We all scream for home-made ice cream in de­li­cious fresh flavours.

Learn how to make the best-ever ice cream

NZ House & Garden - - CONTENTS - RECIPES SARAH TEN­NANT / STYLING BERNDETTE HOGG / PHO­TO­GRAPHS MANJA WACHSMUTH

Rich, creamy, home-made ice cream is a spec­tac­u­lar dessert. Like any­thing worth mas­ter­ing, though, it can be a lit­tle knacky so here’s a quick primer. Ice cream comes in two va­ri­eties: French and Philadel­phia-style. Philly-style is the eas­i­est to make – mix, churn and you’re done. Un­for­tu­nately its high cream con­tent tends to leave a greasy mouth-feel and the mix­ture of­ten turns icy.

French-style ice cream is cus­tard-based – the mix­ture has to be cooked and cooled be­fore churn­ing. The ad­di­tion of egg yolks for fat con­tent al­lows some of the cream to be re­placed with milk, which en­sures a rich tex­ture with­out the greasy mouth-feel.

The cus­tard method also al­lows in­gre­di­ents like mint leaves, cof­fee and vanilla beans to be steeped in warm cream, giv­ing a richer and more nat­u­ral taste than ar­ti­fi­cial flavour­ings can.

But for home-made ice cream, flavour isn’t the big hur­dle: tex­ture is. Pre­vent­ing icy, grainy ice cream takes a few tricks.

Don’t skimp on the su­gar – the higher su­gar con­tent low­ers the freez­ing tem­per­a­ture of the mix­ture. Flavours are also slightly dulled when cold, so ice cream cus­tard should be just a lit­tle sweeter and more highly flavoured than you think it needs to be.

If in doubt, add a shot of al­co­hol. Vodka will do the job as far as low­er­ing freez­ing-tem­per­a­ture goes but it’s much more fun to ex­per­i­ment with Kahlua, Bai­leys, rum and whisky.

The most im­por­tant trick, though? Use an ice cream maker. Noth­ing can com­pare to the smooth­ness and rich­ness of ice cream made in a churn – which, in­ci­den­tally, reg­u­larly ap­pear at op shops for around $10. Be sure to fully freeze the can­is­ter – this may take 24 hours or longer. Also chill the cus­tard well.

Be aware that a home ma­chine isn’t grunty enough to churn ice cream to straight-from-the-freezer con­sis­tency. It’s not meant to – it’s just in­cor­po­rat­ing air while chilling the cus­tard to a soft­serve con­sis­tency, af­ter which it needs to be frozen. Scrape your freshly churned ice cream into a casse­role dish or metal tin that you’ve pre-chilled in the freezer, cover with plas­tic wrap and a lid if your con­tainer has it, then hus­tle it into the freezer and leave for a good 5-6 hours to achieve a firm, scoopable tex­ture.

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