This recipe is for Shannon from Justasdelish.com who'd like to make smooth creamy ice cream without an ice cream machine.
Just a wee bit of really important background info about making ice cream first, before we get into the recipe:
Ice cream is smooth and creamy because air is whipped into a thick, rich creamy base by churning and mixing as it freezes.
This makes the ice cream lighter than freezing exactly the same base in a tray, because the churning is constantly breaking up the thick liquid as it sets and freezes.
Whichever method you use, you need to keep moving the ice cream base as it freezes to break up the ice crystals that form.
The thicker and richer the base, and the more you churn or move during freezing, the smoother your ice cream will be
7 ways to make ice cream without an ice cream machine
- Whisk the ice cream base over a bowl of ice mixed with rock salt (easy preferred method that everyone can do)
- Put a bowl of ice cream mix in the freezer for 30 minutes, take out and whisk to break up the icy frozen bits, then repeat every 20 minutes until you have ice cream
- Freeze the ice cream in ice cube trays then puree in a food processor
- Freeze the ice cream solid then grate it on a fine grater and crush with frozen stone mortar and pestle
- Make ice cream using liquid nitrogen – the freshest, smoothest ice cream physically possible, or to do it at home, buy dippin dots - the make-at-home liquid nitrogen ice cream kit
- Whisk chunks of "dry ice" through the ice cream base constantly, until it sets into ice cream. Here's a recipe from Bakingbites.com Any remaining will evaporate in the freezer
- Make ice cream using the 'two bags' method, with crushed ice and rock salt between the large outside bag, and the medium sized, sealed inner bag containing the ice cream mix
And of course there's more than one type of machine to make ice cream with:
- Use a paco jet – solid frozen ice cream micro-shaved into creamy ice cream
- Buy a new or second hand domestic ice cream machine – eg Breville
- Use a traditional commercial ice cream machine
- Buy an inexpensive manual ice cream churn 'powered' with ice and rock salt
Making the base
Classically you use a thick creamy custard to make ice cream.
I use that too. It tastes amazing. That creates the perfect conditions for a smooth velvety texture.
Also classically, you'd fold in soft whipped cream when the ice cream base is frozen to roughly the same consistency.
Helene DSouza from Masala Herb recommends using double cream to make smooth creamy ice cream without a machine. The higher fat content gives a smoother texture and doesn't freeze into such icy crystals as lighter cream.
In reality you can use any thick rich base, and anything of a similar consistency .
For example you can thicken coconut milk with corn starch to use as a base, and fold in yoghurt or sweetened mango puree.
You'll taste a textural difference if using starch based thickeners, but lets not pretend that most ice cream is natural with custards and cream.
MOST commercial ice cream is cheap – most people go for lower cost, so to meet the demand it has gums and thickeners, water and milk powder, sugar, stabilisers, emulsifiers, artificial colouring, artificial flavours, preservatives and other numbered food additives.
Natural ice cream is a lot more expensive due to the cost of fresh, pure ingredients and the reasonably short shelf life without artificial additives.
Making your own ice cream allows you to take control over what goes in it.
Use the above as a guideline to be creative, and here's the recipe I'd use for the creamy coconut ice cream.
Coconut ice cream recipe with ice & rock salt method
400g coconut cream, rich and creamy (1 can)
4ea egg yolk
60g sugar or palm sugar – to taste
150g whipping cream
30ml Malibu coconut rum, or coconut syrup / essence
- Have a strainer ready and 2 bowls: One for step 2 and another clean bowl for step 8
- Separate the eggs and put the yolks in a stainless steel bowl
- Add the sugar and whisk into the egg yolks immediately
- Heat the coconut cream until almost boiling & remove from heat
- Pour 1/3 of the coconut cream slowly into the yolks, whisking rapidly
- Pour the yolks, sugar & coconut mix back into the remaining coconut cream in the saucepan, whisking steadily
- Return to LOW heat and whisk continually, watching it like a hawk
- When it changes in consistency and texture (it thickens perceptibly) IMMEDIATELY and quickly strain all of it through the fine mesh sieve into a clean cold bowl.
- Whisk in the Malibu or coconut syrup if using
- Set over a bowl of ice and water to chill rapidly. Stir occasionally
- When the coconut ice cream base is cold, empty the ice and water, and fill the bowl 3/4 with crushed ice.
- Lightly whip the cream and set aside in the fridge for next step
- Sprinkle rock salt or regular salt over the crushed ice and quickly squash the bowl of ice cream base deep into the crushed ice and salt
- Start stirring with the whisk, slowly and deliberately. You want to keep it moving, as anything touching the bowl will freeze. Don't whisk quickly because you don't want any foam or bubbles. The ice cream will freeze in 15-20 minutes, just the same as using a machine.
- When the base is the same thickness as the soft whipped cream in the fridge, add the cream and stir through.
- Add any garnish at this stage (see below)
- Keep stirring until frozen into ice cream. Other than using liquid nitrogen, this method is the easiest way to make ice cream without an ice cream machine
- Transfer to a clean airtight container and store in the freezer. Best eaten same day, or within a week maximum.
The two bags method
You can also use a couple of sealed bags. One large and one smaller.
Put the ice cream mix in the medium bag and seal it tightly. Put it inside the large bag
Put crushed ice and rock salt in the large bag, seal it, and shake/massage until frozen and churned into ice cream.
Great garnishes for coconut ice cream
- coco de nata (coconut jelly)
- toasted dry shredded coconut
- young coconut meat
And if you're not making coconut ice cream, here's a classic ice cream base recipe that works with all flavours