Churning your own mix. Making ice cream allows you to use seasonal fruits or to create unusual flavors. The task is eased by churning the mix in an electric freezer (some new ones don’t even require packing with salt and ice), but hand cranking provides fun for children of all ages.
Make an ice-cream mix (see below). Chill it for 1 to 2 hours. Wash and scald the freezer’s can, lid, and dasher; dry and chill them. Follow the freezer maker’s directions for the amounts of ice and rock salt. With a mallet, crush the ice in a pillow case or canvas bag.
Fill the can 2/3 full with the mix to allow for expansion (churning incorporates air in the mix). Insert the dasher, cover the can, and place it in the freezer tub. Fill the tub 1/3 full with crushed ice, then alternate layers of salt and ice, using 1 part salt to 6 to 8 parts ice. Attach the motor or hand crank. Let stand about 3 minutes, then turn on an electric freezer or begin cranking a manual one, slowly at first and always in the same direction.
The ice cream is frozen when the hand crank becomes difficult to turn or the motor shuts off or labors heavily. Remove the cranking mechanism, lift out the can, and wipe it clean. Remove the lid and the dasher; pack down the ice cream with a spoon. Replace the lid and plug its hole with a cork. Drain water from the tub and place the can in it. Repack the freezer with salt and ice, cover it with wet newspapers, and let the ice cream ripen for 2 to 3 hours. A basic ice-cream mix For about 2’/2 quarts of ice cream, blend 3’/a cups milk and 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk. Add ‘/2 cup sugar; stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups heavy cream; add flavorings.
For vanilla ice cream, add 3 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract or to taste. For chocolate, combine 11/3 cups unsweetened cocoa with ‘/2 cup sugar. Bring 1 cup water to the simmer, slowly add the cocoa and stir until it’s smooth and syrupy. Add 11/3 cups chilled syrup to the ice-cream mix.