Ice Cream

Baby it’s cold outside! Perfect time for ice cream, right? Well, probably not. However, the cold weather has me thinking about ice cream.

I love to make ice cream! I enjoy eating it, but I enjoy making it even more than I do eating it! And, though I know this will sound arrogant, I make really good ice cream. I have made A LOT of ice cream and done A LOT of experimentation. The result is nothing short of perfection. The texture can’t be beat, creamy and smooth and oh so good!

So I thought I’d provide my 2 base recipes with some ingredient suggestions.

The first recipe uses eggs. This one takes a little longer and is more labor intensive. The texture between this and the other recipe is really negligible but it is healthier and allows you to eat ice cream for breakfast without feeling guilty. Because, you know, it has eggs in the ingredients. Not to sound like a yuppy but if I only use cage free or fresh, local eggs for ice cream. For the sake of your health, I recommend you do the same.

Base Recipe #1


1 egg and 1 egg yolk

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup + 1 TBSP of milk

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk (I eyeball it)


1 egg + egg yolk beaten with 1/4 cup of sugar.

Heat up 1 cup of milk

Temper the egg/sugar mixture into the milk

Once the eggs and milk are incorporated, keep at medium low heat for a bit (do not let it boil or simmer) and then add 1/2 cup of half and half  and sweetened condensed milk. Allow all ingredients to dissolve and then remove from heat. Make sure it fully cools before putting it into your ice cream machine.  Our ice cream maker is made by cuisinart.

Base Recipe #2

This one doesn’t use eggs. You will need to let it go longer in the ice cream machine than the machine directions state, maybe 35 minutes. The extra time means it will have the same creamy texture as the one with eggs.


1/4 cup sugar

1 cup + 2 TBSP of milk

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk


Heat up the milk on low heat. This is simply to help dissolve all of the ingredients. Once the milk is heated, add everything else, stir until everything is thoroughly dissolved.  Let cool completely before putting it in the machine.

      Different Flavors of Ice Cream

  • Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup of cocoa to heated mixture 
  • Peanut Butter: Add 1/4 cup of peanut butter to heated mixture
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: Add 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 bag of Reese’s Minis (usually found in check-0ut aisle).
  • Snickers: melt 2 large snicker bars and then incorporate that melted mixture into heated ice cream base
  • Coffee: 1 packet of Starbucks Via Instant Coffee. These come in different flavors, and the flavors work well, for example, caramel coffee.  Add the coffee directly into the ice cream machine when it is on and the base has already started to freeze.
  • Mocha: 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 packet of Starbucks Via Instant Coffee
  • Blueberry: Let 1 1/2 cups of blueberries macerate in 1/4 cup of sugar. This will soften them up. Mash them some with a potato masher. Pour base recipe into ice cream machine, turn machine on then immediately add blueberries.
  • Strawberry: 1-2 cups of chopped strawberries and macerate them in 1/3 cup of sugar. Follow the directions for the blueberries. You can also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to this recipe. Basically, for all berry flavors, macerate the berries in sugar and add after the base recipe has been added into the machine
  • Lemon: 1/4 cup of Lemon juice added to the base mixture AS IT COOLS. Also throw in some lemon zest.
  • Cinnamon: 2 teaspoons of cinnamon added to base recipe when it is heating. This is fantastic in the Fall served with baked apples or apple pie.
  • Vanilla: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract added to base recipe when it is heating.
  • Mint: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (depending on how much mint you want. Be careful, too much and it tastes like toothpaste). Add this to the base recipe when it is heating.
  • Mint Chocolate: The above with 1/4 cup of cocoa. I haven’t found a good “chocolate chip” that freezes well.
  • Grilled Peach: Finely slice 2 peaches (leave skin on). Take 2-3 TBSP of butter and chop those up and add to peaches. Spread peach-butter mixture out on a piece of aluminum foil and put it on the grill. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Grill it up! Once cooled, add to the ice cream mixture BEFORE putting it in the ice cream machine. This buttery-peachy goodness can’t be beat during the height of summer.
  • Maple: Take 2/3 cup of maple syrup. Bring to boil and reduce by half. Once cooled, add the concentrated maple syrup to your ice cream maker.
  • Nutella: 1/4 teaspoon of hazelnut extract and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder added to either mixture.
  • Black Cherry Chocolate:  Using the base recipe, take the 1/4 cup of sugar and macerate approximately 1 cup of diced black (and pitted!) cherries. After they have sat in the sugar for a while, add those to the base recipe along with 1/4 cup cocoa.
  • Coconut Pineapple: instead of the cup of milk, use one can of coconut milk. For the pineapple flavor, use one cup of crushed pineapple and a little pineapple juice.
  • Cookies and Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and in the last 5 minutes of the ice creaming process (in the machine–whatever the technical term is called?) add 5 crushed gluten free “oreo” cookies.


Just so you don’t think I think I’m perfect I’ve failed many times getting the above recipes correct. In addition, pumpkin and apple pie are two flavors I cannot make work. So if you have had a successful apple pie or pumpkin please let me know!


On cider brands and hops

Just a few updates for you.

1) Never, ever, never, ever use Aldi’s cider as your cider for home cider.  I’m not sure if there was some yeast stabilizer in the ingredients I missed or not but it only fermented about half-way. The sugars I added fermented but the natural sugars in the cider remained so that it is too sweet for my taste. Now I have 7 gallons of hard cider I don’t like. What to do?

2) In line with the above, the Hallertau hops I used in my dry-hopped cider MAY have worked well, if it wasn’t so sweet.

Surprise Pumpkin Patch Ale (Experimental Series)

Last year I tried to make, disastrously, an autumn beer. I called it Autumn Bourbon Ale. I’m not sure if it was the wild turkey bourbon I added or something else but it really didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Unfortunately, I made it in the standard five gallon size so I was faced with drinking a lot of unpleasant beer or pouring it–and symbolically my money–down the drain.  I ended up doing both.

After that, I decided if I was going to make a beer that was experimental (and for gluten free homebrewing, that is saying something) I decided to do it in a 1 gallon size. This paid off well, my next attempt was a Pecan Pie Beer that was terrible (though, because of this article, I still want to revisit using nuts).

The next beer in my experimental series is this one, Surprise Pumpkin Patch Ale. We have a large (30 at least), unplanned, unplanted pumpkin patch in our back yard. One day, while looking out the window at the pumpkin patch I thought, “Why not?” I have read about using roasted pumpkin seeds in beers so I went and picked the most ripe looking one, cut it open and scooped the seeds out. I cleaned them and then roasted them in the oven at 275 for 20 minutes. I ended up with just over 2 oz of seeds (these are sugar baby pumpkins).

I steeped those for 30 minutes in about 1 gallon of water, then:

Fermentables & Misc

  • 1.5 lbs Brown Rice Syrup
  • 2oz Molasses
  • 3oz Buckwheat honey
  • 1oz maltodextrine


  • .3oz Fuggles @60
  • .15oz East Kent Goldings @15
  • .05oz East Kent Goldings @10

Cooled, pitched S-04 and dumped 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice into the primary jug.

The result:


A few thoughts:

  • I don’t know why, but this stayed murky from start to finish. This is a VERY cleared up version of it from when it first started to ferment. I’m not sure if there was something from the pumpkin seeds or what but it never cleared up. Usually, I don’t care if my beer is aesthetically pleasing or not, which is why I don’t bother with whirlfloc tablets, but I’d rather they not be this murky.
  • Aside from the taste, you may notice an absence of any head. This beer has very low carbonation. I didn’t use any priming sugar on this one, I thought it had enough residual sugar left, but apparently I was wrong. That isn’t a recipe issue, simply a brewer error.
  • In terms of taste, this is very good. The seeds truly imparted a “pumpkin flavor” into this beer. It also has a nice spicy finish from the pumpkin pie spice. The flavor is not quite cinnamon, but pretty close. In that respect I’m very happy with it!
  • If I had to do it over again, I’d remove the East Kent Goldings hops and only use 1 hop addition of Fuggles at 60 minutes. I also think D-90 candi syrup would be better in this than buckwheat honey and molasses.