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Ice cream recipes

Vanilla ice cream

Vanilla ice cream

By Lee Cox

From easy no-churn vanilla ice cream to nutty pistachio, we've got plenty of delicious ice cream recipes - perfect for cooling down on a hot summer's day.

Recipes for ice cream

Desserts

See all recipes for ice cream (29)

Buyer's guide

Homemade ice cream can be made without an ice cream machine, but there is a wide variety of machines available. Some freeze and churn the mixture outside the freezer, while others need to be placed in the freezer for up to 48 hours before use. The former allows you can make ice cream at the flick of a switch with minimum effort and no pre-planning.

Storage

Home-made ice cream can be stored in the 3***-rated (-18C/0F) section of the freezer for up to one week. To soften it slightly before serving, leave in the fridge rather than at room temperature to avoid exposing it to food-poisoning bacteria such as staphylococci. Return the ice cream to the freezer as soon as you've served it to prevent it from melting then refreezing. To avoid any risk of food poisoning, don’t re-freeze ice cream that has melted.

Don't serve ice cream made with eggs (even if they're partially cooked as in custard or parfait) to anyone who might be particularly vulnerable to salmonella, such as the elderly, babies, toddlers and pregnant women. Freezing doesn't kill salmonella bacteria; it merely makes them dormant.

Preparation

Ice cream is a cream- or custard-based frozen dessert. It is thought to have originated in Italy in the 1600s and to have been made popular through the French court. The simplest ice cream recipes are based on cream, sugar and crushed or puréed fruit. Custard-based ice creams have a more unctuous texture than those made from pure cream. The cream can be infused with a flavouring, such as vanilla or cinnamon, or mixed with a fruit purée before it's churned and frozen.

When making the simplest of ice creams, allowing for three parts sugar to seven parts double cream and fruit purée will mean the mixture won’t even have to be churned in an ice cream maker (although the texture will be better if it is churned). Whisking the cream into soft peaks before folding in the fruit purée helps to add volume, while adding alcohol will give the finished ice cream a softer texture. Allow about 50ml/1¾fl oz alcohol to 500ml/17½fl oz liquid ice cream.

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