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How To Make Perfect Ice Cream At Home

I love being able to make ice cream at home. As tasty as the ice cream is from the supermarket, I worry about some of the extra ingredients that are in them – plus, I really enjoy being able to experiment with my ice cream maker and come up with some unusual, as well as traditional, ice cream recipes.

Although I use my ice cream machine for making ice cream at home, you make it without one. Just freeze the mixture for around 1 to 2 hours, take it out and give it a good stir (or put it in a blender/food processor) until smooth. Then put it back in the freezer for another 1 to 2 hours and repeat the process until firm.

SIDE NOTE: I have written a long guide on buying an ice cream maker so do check that out if you are interested in buying one;

make ice cream at home

After a lot of careful research, I ended up buying an Andrew James Ice Cream Maker and I’m really happy with it. It is a really good budget buy – if you have more to spend then I would go for a model with a built in freezer, but that is all explained in the guide mentioned above, so I won’t repeat it all again here.

When you make your own ice cream you know there are not any thickeners, preservatives or artificial flavourings going in. And although making ice cream at home can (sometimes) be time consuming,  just knowing this fact makes all that ok.

You might also end up spending more than what you pay for the discounted ice cream tubs in the supermarket, but again, I’m ok with that. If my/our health comes at a price, so be it.

Most of the ice creams we’ve been experimenting with contain sugar – but I’m testing out some new recipes that have reduced sugar, or even sugar alternatives. Check back, or follow me on social media, and I’ll share the successful recipes with you!

Ice Cream Makers v By Hand

You don’t have to get an in ice cream machine to make it at home. But, having made ice cream both in a machine and by hand, for me personally, I prefer the machine made. It is smoother and feels lighter. The constant churning action of the machine makes it a much creamier consistency. When you are making it by hand you are more likely to get large ice crystals forming.

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Using An Ice Cream Maker

Andrew James Ice Cream Maker ReviewWhichever machine you end up buying, double check the manufacturers instructions, but most of them usually follow the following process;

  1. Place the bowl in the freezer for at least 8 hours. The bowl has a coolant within the walls which needs to be frozen before use. Of course if you have a ice cream machine with a built in freezer you can bypass this stage.
  2. Whilst your bowl is freezing you can begin preparing your ingredients so that they are suitably chilled when the time comes to start churning. There are different methods you can follow for making ice cream, ranging from making a custard mixture on the hob and allowing it cool to just mixing together cream, sugar and a flavour (such as pureed strawberries) and chilling them before churning. The instructions that come with your machine should provide a good starting point. Andrew James provide 6 recipes: Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, Banana, Raspberry (frozen yoghurt), Chocolate Mint and Lemon Sorbet.
  3. Once your ingredients are all ready and suitably chilled you need to take your bowl out of the freezer and place it in your ice cream maker. Switch it on so the paddle is moving and immediately pour the mixture through the ingredient chute.
  4. Now you just leave it to work it’s magic. Depending on the ingredients, and the temperature of them, this might take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. Once you are happy with the consistency you can switch the machine off. You’ll notice the paddle struggling to turn as the mixture thickens up.
  5. Now you can stir in any extra ingredients (like nuts, chocolate chips etc). If you want to firm up your ice cream just transfer it to a suitable container and put it in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Sometimes we can’t wait that long and we dive straight in 🙂

Making Ice Cream By Hand

 If you don’t have an ice cream maker, it is still possible to make tasty ice cream at home. You just need to spend a little more time and energy making it. You follow the recipe as you would for an ice cream maker. Once they are all combined you need to put the mixture in a bowl suitable for the freezer. If you can, go for a wide and shallow container so that is freezes more quickly. The quicker it freezes the better it will turn out. If you can turn your freezer on to fast freeze too, that would be even better. It’s a good idea to take the ice cream out of the freezer every 30 minutes or so to give it a good stir and get rid of any ice crystals that might have formed. There are other methods to ice cream making without a machine, check them out here.

Top Tips For Getting The Best Out Of Your Ice Cream Maker

  • The ice cream produced will be soft. It can be eaten like this or if you prefer it firmer you can pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  • If you have a maker without a built in freezer try and always keep the ice cream bowl in the freezer so that it is always ready. Better still, buy a spare one.
  • Your ingredients need to be chilled before you start churning them. If not, the paddle will struggle to change the consistency to anything other than liquid form.
  • If you are making an ice cream with alcohol in (keep an eye out for our Baileys Ice Cream coming up soon!) remember that alcohol inhibits the freezing process.
  • Make sure you leave a few centimetres spare at the top of the ice cream bowl – your recipe will get larger as it freezes.
  • Experiment with lots of recipes!

I will add more ice cream recipes to Liana’s Kitchen in time, but to get you started here is the banana ice cream recipe which is super easy to make. This is one from the Andrew James manual that came with the ice cream maker. My children love this ice cream – almost as much as the chocolate ice cream!

Banana Ice Cream Recipe

1 large ripe banana

200ml skimmed milk

100ml double cream

50g caster sugar


  1. Peel the banana and mash with a fork until smooth.
  2. Mix in with the milk, cream and sugar. Make sure it is all fully combined.
  3. Switch your ice cream maker on and ensure the paddle is running. Pour the mixture through the ingredient chute into the freezer bowl.
  4. After about 15 to 20 minutes the mixture should be at the right consistency. Switch off the ice cream maker and either serve immediately or transfer to a container (with a lid) and allow to firm up for a couple of hours.

Do you have any ice cream recipes to share? Please let me know in the contents or by contacting me via email. I’d love to hear them!

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