Want to enjoy some rich, creamy, delicious homemade ice cream but don’t have an ice cream maker? No problem! It’s actually pretty easy to make ice cream without a maker.
Types of Frozen Treats
Before I dip into the how-tos, let me clarify with you about the different types of frozen treats there are. All are similar to ice cream, yet importantly different.
- Frozen Custard. This is a variation of ice cream that is made using eggs and is cooked prior to being churned into ice cream. The cooked eggs thicken the ice cream and give it that rich, irresistible homemade flavor. Another name for frozen custard is French ice cream and it is often just referred to simply as ice cream.
- Gelato. This Italian-created frozen dessert contains a bit of milk and eggs while featuring a heavy, less airy consistency.
- Ice cream. This frozen goodness contains dairy (cream and/or milk) with a minimum of 10% milk fat. It also may or may not contain eggs.
- Sherbet. This frozen treat contains a bit of dairy, has fresh fruit in it, and dons a light consistency.
- Sorbet. This icy dessert is made using water and fresh fruit.
When you make ice cream without an ice cream maker, the best options to make are traditional ice cream or frozen custard. The other frozen treats, while super yummy, will form ice crystals that are too large, making the dessert have an unfavorable, “sharper” texture. Even making ice cream or frozen custard without an ice cream maker will produce an end result with larger ice crystals, but it will still be very soft and smooth (and totally worth it so you don’t miss out on all the goodness that is homemade ice cream).
How to Make Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker
What You Need
- one recipe prepared ice cream or custard in liquid form, chilled in the refrigerator (might I recommend my Maple Bacon Ice Cream)
- a shallow, freezer-safe metal or glass dish (one that’s big enough to hold all the liquid, or use more than one)
- a metal spoon, a sturdy rubber spatula, or a hand mixer
What You Do
Pour the chilled liquid ice cream mixture into the shallow dish (or dishes) and cover with an airtight lid (or use foil or plastic wrap).
Pop in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Remove and stir well for about 30 seconds (it should be a bit thick and creamy but still easily stirred; if it’s not, return to freezer until it is).
Cover the dish up again and return it to the freezer for another 2 hours. Remove and stir for another 30 seconds. Mix in any add-ins (besides fresh fruit or nuts).
Transfer the semi-firm ice cream to an airtight container with a lid. Return to the freezer and allow to freeze until completely firm.