Creamy and frosty, ice cream is a treat for any time of the year no matter what age you are. Be it 5-105, ice cream is a fun treat to enjoy simply because of its texture, temperature and of course, its flavor. So of course you want to try making it yourself at home. You can do it the old-fashioned way (yes, I’m talking about the hand-crank with the rock salt) or grab the best of the best when it comes to electronic ice cream machines. But frankly not everyone makes ice cream so frequently to drop that kind of cash on a one-trick pony.
That’s where the food processor comes in. Taa-daa! Not only does a food processor chop, puree and make bread dough, it also acts as an ice cream maker. Didn’t read that on the box, did you?
All it takes is a bit of ingenuity and a few ice cube trays. That’s it.
How to Make Ice Cream in the Food Processor
Whether you like banana ice cream, pistachio ice cream or simply vanilla ice cream, the food processor is an amazing tool to create your perfect flavor. The science is all in the ice crystals and the lack thereof in creamy ice cream.
When you first take a spoonful of ice cream, how would you describe the texture? A good ice cream (something with a lot of butterfat) will be creamy and smooth with no jagged edges of ice. In these ice creams the mixture has been churned and frozen at the same time, resulting in small ice crystals.
But before we get into that, it’s time to look at the ice cream base.
The Ice Cream Base
Like a normal ice cream base, this food processor base includes egg yolks, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. The egg yolks and evaporated milk brings to the table a palatable amount of fat, making this mixture super creamy. The sugar sweetens the base just enough, the vanilla adds a bit of depth and the salt bring to the tongue any hidden flavors. This base can be made as is for a vanilla ice cream or used as a base for any ice cream imaginable.
To begin, whip up the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt in a stand mixer with a whip. We want to add a bit of air into the egg yolks to lighten the up. Meanwhile in a saucepan over medium heat bring the evaporated milk to a simmer. Make sure you are using evaporated milk and not condensed milk (Totally made that mistake before on a sleep-deprived cooking day).
With the mixer on, slowing add the warm milk into the egg yolks. Do this tempers the yolks, making it harder for them to scramble. Transfer the entire mixture back to the saucepan and whisking constantly, bring the mixture up to 180ºF. The mixture should be thick.
Remove the base from the heat and let cool to room temperature then pour the mixture into ice cube trays. This is the secret to getting perfect ice cream in the food processor. Freeze the cubes until solid, about four hours.
Process the Ice Cream
Once time is up the cubes are ready to be popped out (the handle of a spoon works great) and placed in the food processor along with a touch of heavy whipping cream. This is also the time to add mix-in’s like frozen fruit, chocolate chips, nuts and more. Process until smooth then add in the mix-in’s if you like the mix-in’s super chunky.
Transfer the entire mixture into a airtight container and let it freeze until solid, about another four hours. Grab a ice cream scoop (heated in hot water of course) and scoop away these three food processor ice cream recipes.
Strawberry Ice Cream
Fresh strawberries are the star of this ice cream treat. Make the vanilla ice cream base as is, and when it comes time to process in the machine, add in sliced strawberries to blend, making sure that the strawberries are still in small pieces rather than fully pureed.
You can even use frozen strawberries in this recipe if fresh are no longer in season.
Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream
When mixing the base, add unsweetened cocoa powder (or even dark chocolate cocoa powder) to the sugar and egg mixture. Once frozen in cubes, toss in the cherries with the cubes to incorporate.
If cherry ain’t your thing, leave them out and enjoy this chocolate ice cream.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
As far as homemade ice cream goes, this ice cream flavor takes the cake (ice cream cake that is). Infuse fresh mint into the evaporated milk and fold in mini chocolate chips before the second freeze.