Tomorrow we celebrate my youngest’s birthday with her friends. Ten 6-and-unders in our backyard (if it rains, we’re toast) playing circus. We’ll do games, cotton candy, cupcakes, and homemade ice cream. (Will also set out bowls of carrots and grapes to satisfy the Nutrition Police in me.)
My cotton candy maker gets mention in a previous post. I’ll put another kitchen toy to good use at the party: our “soccer ball” ice-cream maker. Anyone who has tried homemade ice cream knows how amazingly creamy and sweet and rich it is. There’s no comparing it to store-bought.
My parents introduced me to homemade ice cream early on. Back in the day, we’d take turns turning the handle on our hand-crank churner to make a batch of ultra creamy, pale yellow (used egg yolks freely in the pre-salmonella days), and heavenly vanilla ice cream. Fast forward to 2012 and it’s easy to find affordable electric ice-cream makers; they make amazing ice cream in under an hour with very little effort from the “cook.”
Why, then, do I make ice cream by running around kicking a ball for nearly 30 minutes? A lot of work, yes, but it’s a fun party activity for kids–they seem to have endless energy. It’s a good way for grown-up kids to make ice cream, too, as you work off some of the calories you’ll be inhaling when the ice cream is done.
Here’s how it works: Ice cream ingredients go in one end of the ball; ice and rock salt in the other. The lids are sealed, then the ball is kicked, tossed, and rolled for 10 minutes or so. Next, it’s break-time as the frozen cream mixture is stirred to mix and fresh ice and salt are added on the other end. The lids are resealed and it’s another 10 to 15 minutes of shaking, etc. before the ice cream is ready to enjoy.
Tonight I have ingredients, equipment, and a recipe, but the final product has yet to be made. I’ll post pictures of the ice cream and cotton candy in the near future. But now, I need to get some sleep. I’ll need to be well-rested when the circus-goers take over my backyard.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
No eggs in this recipe. Think of the fun you could have with stir-ins: cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, colored sprinkles, crumbled candy bars, crushed cookies, fresh fruit.
- 2 cups heavy cream*
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
In bowl, combine all ingredients until blended. Transfer to ice-cream maker. Continue according to ice-cream maker instructions.
*The original recipe called for 1 quart cream, but this ice cream was way too rich. I played around with types and ratios of dairy and this is what I like best. Half-and-half (even fat-free) can also stand in for the whole milk.