Though a trip to the ice-cream stand is a summer staple, nothing beats making your own—a surprisingly easy endeavor with a $60 churn-style machine. Here’s how to improve the product.
The easiest way to elevate your homemade ice cream is by cooking a custard-style base on the stove. Recipes abound online, but in short you want to whisk together egg yolks and sugar, then add heavy cream and whole milk, and gently stir until the base reaches 170 degrees. Use an instant-read thermometer to eliminate guesswork and avoid a pot of curdled eggs.
For an extra-smooth texture, substitute as much as 1⁄4 cup of the sugar in your recipe with corn syrup or glucose syrup. This is especially handy for fruit ice creams, which freeze hard and icy. Upping your cream-to-milk ratio will improve smoothness, too.
Once done cooking your base, rest it overnight or chill it in an ice bath until it hits 40 degrees. Cold bases churn faster and creamier and will also result in fewer ice crystals than ones at room temperature.
This article is part of our Summer School series, a comprehensive guide to acing the year’s best season.