mother’s recipe and my mother-in-law’s technique, as are many of the recipes I have now. So, secure your ice bag supply, get the eggs out and let’s get started! This will be a recipe for a 4 quart freezer. For my 6 quart freezer, I cut the recipe in half and add that to the original recipe.
Don’t let the length of this scare you. I just tried to include every detail that I thought you might need! I’m certain that I left something out. Questions are welcome!!!
ICE CREAM 101…..
Break 6 large eggs in to a mixer bowl. Add 2 cups sugar. Blend well at a low speed then turn the speed up about 3 notches to a med-high speed. While that beats until the sugar is pretty much dissolved, do this:
Get a medium saucepan…I usually use my 2 quart pan as it gives me some leeway in case I forget the milk and it boils over. Don’t do that. It makes a big mess of your stove. Fill it 3/4 of the way with cold milk. Place it on a med-hot burner. Bring it to the point right before it begins to boil. A thin skin of milk will form on top of the milk when you take it off. That means it is properly scalded. But DON’T let it boil!!! Remember that!
See those little bubbles? It’s ready to be taken off the burner.
Pour the hot milk into the egg-sugar mixture SLOWLY with the beater set on the lowest speed. The milk will “cook” the eggs thus no raw egg taste or concerns.
Then add a quart of cold heavy cream to the now cooled down mixture. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla…the real stuff …and a pinch of salt. Add enough cold milk to bring the mixture up to fill the bowl about 3/4 full. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Longer is better as your ice cream will freeze faster.
While that is cooling, put the freezer canister and dash in the fridge so it’s good and cold when you add the milk mixture. Pour a box of rock salt into a large bowl with a cup measure on hand.
I usually set my freezer in a deep sink that has an outlet close by with the salt on my right. You’ll need at least one box of salt…I usually end up using 2 boxes.
When the milk mixture is cold, pour it into the cooled canister and place into the freezer bucket…mine is wooden. If you need to add more milk to meet the fill line on the canister, add some. Then place the metal dash into the canister and secure the lid. Fit the motor/crank head on top placing the dash top into the gear hole. Plug in so the canister starts turning.
Begin adding ice to a depth of about 2 “, then a layer of 1 cup salt or more. Continue until the top of the lid is covered, ending with salt. You’ll probably hear the motor start pulling down a bit at this point. As the ice/salt level melts down, add more ice and salt to keep the bucket full. It will take at least 30 mins. but more likely longer for the motor to finally pull all the way down. Don’t let it completely stop and sit there. Your motor will burn up. When you hear it pulling down and almost stopping, unplug it!
Take the motor/gear head off. Remove some of the ice so that you can remove the lid without getting salty ice into your ice cream. At this point, I remove the dash as it’s usually still soft enough to take out easily. And that also means that I get the first taste!! Have a bowl ready to put the dash in once you remove it and have a spoon handy. You are the taste-tester!! Replace the lid and let the ice cream sit for 15 mins. or so. Or you can remove it entirely from the bucket of ice and place into a freezer to finish hardening it up.
We used to pack the bucket down with more ice and more towels to harden it off or ripen. But it never gets to sit as long as “the book” says because we simply can’t wait for that creamy goodness!
If you want a flavored ice cream like peach, add chopped up frozen peaches as you’re adding the milk mixture to the canister. Then add more milk if needed and start freezing. Same with strawberries, pecans, bananas. My grandma and mother always used really ripe fruit if it was fresh and cooled down.
There are a hundred different ways of freezing ice cream. This is only one way…he way that I know and have used for 40+years! Have fun and enjoy!!
And if you have a hand crank freezer and don’t have a skinny kid to set on the bucket, just grab somebody. It’s the coolest place to be on a hot day!!!