Tips for making homemade ice cream

By Tanya Davis | Published Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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Next week we will celebrate the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Celebrations come in many forms with fireworks and food surely included.

Homemade ice cream would be a great menu choice. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. He recognized ice cream as a fun food that is enjoyed by 90 percent of the nation’s population.

If you’re planning to celebrate ice cream month with a batch of your favorite homemade ice cream, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the danger of possible salmonella infection by using a homemade ice cream recipe made with a cooked egg base, made without eggs or made with commercial pasteurized egg substitutes.

Egg mixtures used in making cooked bases for ice cream are safe if they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit when tested with a thermometer. At this temperature the mixture should coat a metal spoon.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you can still enjoy homemade ice cream without the risk of salmonella infection by substituting a pasteurized egg substitute or pasteurized shell eggs for the raw eggs in your favorite recipe.

Egg substitutes, which may be liquid or frozen, contain only the white of the egg, the part that doesn’t have fat and cholesterol, and are readily available at most supermarkets.

Even when using pasteurized products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advise consumers to start with a cooked base for optimal safety, especially if serving people at high risk. Additionally, you should ensure that the dairy ingredients you use in homemade ice cream, such as milk and cream, are pasteurized.

If you are watching your weight and have put ice cream on your “don’t eat” list, think again! Instead of a big dish of ice cream topped by a handful of strawberries, enjoy a bowl of fruit topped with a small scoop (1/2 cup) of ice cream.

One cup of strawberries provides about 50 calories and a generous amount of fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. A half cup of light ice cream adds about 100 calories, as well as calcium. With a total of around 150 calories for the fruit plus ice cream, your taste buds and your waistline can be happy.

For more tips and tricks on preparing homemade ice cream, call the Extension office at 940-627-3341.


Servings: 28 -cup servings
Yield: about 3 quarts

  • 2 cups sugar
  • cup cornstarch
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 6 cups half-and-half

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Blend in 2 cups milk and 2 cups of the half-and-half.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Beat the eggs. Stir a small amount of the hot cornstarch mixture into the beaten eggs; then stir the eggs into the remaining cornstarch mixture.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Chill thoroughly. (This is essential for a smooth ice cream.)

Stir in vanilla and remaining 4 cups of chilled half-and-half. Freeze in a gallon ice cream freezer using 1 part salt to 6 parts crushed ice.

Nutritional information per cup serving (using whole milk): 152 calories; 6 grams fat; 58 milligrams cholesterol; 64 milligrams sodium; 18 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 76 milligrams calcium.

Tanya Davis is a Wise County Extension agent.

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