This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Friday Favorite: Homemade Ice Cream

May 6th, 2011

I have fond memories from my childhood of Saturdays at the family cabin with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. All of us kids would spend our days running around the acres of woods, collecting rocks, feathers, bones, and all kinds of things children find fascinating. We built dams in the little creek, caught crawdads and gathered berries along the edges of the woods.

The best part of the day was evening when the old fashioned ice cream makers would come out. My grandma would make custard and we’d all have a turn cranking until it got too hard for us kids. Then we’d wait by with bowls in hand for the finished ice cream.

We still make homemade ice cream on special occasions. This past Sunday we celebrated my dad’s birthday and a belated Easter since he just arrived home from Colombia. We enjoyed a delicious meal of ham and other side and had to finish it off with homemade raw milk ice cream.

The kids wanted to help of course, but quickly tired of turning the crank. They played happily nearby while asking “is it done yet?” every couple minutes.

After 20 minutes or so it was done and we dished it up. We all enjoyed a bowl of fresh homemade ice cream with a piece of my mom’s famous pound cake. It was the perfect ending to a family meal.

My ice cream recipe is fairly simple, warm some whole milk with vanilla beans, let steep for 30 minutes. Mix a few egg yolks with some sugar and a dash of salt. Slowly pour in hot milk while whisking. Add some cream and chill for a few hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker, old fashioned or electric. I don’t have specific measurements, I taste and add and taste again and the amount varied depending on which ice cream maker we’re using. Sometimes I add more egg yolks if we can more custardy ice cream, sometimes I add fewer for a lighter ice cream. I also make mine slightly less sweet and with a little less cream than most recipes. This is a great recipe, you can swap the milk/cream to make it less creamy if you want.

It’s nice to know that we’re passing along the love of homemade ice cream to the next generation. I’m sure our nieces and nephew will have fond memories of making old fashioned ice cream just like my brother, sister and I do!

Do you ever make homemade ice cream? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

15 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Homemade Ice Cream”
  1. KimH on May 6, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I too have fond memories of family gatherings and taking turns cranking the ice cream makers..but I fondly remember when the electric ones came on the scene..
    I havent had good old fashioned home made ice cream in probably 35 years..
    Thanks for the reminder of days gone by.. ♥

    Reply to KimH's comment

  2. Diane on May 6, 2011 at 7:55 am

    You’ve inspired me; we’ll make some homemade ice cream this Mother’s Day.

    Reply to Diane's comment

  3. Amy on May 6, 2011 at 8:25 am

    When I was given the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer I thought I’d never use it. Instead, I make ice cream all the time now. I like the control of ingredients like you wrote (more/less cream, sugar, adding fruit, changing the textures, etc.) I just might make a fresh batch also!

    Reply to Amy's comment

  4. mich on May 6, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I havent made homemade ice cream for ages…maybe I’ll make some when I have a fruit glut (fingers crossed)
    Last time I made strawberry ice cream and it was much nicer than shop bought!

    Reply to mich's comment

  5. Daedre Craig on May 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I’ve never made ice cream, but my brother does. My favorite flavor he has made so far was salty caramel.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

    • Susy on May 6, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Salty caramel sounds so good!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. goatpod2 on May 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Yum! We used to make home made icecream with our goat milk when we were still milking goats that is.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  7. MAYBELLINE on May 6, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Vanilla or peppermint (That’s just vanilla with busted candy canes mixed in.)

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  8. Debbie. on May 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    We absolutely make our own ice cream. We used to have a hand crank machine but were gifted an attachement to our kitchen aid. Love it. My favourite flavour is good ol’ vanilla. BUT…I’m quite partial to chocolate and peanut butter and we still have a bunch of wild black raspberries (from our yard) in the freezer that I’ve been meaning to whip up into some ice cream. Perhaps this weekend. :)

    Reply to Debbie.'s comment

  9. Matron on May 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Oh my!! it’s nearly 11pm here in England and I’m just getting ready to go to bed… and I’ve just got the urge to eat ice cream!

    Reply to Matron's comment

  10. Morgan G on May 7, 2011 at 1:07 am

    One horse back riding- and firefly-filled summer long ago a neighbor took the time to make us kids a tub of strawberry ice cream. I’ll never forget it.

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  11. Hazel on May 7, 2011 at 1:13 am

    We’re coming into gooseberry season here, and gooseberry and elderflower ice cream is delicious- I can’t wait.

    I don’t think I could choose one favourite though- strawberry, raspberry ripple, or Seville orange, that I make in January, that is just double (heavy) cream, icing sugar, and the juice and rind of Seville oranges. It doesn’t even need churning, so it’s great to make when friends are visiting. I occasionally make it at other times of the winter with sweet oranges and limes to get a similar flavour.

    Reply to Hazel's comment

  12. Martha on May 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

    We love homemade ice cream. Chocolate is our fav but I want to try other flavors this summer. Ours is completely raw, we don’t heat a thing. 1c raw cream, 1c raw milk, 1/4 c coco powder, cream 4-5 egg yolks with no more than 1c sugar (I always use less), mix and make. It’s so good.

    Reply to Martha's comment

  13. Kristin on May 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

    My family enjoyed homemade ice cream on Mother’s Day. Banana nut is the family favorite!

    Reply to Kristin's comment

  14. Christine on August 24, 2013 at 5:32 am

    We always make ice cream with an old fashioned set up like that one when we go to my grandmother’s cabin. I remember one year she let my mother, my sister, and I crank it, but none of us knew that you can only crank it with your right hand….we cranked forever and ever with our left hands (all three of us are left-handed) and nothing happened until Nana took a turn with her right hand! It ended up very fluffy ice cream, but it took a long time!

    Reply to Christine's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
So Long Winter – Hello Spring

Yesterday I washed up all of our hats, mittens and scarfs to put them away for the year. They'll be...