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How to Make Homemade Low-fat Vanilla Ice Cream (directions, recipe, with photos, easy and free)

How to Make Homemade Low-fat Gourmet Vanilla Ice cream;
Using a Gel-container Ice Cream maker!

Click here for a PDF print version

Home made vanilla ice creamWhat's better than homemade vanilla ice cream?   It is actually quite easy, and costs less than buying ice cream! These directions work with ANY ice cream maker with a gel-freezer container. Electric ice cream makers make it fast and easy! If you have an ice cream maker that requires ice and salt instead of the freezer bowl, see these instructions instead!

If you are looking for an instruction manual for your ice cream maker, we have them, too! See this page.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream MakerDirections for Making Homemade Low-fat Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fat-free powdered milk
  • 8 eggs (yolks only needed)
  • 1 cup  half-and-half - regular or fat-free OR light cream for lighter more ice cream, more like gelato)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment

  • 1 ice cream maker with a freezer gel canister
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 wooden or plastic spatula

Instructions

Step 1 - Pre-Freeze your ice cream maker's gel container

Gel Freezer Container to make Ice creamBefore you even think about making ice cream, you better get the gel container in the deep freeze and start it freezing up.  Models vary, but generally the recommend the length of time needed to freeze the unit is between 6 hours and 22 hours. It depends on how cold your freezer is. If you have the room, just leave your freezer bowl in the freezer at all times. That way, you can take it out any time for immediate use.

To determine whether the bowl is completely frozen, just shake it. If you don't hear liquid moving, it's frozen!  Before freezing the bowl, wash and dry the bowl, then place the freezer bowl in the back of your freezer where it is coldest. (Note: Your freezer should be set to 0�F for most foods, including ice cream!)

Crass commercial message: (Well, I warned you!) - I've tried many different types of ice cream makers over the past 25 years, and the Cuisinart ICE-30BC "Pure Indulgence" is the easiest, simplest, and neatest (as in not messy) ice cream / gelato / sorbet / frozen yogurt maker I've used.  just pop the gel bowl in the freezer and, depending upon how cold your freezer is, within 6 to 12 hours, it's ready to make ice cream, without ice, salt or mess. It also has an opening in the top to add flavorings... or to sample as it freezes.. .YUM! Highly recommended! Blake

On the other hand, the Hamilton Beach model is cheaper, but it doesn't get as good reviews and I haven't tried it.  And if, for some demented reason, you actually want to hand crank for 25 minutes, the Donvier model offers that, um, "pleasure".

Step 2 - Heat the milk, sugar and powdered milk

SugarNonfat powdered dry milkHeat the milk, sugar and powdered milkIn a large pot ( 4 quarts or larger) with a heavy bottom (for even heat distribution), mix the milk, sugar and powdered milk. Bring the mix to a low simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar, then turn the heat down and just keep it warm.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 - Separate 8 egg yolks

Separate 8 egg yolkseggsSeparate the egg yolks from 8 large eggs. Just crack the eggs against the edge of the bowl and either pour them from one half of the shell to the other, or use your fingers to let the whites drop through while holding the yolk.

 

 

 

Step 4 - Whip the egg yolks until thickened

Whip the egg yolks until thickenedWhip the egg yolks until thickenedPut the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until they are thickened (it only takes about 2 minutes.  I use a hand mixer on low speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5 - Slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks

Slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolksWhile constantly whisking, slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk until it is blended (a few seconds).

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6 - Pour the egg yolk mix into the pot of hot milk

Pour the egg yolk mix into the pot of hot milkThen pour the egg mixture back into the pot of hot milk and increase heat to medium. Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden or plastic spoon, until the mixture is thickened (like gravy) and registers between 170F and 180F (check with an instant-read thermometer, like the ones with a probe or a candy thermometer).

 

 

Add the light cream (or half and half) and vanilla and refrigerate

 

 

 

Step 7 - Add the light cream (or half and half) and vanilla and refrigerate

Stir in whipping cream (or light cream or half-and-half) and vanilla. Cover and pop into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before continuing on to step 8. Overnight or even 24 to 48 hours is fine.

 

 

Intermission - while the mix (called a custard) chills

Take a break... a glass of wine or sherry or just put your feet up while it chills.  Best to let it go overnight, but 3 - 4 hours will do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8 - Fire up the ice cream maker!

Fire up the ice cream maker!Turn the ice cream maker on and let the maker work until it is thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

If you want to make other flavors, like chocolate, now is the time to add those flavorings! .  I add about 1/2 cup of chocolate syrup - I use the Hersey's sugar free syrup, but both the variety and amount are a matter of personal taste preferences!

You can tell when the ice cream is done, by simply checking the consistency through the opening on the top of the ice cream maker.  You will also hear the motor straining, as the ice cream freezes.  On some units, the directions with the maker tell you to let it work until the motor stalls and stops.

When it is done, the ice cream should have a soft, creamy texture. If you want firmer, harder ice cream, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place it in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

 

 

Step 9 - Enjoy!

Bowl of Ice cream - done!Hey, once it reaches the consistency you like, it's time to eat!  That's it!  You made great homemade ice cream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner

This is usually about $80 PLUS SHIPPING.  (which is a GREAT price for a pressure canner). There is also a 16 quart version for about $69. Click on the links at left or above for more info and current pricing. It is also available from Amazon .com (click on the box link at left) (and below from Target)

Features:

  • 17 by 15-1/2 inches; 12-year warranty
  • Heavy-duty 23-quart aluminum pressure canner and cooker
  • Comfortably ergonomic, stay-cool black plastic handles
  • Strong-lock lid with pressure regulator, dial gauge, and overpressure plug
  • Comes with canning rack to protect jars during canning

 

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Shown at left is the Presto 23 quart pressure canner. Features below and click here for more information or to purchase from Target.
Features:

  • The easy-to-read dial gauge automatically registers a complete range of processing pressures
  • Includes cooking/canning rack and complete instruction/recipe book and has a 22-quart liquid capacity
  • Aluminum construction
  • Holds seven 1-quart Mason jars

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner

Amazon usually has this (through the links at left) for about $79.  (which is a GREAT price for a pressure canner).  Click on the links at left for more info and current pricing.

Features:

  • 17 by 15-1/2 inches; 12-year warranty
  • Heavy-duty 23-quart aluminum pressure canner and cooker
  • Comfortably ergonomic, stay-cool black plastic handles
  • Strong-lock lid with pressure regulator, dial gauge, and overpressure plug
  • Comes with canning rack to protect jars during canning
   
 

All American Pressure Canner and Cookers - In 3 Sizes

Features:

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  • One-year warranty
Fagor home canning accessories kit

5-Piece Canning Accessories Kit

  • Five-piece set: funnel, jar lifter, lid lifter, jar wrench, and tongs
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  • Extra-wide funnel mouth
  • Ideal for home canning
  • Hand washable only

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours   

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