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Ice cream is a go-to dessert in warm weather. Creamy, cold and refreshing, ice cream makes for the perfect complement to a hot afternoon. Ice cream can be served in various ways, including in a cup, on a cone, in sundae form accompanied by a bevy of favorite toppings, or mounded on a hot waffle. This cool treat is also stupendous in shakes or as the a la mode when served alongside pie and cakes. There’s just no end to the ways ice cream can be enjoyed. While it’s perfectly acceptable to head to the nearest supermarket freezer section for a pint or two of the cold stuff, many people overestimate how much work goes into making ice cream at home. Anyone can whip up their own custom flavors and keep the freezer stocked with fresh desserts. Start with these ice cream base ingredients for basic vanilla, courtesy of The Food Network, and then customize with creativity.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Yields 1 quart


• 3 cups heavy cream

• 1 cup whole milk

• 3⁄4 cup sugar

• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

• Kosher salt

• 5 large egg yolks


1. Whisk the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl.

3. Slowly (very slowly!) whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the beaten yolks, then pour slowly back into the saucepan, whisking, and return to medium heat.

4. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, coats the spoon and reaches 180 F on a thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or measuring cup; discard the solids.

6. Stir often until the mixture cools to room temperature. Lightly press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until cold, about 3 hours.

7. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the ice cream in the freezer to set up for at least 1 hour.

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